A Bowling Alley in Greentown, Connecticut!
LIKE YOU, I enjoy the old Dick Van Dyke program. You know, “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
And as it turns out, these days, thanks to the good folks at Netflix, I’m getting reacquainted with a little show I like to call, yes!, “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Tonight, I’m happy to say, I got the clunker out of the way. Oh, you know the one: The Twizzle.
As a socially maladjusted boy, and then teen-aged boy (just as socially maladjusted, just hairier, and with backne), I enjoyed not only watching this program in reruns, but also reading about it in the few books about old TV shows that were available whenever it was, exactly, that I was a boy (and, later, a hirsute, pustule-shouldered teen-aged boy). Remember, this was back then sometime, before nostalgia demanded a book about every single TV show that ever existed, but also before the internet made them all obsolete.
So there wasn’t a lot in print about “The Dick Van Dyke Show” back then. Or maybe there was. Who knows? I know there’s a particularly good book, a great big thick book it is, about the show, and I seem to think it was written quite some time ago. And I know I have it, but to dig it out at this hour just to find out when it was published…? And wake up all the silverfish…? The hell with it.
Anyway, one particular bit of trivia about the show that stuck with me is that creator Carl Reiner made a specific point to avoid fads and slang indicative of the early 1960s so the show wouldn’t become dated in reruns.
And yet here we have the Twizzle. The fun starts at the 7:00 minute mark.
So there you have it. Nice going, Carl. He’s credited as the writer for this episode, too, so no use blaming it on someone else, there, pal.
Topics For Discussion:
• Yeah, it’s dated. It’s fifty years old. The whole damned show is dated, but that doesn’t make it any less of a great sitcom. Hell, that’s why you and me, we watch it. And even though this is probably the most regrettable episode they made, it’s still kind of fun, right?
• The bowling alley is supposed to be in “Greentown, Connecticut” – a town that doesn’t exist! Yet a few episodes prior, they make mention of Stamford, Connecticut – which does exist. Stamford is right next to Greenwich, Connecticut (which is only about a dozen miles from New Rochelle). I should know – oh, that’s right: I grew up there, maybe, sure. Were they concerned Greenwich didn’t have a bowling alley? Well, we did. What’s more, I used to play Mr. Do! there. Anyway, so I guess I solved that mystery. If that guy re-releases his book, he should totally put this in there.
• Holy crap, bowling alleys haven’t changed at all in 50 years, have they? Same checkerboard pattern to the lockers, same fiberglass chairs and benches, same clothes and hairstyles on all the people there. (Except now everyone’s wearing them ironically. Stupid hipsters.) This place doesn’t look like Greenwich Lanes (since closed, sorry Mr. Do! fans) but the bowling alley on Pico and 3rd in Santa Monica. You know, I think maybe they filmed it there. So I’ll go add that to the IMDb listing for “trivia” about this episode. You, you go add it to Wikipedia. If someone there asks you for a source tell them there’s a plaque in the bowling alley attesting to this. It’s not like anyone’s going to actually check.
…Actually, maybe this episode isn’t as dated as I thought it was. That little fringed number that Mary Tyler Moore wears? I wore the same outfit to the gym today.