The Danny Thomas Show/Make Room For Daddy and The Dick Van Dyke Show


The Danny Thomas Show/Make Room For Daddy (1953-1965)
The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966)
Type: Crossover
Group 2

    Holy moley! Very rarely do I hear about an older crossover I didn't know about. Usually it's some real obscure one. Maybe a crossover between a major show and some quickly cancelled show no one remembers. Even more rarely do I hear about a crossover between two hit shows that I didn't know of. This one? This one is both of those things. It's a pretty old obscure crossover between two hit shows that I was utterly unaware of. Not only that, it serves to connect a number of major shows into an even bigger shared reality.

   Make Room For Daddy (later renamed The Danny Thomas Show) was one of TV's first huge hit sitcoms. It might not be on the air in constant syndication today like I Love Lucy, but back when it was on the air it was in the same league. It was HUGE.

   Like many established performers who go the sitcom route, Danny Thomas's TV personae and situation mirrored his real life. He played Danny Williams: husband, father and nightclub performer. The original title, Make Room For Daddy, came from the fact that Danny would be away on the road and then when he came back home, everyone had to. well, you know.

   The Dick Van Dyke Show was a later hit sitcom that has in fact stuck around on cable and syndication much longer. The Dick Van Dyke Show was not based on its star's life but rather on that of it's creator, comedy writer Carl Reiner. Dick Van Dyke starred as Robert Petrie: husband, father and television writer.

   The shows as you can see have a certain vague similarity to each other. But they had one more thing in common that makes this page necessary: Buddy Sorrell. Morey Amsterdam played comedy writer Buddy Sorrell on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Rob, Buddy and Sally Rogers made up the comedy writing staff of the fictional hit TV series The Alan Brady Show.

   But one of the ideas that kept popping up on The Dick Van Dyke Show was the writers moonlighting in various ways to make a little extra cash. Doing comedy acts on the side, writing for other projects on the sly. Well, not that it ever seemed to come up on The Dick Van Dyke Show but on October 21, 1963 Buddy bopped over to The Danny Thomas Show and did a little moonlighting writing jokes for Danny Williams. The only problem was that the jokes Buddy wrote for Danny tended to be at the expense of Danny's wife Kathy. That didn't go over so well on the home front. Joke writer versus the wife: who do you think won out? It was good that Buddy never quit his day job.

   Taking this beyond the wee one episode crossover it is, this crossover actually serves as a bridge connecting two much larger groups of crossovers. The Danny Thomas Show also has crossover/spin off connections to I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show as well as all the shows those shows crossed over with or spun off. Dick Van Dyke really didn't have any other crossover connections while it was on the air. But several decades later that all changed.

   In the 1990's Paul Reiser created and starred in the sitcom called Mad About You. It was largely inspired by The Dick Van Dyke Show. With that in mind, they actually did a crossover with The Dick Van Dyke Show. nearly three decades after it had left the air! Paul's character ended up meeting the fictional Alan Brady.

   And why do we care? Well because Mad About You also happens to tap into a HUGE group of interconnected shows. Mad About You did crossovers with both Seinfeld and Friends. And those shows crossed over with other shows and so on and so to include everything from MASH to The X-Files. Not to mention Ally McBeal and Cheers (oops. just mentioned them). Because Buddy decided to moonlight for Danny Williams I Love Lucy, The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle USMC. all share a common reality with these other great shows.

   So, ya know, way ta go Buddy!

Other Danny Thomas Show Crossover Links
The Danny Thomas Show and The Andy Griffith Show
The Danny Thomas Show and I Love Lucy
The Danny Thomas Show and The Joey Bishop Show
The Danny Thomas Show and Make Room For Granddaddy

Other Mad About You Crossover Links
Mad About You and The Dick Van Dyke Show
Mad About You and Friends
Mad About You and The Seinfeld


Click here to return to main Crossover List

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