Dick Van Dyke wasn't ready for ''The Dick Van Dyke Show'' to end

Van Dyke on the ending of The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Goodbyes are hard for everyone, but they're definitely tougher for some people than others. For some, leaving something behind simply means that you're leaving behind something great in search of something better. But for others, saying goodbye can be a painstaking experience.

In his memoir, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir, Dick Van Dyke revealed that he fell into the latter category when it came to one of his all-time greatest series, The Dick Van Dyke Show. 

Van Dyke wrote, "In late summer of 1965, all of us began the fifth season knowing it was our last. The public may not have realized it yet, but we knew." Despite the show's imminent end being common knowledge among the cast and crew, the actual decision to end the series seemed to be creator Carl Reiner's alone. Reiner, who had experience in television, knew that the longer a series lasted, the more opportunities there were for it to grow dull and unimpressive in the eyes of the viewer.

Reiner seemed to also be aware not only of the importance of The Dick Van Dyke Show at the time but the potential of its importance in the future. Van Dyke wrote, "I think he [Reiner] recognized that all of us, through our collaboration and hard work, had produced a TV classic, and he feared that if repetition and fatigue set in, it could damage the show's magical reputation."

Still, Van Dyke had such a positive experience working on The Dick Van Dyke Show that he couldn't imagine the possibility of it ending. Specifically, he stated, "I loved the show and the people. It wasn't work." Van Dyke also maintained that he had no interest in continuing the series if Carl Reiner wasn't still working on it, so instead of mourning the loss of the series, the actor instead chose to enjoy the time he had left.

He wrote, "Indeed, I had a full plate of TV specials and movies...But really, until The Dick Van Dyke Show finished, I preferred to concentrate on, no, I preferred to savor, each and every last episode."

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12 Comments

Denn2 3 months ago
I just still can’t believe that they didn’t work together again since they were so dynamic together. I love tmtms but I’m surprised they took the risk giving mtm her own show when dvd & mtm together was guaranteed success.
Runeshaper 3 months ago
I'm sure he wasn't alone in feeling sad about the show ending, and I know that when things end, it can be very difficult to say 'goodbye' to them.
MadMadMadWorld 3 months ago
After 57+ years after it (sadly) ended on June 1, 1966, this series remains my favorite television series! Nothing else has come close to its highest-writing, acting, and comedy standard, despite some very good, decent, and strong competitors in the comedy genre!
First saw it sometime in its 4th season (1964-65), it captured my desire for watching mostly comedy shows, as a young teen. It didn't hurt that it boasted and frequently centered its scripts on the sexiest, most gorgeous young actress on television then, with her outstanding chemistry with Dick. The most believable, and funniest married couple, since Lucy and Desi that ended in 1957! R.I.P. to all the cast (and director Jerry Paris), with the only two survivors are Dick (at 98), and Larry Mathews, as "Ritchie" (started at 5, now 68). He shares a birthday with the marvelous Rose Marie (1955 vs. 1923). This is the gold standard for a sitcom, that has never been remotely approached!
Well said, Mad guy!
I bought for one buck at a library sale "My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir"
on 6 CDs. Great to listen to while working around the house, and it flew by.
Dick really is the nicest man in show biz.
His cousin is Gene Hackman, I found it odd nobody, no where, has ever mentioned it.
And far more of the show than one realized was based on the lives of the cast.
Jerry Van Dyke - as in a 2 part episode - really did sleepwalk and talk to people,
calling everyone "Burford" as in the script. I can recommend the book, better yet
listen to Dick read it.
If one writes to Dick care of the publisher he will send you an autographed photo
pretty quick, I got one back in 4 weeks.
The man is 98, I would not wait too long, I say that with all respect to Dick.
Runeshaper MadMadMadWorld 3 months ago
Very well said, sir!
edudagos MikefromJersey 3 months ago
Hi Mike
I m addressing you from far away, Argentina. Since being a kid, I ve been a fan of Dick Van Dyke as well as all the team involved in that screen gem of art.
I wonder if you could direct me on how to get , as you did, an autographed photo of Dick.
Would you please ?
Thanks
MikefromJersey edudagos 3 months ago
Hi Edudagos,
Write Van Dyke here:
Dick Van Dyke
(author of)
"My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir"
c/o Crown Publishing Group NY (Random House)
1745 Broadway. New York, NY 10019

Advice for getting a star's autographed photo: always write to them care of their book's
publisher. Because the publishers send it direct to the author.
No layers of go betweens as when you write c/o of a network, or a talent agency or
agent or a movie studio, where it could take many months for a response, and that may
be a auto-penned fake. When you buy his Bio, thats a ego stroke for the star, that you
are so interested and you PAID money for his thoughts. He is far more likely to reply.
Another suggestion, do not send a 10 page letter of adoration. Cite some neat item
in the Bio that touched/spoke to you, then just a sentence of how much you admire his
talent.
Some stars enjoy reading their mail and actually drop in a reply with the photo.
Bob Newhart employed my actress cousin and another girl to open all his mail,
attaching a photo for him to sign with the fan letter, if after reading it he really liked the letter then he might attach a quick note as well.
By the way, I didn't know my cousin Linda worked for Bob, the girl next to her opened my
letter and saw the last name with a Jersey address and showed it to her, what are the odds?
Oh, unbidden by me he also included a autographed pic of Larry, Darryl and Darryl, I don't
know why Bob had them or what the deal was, but actually I enjoy their photo more
and people get a kick out of seeing it.
edudagos MikefromJersey 3 months ago
Deeply moved by your fast and detailed response.
Sincerely
MrsPhilHarris 3 months ago
Love that show. Have been watching it on Pluto.
You can get tv reception on such a far-away place? /sarc
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