The Dick Van Dyke Show and Mad About You

The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966)
Mad About You (1992-1999)
Type: Crossover
Group 2

    It's not every day a series off the air since the 60's crosses over with a show that played out entirely in the 90's, but that's exactly what happened in the case of The Dick Van Dyke Show and Mad About You.

    The Dick Van Dyke Show had been a huge inspiration to comedian Paul Reiser when he created Mad About You. The Dick Van Dyke Show had attempted to show what real family life was like with lead character Robert Petrie trying to balance craziness at work with craziness at home. The shows writers used their own lives as inspiration for episodes. Paul Reiser wanted to do the same sort of show that showed with some honesty what married life is like. And just like the Van Dyke Show, he and his writers drew from their own lives.

    Well it was only logical and fitting that Reiser should come up with a crossover with the old show. Reiser's character Paul Buchman was a documentary filmmaker. Van Dyke's character Rob Petrie had been a comedy writer for a TV program called The Alan Brady Show. Carl Reiner played its egotistical star, Alan Brady (Carl Reiner was also the creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show and his life had inspired its premise).

   In the crossover, Paul is doing a documentary on the history of television and wants Alan Brady to narrate it. Thus not only did Paul Buchman get to meet Alan Brady but in real life Producer Paul Reiser got to meet his inspiration Producer Carl Reiner. Oh, need I add that wackiness ensued? Well of course it did.

   Right off the back Paul Buchman discovered that his hero TV genius Alan Brady was a jerk! A pushy blowhard! After having agreed to host the documentary Alan Brady changed his mind when he found his clips would only comprise six minutes of the film. Paul was at a loss. How could he avoid cutting the film and keep Alan Brady as the host? The solution came when Paul discovered his wife Jamie's mother acted on the Alan Brady Show (In the old clips Helen Hunt who played Jamie Buchman also played her own mother). Not only that but Jamie's Aunt dated him! She told Paul that whenever Alan Brady cheated on her she would go out with one of his TV star cronies and he would become jealous and come back to her. So Paul did the same thing. He made Alan think Sid Ceasar was going to replace him as the host and Alan Brady became so jeaslous he agreed to host afterall.

   They also got some nice reference jokes in to The Dick Van Dyke Show. As part of the plan to make Alan jealous Jamie pretends to be heartbroken over Alan Brady not doing the film, as if her world were in ruin. Jamie started to cry and whine as she prepared the dinner they were about to eat in a perfect imitation of Mary Tyler Moore's Laura Petrie ending with her crying out, "Ohhhhhh Paaauuuuul!!!" just like Laura used to wail, "Ohhhhh Rob!" Very funny. Then at the end credits the show went to black and white as Alan Brady/Carl Reiner tried to convince Paul Buchman/Paul Reiser that he should start Mad About You with the same tripping over the ottoman bit that was in the opening credits of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Paul kept trying to alter the bit ("Maybe I should just walk OVER the ottoman. Maybe I could trip over a hat. That's never been done!").

Other Dick Van Dyke Crossover Links
The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Danny Thomas Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show and Make Room For Daddy

Other Mad About You Crossover Links
Mad About You and Friends
Mad About You and The Seinfeld

Click here to return to main Crossover List

Buy these shows on and support this site at the same time! Check out The Dick Van Dyke Show and Mad ABout You on DVD! And do a little light reading on The Dick Van Dyke Show while you're at it!

The crossover episode of Mad ABout You can be found both in the Mad About You Third Season DVD set and the Mad ABout You Collection "best of" DVD set. Main Page/ Email Me/Link Page