It is certainly appropriate that TV Land held a marathon of The Dick Van Dyke Show all last week — October 3 was the 50th anniversary of the series premiere on CBS. It’s also appropriate that the show is now on at a regular time: 7:00 pm each weeknight. It is also certainly appropriate — and much deserved — that a new and revised edition of The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book has been released in time to celebrate the show’s golden anniversary.
This is a big anniversary — seriously, in the short history of television and entertainment, this one show has influenced more people than I can imagine — including myself — and I suggest that you visit the blog of Mark Evanier, an L.A. writer, who not only loves The Dick Van Dyke Show, but understands how important it has been in the scheme of things. His blog is here, and his recent Van Dyke-related sites are here and here.
This book is is the best and most comprehensive book that I wish every good tv show could have. Twin Peaks deserves this treatment. Hill Street Blues, M*A*S*H, Twilight Zone, The Avengers, Dark Shadows — the best and the most-loved all deserve books as thorough and as sheer fun as this. Author Vince Waldron has surpassed this book’s previous incarnations, including in its contents the words to the show’s theme song (written by Morey Amsterdam), a bittersweet account of the show’s emotional final days, a comprehensive episode guide, and even a few paragraphs about the 2004 reunion show.
In short, this is the perfect book for the tv comedy geek in us all. Get it here — but not at Barnes & Noble . . . and I’ll tell why in a later post.