Jun 6, 2014
Looking for Muscle on "The Dick Van Dyke Show"
It came on before my bedtime during its original run, but it was constantly being rerun during my childhood, often at lunchtime during the summer, so my brother and I watched while waiting for Mom to fry our baloney or egg sandwiches
I know, it's a classic, and it won lots of Emmies, and all, but I didn't like it.
Barry Van Dyke (but no relation to Philip Van Dyke), Dick was tall, gawky, and rubbery-limbed, not at all attractive.
Plus he was hetero-horny in that obnoxious eye-bulging 1950s way, although devoted to his wife, Laura (Mary Tyler Moore, who would get her own iconic tv sitcom in the 1970s).
2. Rob's writing staff included the unhappily single, man-hungry Sally Rogers (Rose Marie), who was desperate to get married, even though that would mean giving up her successful comedy-writing career.
He was as hetero-horney as Rob, and married to a former chorus girl with the ridiculous name Pickles.
3. Buddy had a sparring love-hate relationship with Mel Cooley (Richard Deacon), the balding, stuffy producer of the tv show. But it was mostly hate. You have to push really hard to find an undertow of homoerotic attraction.
Richard Deacon was gay in real life, and a fixture in West Hollywood bars during the 1970s (he died in 1984).
5. The only regular cast member who was marginally attractive was next door neighbor Jerry Helper, played Jerry Paris, who starred in some sex comedies during the 1960s. But he was married, too.
No muscles, no buddy-bonding, a lot of hetero-horniness. No wonder I didn't like it.
Besides, the episode "It May Look Like a Walnut" scared me to death.
See also: Hip Workplace Sitcoms of the 1970s; Mary Tyler Moore and the Two Richies