When Dick Van Dyke took over The Garry Moore Show
Before The Dick Van Dyke Show, he was a guest host for Garry Moore.
The Garry Moore Show was the title of three different CBS variety shows that ran in the '50s and '60s. The second iteration, which lasted from 1958 to 1964, elevated the career of a young Carol Burnett. While that second cast also featured Don Knotts, the first Garry Moore Show, airing from 1950 to 1958, was notable for a certain guest host who used the platform to boost his name to household status.
In May of '58, when that first show was coming to a close, Garry Moore left for vacation. The remaining six episodes were in need of a host. Out of CBS's repertoire of contracted performers, they selected the perfect replacement: Dick Van Dyke.
"I'm really enjoying this chance to work," the then-33-year-old Van Dyke told the Buffalo Evening News. "I haven't done anything steadily in so long, I'm just loving every minute of it." Van Dyke couldn't have possibly predicted the steady work his guest host role would lead to.
"Of course, it's going to be a tough adjustment for my wife. She's accustomed to having a handyman around the house. I've done an awful lot of babysitting, marketing, grass cutting, snow shoveling."
Three years prior, Dick Van Dyke arrived in New York under a CBS contract and had been awaiting an assignment ever since. He was ready to go.
"I have a full nighttime show all set to go at any time," he said. "I haven't felt too bad about it, though, because nobody else had sold a comedy show either."