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There's A Reason Dick Van Dyke Tripped Over The Ottoman...But Only Sometimes

Watching The Dick Van Dyke Show brought so much joy to so many people.

His smart, yet physical comedy brought us back week after week. The show lasted five seasons and had 158 episodes following Van Dyke's character, Rob Petrie, who was a fictional TV writer.

But perhaps the most iconic moment of The Dick Van Dyke show was in the opening credits. There were two alternate credit runs: in one, Dick Van Dyke narrowly avoids tripping over an ottoman. The other? Well...he just goes tumbling!

It turns out, the memorable moment was decided in a huge rush. Director John Rich had just wrapped on set and was getting ready to go on a date. Carl Reiner, creater and writer of the show, stopped Rich and said "We need an opening. Something clever." There was already an opening credit sequence, but Reiner was unimpressed with it.

In a rush to get to his date, John Rich asked Reiner what he might have in mind. It was tough to make something creative, because the entire cast was on screen for the opening sequence.

"Ok, well…what've we got…Rosie, Morey…Dick comes home…" said Rich.

"AND HE FALLS!" interrupted Reiner.

Since he was in a hurry to get out, Rich agreed and they quickly shot the sequence. Reiner then suggested they do once without the trip. At this point, Rich didn't care WHAT the sequence was, he had no intentions on being late for his date! They shot one variation of each opening, John made it to his date on time, and they ended up with one of the greatest opening sequences in TV history.

Carl Reiner decided to alternate the opening every week and viewers would have to guess what would happen! According to Dick Van Dyke himself, viewers would bet money on whether or not he would fall during the credits.

Frankly, it didn't even matter what happened in the opening credits. We were going to watch this hilarious comedy either way!


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