The Dick Van Dyke Show

Season 1 Episode 20

The Talented Neighborhood

1
Aired Unknown Jan 31, 1962 on CBS

Episode Recap

The Petrie's are all sitting in their living room watching The Allan Brady show. We hear the announcer mention that they are looking for talented kids, so be sure to enter your kid. Ritchie says he wants to enter. Laura tactfully tells Ritchie that he would need to have a talent to enter.

Ritchie says he knows how to sing "America" and promptly starts singing, loudly and with a gusto. Unfortunately he also sings with no talent! Rob and Laura are honest with Ritchie and he is not upset as he hops into the bathroom to get ready for bed.



The doorbell rings and it's Jerry. Laura offers to make some coffee, and bring out some stale donuts to dunk. While Laura tends to the coffee, Jerry asks Rob about the "Gifted Kids" contest on the Allan Brady Show. Rob tells him about how they get a ton of mail from parents that THINK their kids have talent.



Jerry starts to push for his daughter Ellen. He subtly suggests that Rob could give her a inside "leg up". Apparently Jerry's daughter can play the piano and has a "large" repertoire:



"Yankee Doodle Dandy", "The Wigwam Dance,

3 Blind Mice, A Frog He Would a Wooing Go, RumTumTum, Row Row your Boat,

and the Cantata for Witches and Elves!



All fine tunes for a little girl, but hardly stuff of any talent for nationwide television! Rob agrees to see what he can do and get his daughter an audition. They then discover that the stale donuts Laura brought out are rock solid!



While they attempt to "de-stale" the donuts by dunking into their coffee's, the phone rings and it is another parent, determined to get an inside track for their kid, and secure an audition just like Jerry did. A Mrs. Grousstark is VERY determined indeed. She won't let Rob say no, and finally he tells her to mail his tape to him!



No sooner does he get off the phone than the MAYOR himself calls! As a surprised Rob combs his hair because of such a esteemed caller, it seems he has a daughter Cynthia that can recite a poem while roller-skating, a poem with 19 stanza's! And the mayor has her recite them to Rob, all 19, over the phone!



The next morning when Mel comes in and talks to Sally, he notices 2 kids sitting on the couch. They have musical instruments so he tells them that the auditions are down the hall. Sally jumps up, it seems they are with her. One is her neighbour's sisters kid named Gloria, and the other is her butcher's grand kid named Annia! Seems Sally has been roped into giving them special treatment just like Rob the night before.



At that moment Rob comes in and is trailed by no less than 4 kids plus Cynthia the roller-skating Mayors daughter, who Rob almost shut the door on. After he corrals her and gets her to sit down, Buddy comes in. Mel then tells them that he's too busy to audition the kids, as he has an audition room full of kids with their parents who went through proper channels! He leaves telling the trio to audition the kids themselves. They brought them in, they can audition them!

Sally asks Buddy why he doesn't have a bunch of neighbour kids to audition? As Buddy tells them he hasn't escaped, he opens the door to let in another 3 kids, one of them a Frank Sinatra impersonator!



At the Petrie residence, Laura is entertaining another parent, Mrs. Kendal, the mayors sister with her son, Kenneth. They are waiting for Rob to come home from work, as Laura is trying desperately to dissuade Mrs. Kendal telling her to go through channels at the Alan Brady Show, as her husband doesn't make the decisions on auditions.

Mrs. Kendal disagrees saying how Mr. Helper, Mrs. Grousstark and the Mayor all seem convinced he does. Laura then tries the old "my husband won't be home for hours" bit and no sooner does she say that, than Rob walks in the door!



Mrs. Kendal is delighted, and asks Rob if he's ever heard a complete Italian Opera sung by a 10 year old? In the original Italian? Rob, of course, says he hasn't had the pleasure! With that, she promptly takes control, insisting he listen to her Kenneth.



She sits at the piano, and with a painfully SLOW tempo Kenneth begins to.... sing... the... entire... opera. And poor Rob hasn't even had his supper! Finally, after 2 hours of horrid and painful caterwauling by Kenneth, they leave. Laura, who successfully escaped with a headache into the den, comes out as the coast is clear! The phone rings and an annoyed and very hungry Rob takes the call from a Mr. Mathias.



Mr. Mathias is new to the neighbourhood. He would like to come by and get aquatinted. A suspicious Rob asks if he would like to bring his children along, which he would. Rob then gets rude and says loudly that he'd be happy to meet, but only when the 'Talented Kid Contest' is over and hangs up the phone! Laura is shocked by Rob's discourteous manner, but Rob says he should have used that tone earlier, it would have saved him a lot of grief.



The next morning, a Saturday, the Petrie's are asleep as Ritchie comes into their bedroom with 3 little children. He has brought them to see Rob's crazy Tiger stripe PJ's! He wakes up and is annoyed at Ritchie for waking him up on a Saturday morning! Laura doesn't recognize the kids and they tell her that they're new to the neighbourhood. Their father sent them over to introduce themselves. Rob smells a rat and asks them if their last name happens to be Mathias, which it is.



Rob sarcastically asks which one of them wants to sing or dance, to which they all say that Martin, the eldest can dance really good. The kids urge him to dance and an annoyed Rob stops them that only HE can dance in his own bedroom!!



Rob says to Martin to tell his father that they are more than welcome to come over and play with Ritchie anytime, but to PLAY, NOT to DANCE! Martin respectfully says he will and the kids all leave. A playful Laura says she's never seen Rob dance in the bedroom!



That evening they get a visit from Mr. Mathias. He is not impressed with the Petrie's and has come over to find out why they were so rude to his children. Rob and Laura are still under the impression that he is still trying to secure a special audition for his son. After some sorting, they all discover that Mathias could not have known about the contest, because he's been moving into his house.



The apologetic Petrie's are relieved that it's all been corrected, and are also relieved that Mr. Mathias isn't one of those misguided parents trying to steer their untalented kids into show business. Mathias totally understands what the Petrie's have gone through, and agrees, saying it's a shame because it makes it hard for the really talented kids to be recognized!



Rob gets suspicious, and asks him if he knows any talented kids. And he brightens up and says his son, Martin!Apparently, Martin is a self-taught FLAMENCO DANCER! As good as Jose Greco, the famous flamenco dancer! Martin hasn't had a single lesson, and a proud Mr. Mathias puffs up his chest with pride!



As if to make amends for their earlier rude treatment, Laura suggests to Rob that perhaps they could audition Martin. Mr. Mathias says no, he couldn't considering how much they've gone through all week. When Rob says how about in an hour, Mathias jumps at the chance, and runs out the door and says he'll be back in HALF an hour!! A amused Rob playfully chastises Laura!



Mr. Mathias is back, he's brought Martins wooden dance floor and after they have set it up, he cues up the record player. Martin comes out and puts on a tour de force flamenco dance routine. Rob and Laura are visibly STUNNED. Here is a ten year old boy, dancing flamenco like a pro, and all without a lesson!



Rob, Laura and Ritchie congratulate Martin after his wonderful performance. Ironically, after all he and Laura have gone through this week, Rob has found the winner for the contest!
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