Museum Quality

Remember that great episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show?” I know: I have to be more specific than that. Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore) has her portrait painted as a special gift for husband Rob (Dick Van Dyke). She is wearing a smart black blouse and slacks that he particularly favors, but the quirky artist paints her as nude. Of course, we never see the painting, but the fact was made very obvious. Incensed when she finally sees the finished painting, Laura destroys it by smearing it with paint and runs out of the studio in a huff. Except it isn’t destroyed. It’s hard to relate today how avant-garde this script was on network television in the 1960’s. It is what made “The Dick Van Dyke Show” ground-breaking and popular. So what happened next? Well, it’s a long story, but I’ve always thought Rob would have been quite pleased to have the artist’s version. I guess 60’s television wasn’t quite ready for that.

Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

73 responses to “Museum Quality”

  1. As I recall, the artist was the great comedian Carl Reiner, now 96 years old, and father of Rob Reiner. Carl also played Rob Petrie’s boss, Alan Brady, and a few other roles as well. He was the Dick Van Dyke Show’s creator, producer, writer, and actor. Truly a genius.

  2. So, Jimmy, I’ve purchased two additional signed copies (thanks for that) of Beaucoup Arlo & Janis. Please keep up the great work so someday in the future my daughters will have a legacy.

  3. Buy for the enjoyment, then anything else is icing on the cake. After all, those hundred thousand dollar comics of today were yesterday’s 10 cent entertainment for children.

  4. We celebrated Ghosts birthday last night, four of our employees birthdays, my completing current cancer radiation round of daily radiation for three weeks and possibly early Thanksgiving with a huge turkey feast at our favorite local restaurant. Plus chocolate birthday cake.

    It’s breakfast too. Dickens is eating leftover turkey.

  5. I would say the writing. The MTM show did not have weak writing, just a different focus. We enjoy Jimmy’s work with Arlo and Janis because of the wide appeal of showcasing a couple’s personal interactions set against contemporary topics. When the focus shifts to those contemporary topics with less emphasis on two people who love each other, some of the magic is lost.

  6. BTW, doesn’t anyone else think the Sunday comic up top is hilarious? I don’t remember seeing the original, but I must have. I’ve been reminded of Elaine by one artistic image and another, / anatomy or spirit, but have never made such a public goof.

    “Play Days” at the Como Conservatory in St. Paul is obviously in spirit; I didn’t know her when she was that young.


  7. One of the greatest Dick Van Dyke episodes was the one with the Twilo Zone in it. (It May Look Like a Walnut) I gather that the bit about Laura riding the wave of walnuts out of the closet was unrehearsed because it would have taken several hours to set back up.

    Another one, of course, is when their son found out that his middle name was Rosebud. I’ve never understood, though, why all of those relatives thought they had the right to dictate what the baby’s name was going to be.

  8. “Museum quality”

    Not sure that I ever want to be museum quality.

    The only things that I ever see in museums are relics and other objects that are interesting and informative but no longer usable in the modern world.

    It’s like the Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum. They have a museum? That’s proof positive that rock ‘n’ roll is gone and that the musicians are not relevant in the way they used to be.

  9. TruckerRon, as to what the difference in my gut-reaction to MTM was caused by– writing or acting– I hadn’t given it any thought at all in my youth. Laura was simply very appealing! Mary Richards was not. But I now suppose each was written that way, and MTM brought them to life as conceived. Plus Laura wore Capri pants! It was also true, as others say, that in the context of a loving relationship, Laura had a certain sparkle in her eyes. I could put myself in Rob’s place as he gazed lovingly into those eyes and imagine what it felt like to have that gaze returned! If I put myself in Lou Grant’s place, I would just feel like her mentor…

  10. What is it about Tulsa and women rubbing my butt? (Remember the Religious Store Incident?)

    We found a great Mexican food eatery in Tulsa, not far from where Jackie has been getting her just-completed radiation treatments. Unlike most restaurants of that genre, the floor plan is that of an old-time diner…booths along one side wall, a counter with round swiveling stools along the other, and tables and chairs in the middle.

    Since her sessions were usually over by 1:30 pm, it was an ideal time to eat and miss the lunch-hour rush. However, one day recently she got treated ahead of schedule, and we arrived to find their rush in full swing. The only two vacant seats were at the far end of the counter. But we both like to eat at diner counters, so we happily took those spots.

    I was on the very end, next to the kitchen door, where there was a narrow opening for the waitresses to go behind the counter and pick up their orders at the window into the kitchen. In fact, the opening at the end of the counter was so narrow that every cute little señora and señorita that walked by me (all seven of them) rubbed her butt against mine, every time they passed me, in either direction. Whether or not that was intentional, only they could say. But every one of them, every time?

    Fortunately, I’m very easygoing, so I didn’t complain or make an issue of it. 🙂

  11. On Oct. 19, I made a purchase [via a well-known auction site] from England. Item was about half a page and maybe 6 layers thick. I was billed about $10.50 – $11.00 for registered mail, and I had no choice in the matter.

    It arrived today, three weeks(!) afterwards! It took 4 days just to cross the ocean, apparently via tired seagull. When my item got to Chicago, it spent all of ten days just sitting there. [Normally, the next day it’d be at my local facility, thence to my door.] Then, in the infinite wisdom of the postal people or their robots, instead of sending the item westward towards my residence in northern IL, the powers-that-be sent it to Cincinnati, OH!

    I suspect some of my postage was an extra charge for the tour as well as a Chicago storage fee.

    A different item sent from New York City last Sunday and expected on Tuesday (according to the site) made it here on Friday, having been sent to St. Louis first. Oh, well – that seems a little better….

    I always considered MTM a very attractive woman. While I never watched her as Mrs. Petrie, I often watched her as the foil for Asner, et. al. Yep, the difference was in the writing and the intent. Having a caring, wifely role ought to involve some degree of occasional sexiness, while being an office person with no love interest in sight is entirely different.

  12. Consider how good Mary Tyler Moore was to carry that off while an alcoholic, as was Dick Van Dyke.

    Amazing talent since both have admitted to working on alcohol.

  13. Ghost really does have a nice butt. Very firm and tight in his jeans. He accused me of rubbing against it in kitchen today while he was spreading finger sandwiches.

    I told him it was true but it was my shoulder colliding due to difference in our heights.

  14. So many comics seem to have alcohol problems. And you have to wonder, if they had worked sober instead, would they have been funnier or not?

    Buster Keaton must have worked sober in his better films, because those stunts were too carefully planned and carried out to have been done by someone under the influence.

  15. Many comics have struggled with clinical depression and/or bipolar disorder. Their creativity and wit stems from their deepest pain. Their abuse of alcohol or other substances is often a form of self-medicating, trying to make the pain tolerable.

  16. I wonder… had an officer told his troops that “we expect the enemy to make an all-out push this morning before ceasing hostilities. Hold the line! Throw everything you have at them, but hold the line!” Would that officer have been praised or court marshaled?

  17. On the lighter side:

    Base Commander (some years ago): “Since Veterans Day falls on a Saturday, what can we do to honor our military veterans? I know, we’ll make everyone not on duty get dressed up, come in on their day off, and march in a ginormous parade on the flight line. After all, most of the veterans we’re honoring probably had to do that sometime during their own service.”

    Commander’s Aide: “Brilliant, sir! Absolutely brilliant!”

    Me (a member of a different-Major-Command tenant unit shift-worker): “Enjoy being in the parade, guys!”

  18. In November of 1918, my father’s younger and infant brother was so seriously ill with influenza that the country doctor seeing him had warned the family of his imminent death. Two days, later the doctor returned and declared that my uncle’s fever had broken and he would live. Almost at the same moment, the family was surprised and amazed to hear the sound of church bells pealing from all directions. A short time later, they learned that word had been received that the war in Europe had ended.

  19. Mark in TTown:

    Unfortunately, I can’t remember who interviewed Richard Pryor, but I can recall the question and answer. The interview took place after Pryor set himself on fire while freebasing and then went into rehab.

    Interviewer: Now that you are off drugs and alcohol altogether, do you think you are as funny as you used to be?

    Pryor: No, but I’m a lot happier.

  20. We were fortunate in our families – my uncle (14 years older than my dad, who turned 13 on 11/13/18), both of Bob’s grandfathers and a great uncle – all came home. My uncle and one of the grandfathers also brought or sent home pictures, pictures that actually had names and locations written on them. I’ve enjoyed looking through them and we shared some of them on Facebook today. Wish it was easier to share pictures here.

  21. “Remember the veteran.”

    To my dad, who was part of the occupational force at Nagasaki.

    To my father-in-law, who survived the Battle of the Bulge.

  22. To a friend of mine who was in a live-fire exercise on Saipan training for the invasion of Japan when the news came of the Japanese surrender. There were fighter planes overhead giving them “cover,” so they were told to stay down and continue the exercise because the pilots hadn’t heard yet.

  23. Weather Underground got it right today. They said snow showers and it has been snowing since I got up this morning. Not sticking on the drive but covering ground, shrubs and parked cars. Hope Jackie doesn’t have any appointments in Tulsa as this is not a good day to be on the road here.

  24. It started snow here sometime last night. By the time we went to bed, the ground and street were covered. It’s bad enough that Marcia had to put down a pee pad for her dog because the dog wasn’t willing to go outside, and the street hasn’t been plowed yet. Right now, it’s about 22 degrees, but feels like 8. I don’t know if the cat would go out if he had the chance, and I’m not planning on finding out, because that would mean that I had to go out after him. It wouldn’t be the first time, but I want to give myself some time to get used to weather like this before I have to do it again.

  25. It still isn’t sticking to the streets. Yesterday’s temps were in the upper 40’s and it’s over 40 today too. So I hope we won’t get a freeze and this will all melt away.

  26. We didn’t get plowed until mid-afternoon, and there was still a strip of ice down the middle. Marcia’s dog wasn’t willing to go out until almost 4 PM but she only made a turn around Marcia’s car and came back in. We’re not surprised, as the snow was up to her chest where we’d messed it up earlier. She’s not done anything yet, that we know of, but if she does, we’ll understand. Leo has looked out an open door but not tried to get outside. However, when I came in and stomped some snow off of my shoes on the tile just inside the front door, he came over, gave it a few dubious sniffs, batted at it once or twice and left. I do hope that means that he’s not that thrilled by going out to explore until it’s melted.

  27. Sideburns, as a California cat Leo probably asks himself, what is this stuff? On the other hand, it rarely snows much in Alabama but one of our cats loved it when it did. The first time he went out in it, he didn’t want to come back in. He was solid white with medium long hair, named Snowball. Once out in it he was hard to find when he sat still, since he blended in.

  28. Sideburns:

    Myself, I usually wait until Saturday evening to get plowed.

    If work has been especially demanding, I might get plowed on Friday evening, but that rarely happens.

  29. Actually, as I recall, the 50-foot woman used bed sheets to fashion a halter-top-mini-skirt outfit before she escaped. Like anyone was going to shame her for running around naked.

    ::Squish:: Well, not more than once, anyway.

    Arlo and his buddy would have loved the 2016 film “Alice Through the Looking Glass”. Every time Alice (played by Mia Wasikowska) changed size due to eating and drinking various strange things, her clothes got either really really too big, or really really too small. Rather interesting to observe, either way.

  30. Yesterday, sometime after 8 PM, Sadie finally left a deposit on the pee pad. In less than five minutes, Leo was over there pulling at the edges of the pad until he’d folded it over and “buried” the poop.

    This afternoon, when we got back from some errands, he slipped out the front door onto the porch. (We’d cleared that off yesterday after it stopped snowing for safety reasons.) When he reached the bottom step, he learned the hard way that the snow hadn’t crusted yet and that if he continued, he’d sink in at least to his belly. He stopped, turned right and tried going off the side only to find out that this would be just as bad. He came back to the top of the porch crouched and waited for me to pick him up and bring him back in. I doubt that he’s learned his lesson from this but I don’t expect him to try again for a few days.

  31. It’s just the same when The Doctor regenerates; his clothes don’t fit any more (Just imagine the difference between Troughton and Pertwee.) which is one of the reasons for a new look. It’s a good thing that the new doctor isn’t that much shorter than the previous one because she didn’t have time to go shopping until the end of her first adventure.

  32. Well, I was wrong about Leo. He tried again and this time he didn’t let sinking into the snow stop him. I don’t think that he went very far because every time I went out and called, he came over to see what was going on, but never close enough for me to grab him. Late afternoon, I saw him in our back yard, and opened up the back door. He looked at me for a moment when I called, then carefully came over and on in without my help. He hasn’t been a completely good boy, today, but I’m very pleased that he was willing to come in on his own. Now, if he’d only start doing that when it’s not freezing outside, I’d be a lot less worried when he gets out.

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