The name ''The Dick Van Dyke Show'' was chosen because they couldn't think of another title

Sometimes the best decisions are the simplest.

Some successes are the result of careful planning by everyone involved, and some are simply the result of things accidentally falling exactly into place.

In the case of The Dick Van Dyke Show, it was a mixture of the two. Of course, creator Carl Reiner was careful and meticulous in the planning and writing of his series. Richard Deacon, who played Mel Cooley in the series and continued to work with Reiner on projects afterward, told the Central Press Association that Reiner "worked seven days and nights on that show. He was never too busy to listen to a comment, never too busy to hear a complaint. I never heard him tell an actor who didn't like a line, 'You play it the way it's written!" 

Deacon said that the quality of the show spoke to the true time and effort Reiner spent on it. "Carl took time to try and make it better, funnier, more comfortable for the performer, and it showed in the final product."

One thing that Reiner and the crew had come to their wit's end about was actually something that, in retrospect, seems a little small: The title of what we today know as The Dick Van Dyke Show. In an interview with the Associated Press, Dick Van Dyke revealed that numerous potential names for the series were tossed around, but none stuck around particularly long.

Van Dyke stated, "We thought up all kinds of titles for the original show, but I couldn't find any that didn't make me retch." One of these unchosen titles was called "Double Trouble," which was obviously refused. "We finally decided on The Dick Van Dyke Show out of desperation."

It was a problem that followed Van Dyke even after the series had concluded and he and Reiner moved onto what we know as The New Dick Van Dyke Show. Van Dyke actually revealed that he hated the new series name, but again, was unable to come up with a suitable name in place of it. "Nobody could think of a good alternative."

But while it seemed to be nobody's first choice, The Dick Van Dyke Show seems like the perfect title for the series, and even if you disagree with that, you've got to agree that it's better than "Double Trouble."

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20 Comments

daDoctah 1 month ago
If the subject were to come up today, they probably wouldn't have allowed the title because it contains a homophobic slur.
cperrynaples daDoctah 1 month ago
Yep, remember when Family Guy called it The [blank] Van [blank] Show...LOL!
cperrynaples 1 month ago
I suspect Double Trouble came from the lyrics Morey Amsterdam wrote but never used! Bonus Question: Double Trouble WAS used as a title for a '80's sitcom about twin sisters! Their real names were Jean & Liz but WHO is their more famous sister?
daDoctah cperrynaples 1 month ago
Leela from Futurama!

I loved how the sisters appeared in an episode of the original "Quantum Leap", the one where Sam first leapt in as a woman. He's consoling one of them while the stand in front of a mirror, and the mirror shows Sam's host body instead of his. I'm pretty sure, though, that the reflection is actually the *other* Sagal twin.
cperrynaples daDoctah 1 month ago
Yes she was [and still is on Hulu] Leela, but I asked for her name! They are the Sagal sisters, but what's her first name? Fun Fact: Their father Boris directed a lot of classic TV including Alfred Hitchcock!
Well, no one knows her first name, but it's Katey! Would you believe she co-starred with MTM in the mid-'80's? She also had a small role in a Columbo directed by her father!
LoveMETV22 1 month ago
Why not. The Dick Van Dyke Show was a good choice for a name. The show did star Dick Van Dyke. It's like The Carol Burnett Show or the Mary Tyler Moore Show named after the lead actor/actress in the series.
" Sometimes the best decisions are the simplest." Agreed!"
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Definitely better than "Double Trouble" any day of the week!
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MrsPhilHarris daDoctah 1 month ago
That’s interesting.
Doesn’t METV just air colour episodes? I don’t recall B&W. 🤔
Yes, you have to look online to find the early episodes!
I may do that. I have practically memorized the ones showing on METV.
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