Who And Where Was Antonio Stradivarius?
The Dick Van Dyke Show

An extraordinary masterpiece by Carl Reiner on the occupational hazards of the comedy writer with a gag fiddle late one afternoon, facing a deadline.

A swinger in Red Hook, then, amnesiac, suspected of whatnot by Laura.


The Lady And The Tiger And The Lawyer
The Dick Van Dyke Show

An attractive singleton who hits it off with Laura’s intellectual cousin (“I mount my own rocks,” Bergman’s dream in Wild Strawberries is “much too obvious,” they agree), and hits it off with Sally, too (he knows all the jokes frontwards and backwards), trouble is, if he likes it he hits it.

Rob ventures a joke, “he’s got his own ambulance!”


The Life And Love Of Joe Coogan
The Dick Van Dyke Show

The Original of Laura, by the director of Oh, God!, out of Leo McCarey’s Going My Way.

The sergeant, the poet-priest and the U.S.O. dancer, cf. Hitchcock’s I Confess.

Mine eyes will ne’er behold which my heart doth see so clearly.

Inward stirs this passion, deep, benighting,

Leading my path away from all, and to my Love.

I reach out for Thee, and pray Your hand be there to welcome mine,

Your light to illume where my light be spent, for my soul must soar.

“The most pleasant eighteen holes of golf I ever played,” says Rob.


I’d Rather Be Bald Than Have No Head At All
The Dick Van Dyke Show

Persky and Denoff on a famous I Love Lucy carried to even more surrealistic heights with mayonnaise and “a head of lettuce”.


The Ghost Of A. Chantz
The Dick Van Dyke Show

Alan Brady’s idea of a joke, he has writers for that.


Coast To Coast Big Mouth
The Dick Van Dyke Show

Blowing the lid off Alan Brady’s brow.

Laura and a clever game show host accomplish this, Rob guards the Brady nose job, as far as possible.

The “established genius” accepts all this with a good grace, from a professional standpoint.


Don’t Raise The Bridge, Lower The River

The comedy of poesy vs. its antithesis, in a manner of speaking, the electronic oil drill.

John Henry if you want, l’amour c’est la mort, it’s a marriage comedy. The husband has business at the top of the world and at the equator, the wife wants to live in London, from which there follows a string of absolutely Surrealist gags in a refinement common knowledge to Londoners, of whom Jerry Lewis is one in bowler and dark suit, an American expatriate.

The wife departs, he consults his old pal gap-toothed Willie (Terry-Thomas), who stiffed him for a trainload of chutney once, with a rubber cheque.

Between them they devise a plan to cover the husband’s losses on converting his wife’s home into the Hong Kong Gardens and Discotheque, this means selling her new beau’s drill to the Arabs on the QT.

The Portuguese Bella is a runabout and a Lisbon dental assistant. One has the Girl Guides and their leader to contend with, the Future Mothers of Great Britain.

Paris does what he can, which is plenty.


Evil Roy Slade

The meanest, cretinousest outlaw of them all, whose very name stands for Sneakin’, Lyin’, Arrogance, Dirtiness and Evilness. “Never trust a pretty girl or a lonely midget.”

His nemesis is Stool of the Western Express. “Never trust a dumb nephew or a slobbery bulldog.”

Lonelier in his childhood than Antoine Doinel, buddy to the buzzards, briefly rehabilitated as a Boston shoe salesman.

He rescues his mistress from a sham wedding to “Mr. Bingham (Bing) Bell, the Singing Marshal of San Francisco”.

“Talent will out.”



A Cowboy in Paradise

The script pays homage to Hammett, “you’re a very resourceful man,” says Edgar Hamilton (Richard Denning) to McCloud, after the Marshal has fought his way through a passel of thugs to speak to Mrs. Hamilton, who was engaged to Chief Clifford twenty-eight years previously.

Hamilton runs a sugar plantation, “owns the docks”, keeps his wife under wraps, and is running for Senator. In one of several homages to Hawaii Five-O, McCloud commandeers an outrigger canoe to reach the Hamilton yacht (later, on a familiar stretch of beach, he confronts a Chief of Detectives at the end of his rope).

“Before you know it, they own you,” says a crooked cop.

Al Moana, “Mr. Hawai’i”, is a very popular entertainer with interesting connections up and down the social scale.

It’s revealed that Chief Clifford was a naval rating during World War II, and spent 90 days in the brig unjustly.

Louise Lasser’s beautiful performance underplays her jokes and overplays her plainness. Don Ho gives a generous sampling of his lounge act (or something similar). James Gregory heads a batch of conventioneers, Martha Hyer is the two-faced Mrs. Hamilton, and Nephi Hannemann is a finely irascible Honolulu detective.

Paris’ direction is fast, frisky, faultless, and complements the sparkle of the script. There is a notable double coda of high angles on Waikiki.