The Dick Van Dyke Show

Season 1 Episode 1

The Sick Boy and the Sitter

Aired Unknown Oct 03, 1961 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
41 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Rob Talks Laura into going to a party at Alan Brady's penthouse even though she'd rather stay home and look after their ailing five-year-old. Her "woman's intuition" warns her that something terrible will happen if she leaves their son in the care of a babysitter.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • "Woman's intuition" warns Laura not to go to a party at Alan Brady's penthouse, but Rob pleads with her and she gives in. They go, but get home a little later than she would have liked. The final scenes reveal whether her intuition was correct or not.moreless

    Although the domestic scenes in this opening episode in the series were hit-and-miss, there are a number of very entertaining moments here that call for a higher rating than I might have otherwise given.

    The scene between Mary Tyler Moore as a nervous Laura and Mary Lee Dearring as Janie, the almost stoic sitter, is one of the highlights of the show, right up through the moment that Rob carries Laura off bodily to get her to stop giving instructions.

    The entertainment the writers put on at the party is the other highlight of the episode, making the whole thing worthwhile in spite of the earlier awkward domestic moments.

    Over the course of the five seasons of this show there were a lot of moments that modern audiences will probably find very old-fashioned, but happily, few of them equalled the almost archaic feel of the scenes between Rob and "Laurie" in this episode. The chemistry probably wasn't really there yet, but the writing didn't help much. Richie was Richie. Not much more can be said on that line.moreless
  • When Rob is invitied to his boss' house for dinner,but Laura informs him that they can't go because they have sick son at home. Rob talks Laura into going, but she still is worried that something might happen, which it does, but not what Laura expects.moreless

    For the first episode of this great series it is pretty good. I love the scene at the office where Buddy and Rob are arguing over what to put in the show and of course one cannot forget the constant insults thrown in Mel's direction by Buddy. I also enjoyed the scene where they are at Alan's apartment and Buddy, Sally, and Rob perform. I absoultely died laughing at Rob's impression of Laura's Uncle Henry. I still don't know how he makes his legs that loose. All in all it was a good episode and I am looking forward to seeing the other episodes that have helped make this show a classic.moreless
  • "The Dick Van Dyke Show" hits the ground running.

    In a very funny first episode, Carl Reiner sets up the formula for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" that would keep the show going over its five seasons. Domestic life intersects with the showbiz career as Rob and Laura attend a dinner party for the network while Ritchie seems to be coming down with a cold.

    Everybody shines in this episode, even Larry Matthews. Laura's frantic instructions to the babysitter, culminating with Rob carrying her out of the house; Rob's pleading with his wife to attend the party and his own attempts to diagnose his son...I was surprised at the number of times I laughed out loud during the show. The episode even gives Morey Amsterdam, Rose Marie and Van Dyke all a chance to showcase their unique talents - Amsterdam as a vaudeville style comic; Marie and her Jimmy Durante impression and Van Dyke in an absolutely hilarious drunk routine.

    It's unusual for a series of any kind to start off on the right foot as well as "Dick Van Dyke does, but it's the start of something great.moreless
  • The Petrie's, Rob and Laura, are invited to his boss's lavish party at his penthouse. Excited Rob tries to convince his reluctant wife to go, but she's too worried about Richie, their son who's ill. Laura's instinct says not to go. Rob tries desperatelmoreless

    This the episode that started it all, and the premise is a standard theme, but pulled off with style and a nice warm charm! Young couple leave the ill son with the babysitter, and mother is sure something bad will happen. It does, but not how you think.

    You can see that the actors and even the writers were still hashing out and getting a feel of the show. Rob calls Laura “Lorrie”, and DVD is obviously wearing lots of make-up, especially around the eyes. He almost looks like his real life hero, Stanley Laurel with his white face powder and eyelash treatment!

    The episode shows the potential for showcasing Dick Van Dyke’s considerable talent, as witnessed in the skits he and his two cohorts, Sally Rogers and Buddy Sorell perform for the bosses guests at the party! You will smile as you see how talented these people are. You will know you're in for a treat.

    It also introduces us to a gorgeous and multitalented young actress, you will hear more of as the years come, namely, Mary Tyler Moore!

    This episode along with a few to follow, still feel a bit campy and homogenous, but begin to get more substantial as the crew and cast flesh out the roles, and feel comfortable with the scripts.

    A fair start to an even greater classic series!


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

  • QUOTES (16)

    • (Rob takes the liver out of the frying pan)
      Laura: What are you doing?
      Rob: I know you. Once this liver is cooked you'll never go.
      Laura: You won't change my mind, so you might as well put it back in the pan.
      Rob: Oh, let's talk it over a little longer.
      Laura: Robert, will you please put my liver back.

    • Sally: I've got another word over here, milkbath.
      Buddy: Milkbath! Say that is a good one...anybody else got one?
      Sally: Milkbath!
      Buddy: All right, a friend of mine was very seriously hurt while taking a milkbath. (to Sally) Ask me why.
      Sally: Why?
      Buddy: Funny you should ask. What happened was, the cow slipped on a piece of soap and fell on his head.

    • Laura: Oh, and Janie, if anything unusual happens just call your mother, she lives next door.
      Rob: She knows where her mother lives.

    • Laura: Well there are symptoms.
      Rob: What symptoms?
      Laura: Well...
      Rob: Come on, I'm the boy's father.
      Laura: He turned down his cupcake.
      (acting as if he is startled by the news)
      Rob: He turned down his cupcake! And you didn't call the ambulance!

    • Rob: Hi, honey. How's your white satin evening gown?
      Laura: Fine. How's your red flannel bathrobe?

    • Mel:(pointing at Buddy) What about him?
      Buddy: Him will be there with bells on. If it's cold I'll wear something warmer.

    • Mel: Rob, as the producer of this show, once more I must insist that you must instruct your staff to show me a little respect.
      Buddy: We're showing you as little respect as possible.

    • Sally: ...and Mr. Cooley is paid to produce the show because...
      Buddy: ...because he is the star's brother-in-law.

    • Sally: I've got a date with an unmarried accountant I would like to get there before he gets married.

    • Rob: Now wait a minute.
      (takes the paper out of the typewriter Sally is using)
      Sally: That won't stop me. I'll type it on the ribbon.

    • Rob: I don't think we should end this week's show with a joke. I'd like Alan to come out and say something with meaning.
      Buddy: Yeah? What kind of meaning?
      Rob: I wrote down a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
      Buddy: What show does he write for?

    • Buddy: Maybe he says something philosophical like, Folks, remember save your money. Someday it may be worth something.

    • Sally:...and remember the Alan Brady thought of the day is, Drive carefully, especially on the sidewalks.

    • Laura: Did you eat anything next door?
      Richie: Just water I ate.
      Laura: Just water. You should feel hungry.
      (Laura feels Richie's forehead, then her own and then Richie's again)
      Richie: Do I feel hungry, mommy?

    • Rob: Together we worry just right.

    • Babysitter: What did you say was in the bowl on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator?
      Rob: Who knows? If it's food, eat it. If it's a phone number, call it!

  • NOTES (5)

    • The opening introduction has an envelope of photos of the cast falling out.

    • When this pilot was filmed, "Jerry & Millie Helper" were not the Petrie's next-door neighbors- "Sam & Dottie" were. The "Helpers" appeared after weekly production of the series began.

    • Mary Tyler Moore was only 23 when the show premiered. Being that she was supposed to be in her early 30s as Laura Petrie, the make-up and wardrobe departments had to go to work to make her look 7 years older than she actually was!

    • The pilot episode of the series, this episode was filmed following the original, unsuccessful pilot starring Carl Reiner as Rob Petrie. When they tried it a second time (with Dick Van Dyke of course in the lead role), Carl Reiner reluctantly realized that his place on this particular show was behind the camera, and Van Dyke deserved the spotlight.

    • This episode was filmed on the day of John F. Kennedy's inauguration.