About Van Dyke And Company
By the mid-1970s, Dick Van Dyke already had a Tony for Bye Bye Birdie, a Grammy for the Mary Poppins soundtrack, and a shelf-full of Emmys for his brilliant sitcom. What to do next? A variety show, of course.
Van Dyke And Company gave the actor, singer, and dancer a chance to show off his many talents every week in front of a live studio audience. There were superstar guests, sketches, songs, even mime routines – Van Dyke got his start in a pantomime duo – but what stands out is the commitment to smart, experimental comedy.
The series gave Andy Kaufman his first regular job on network TV and includes some of the earliest appearances of his iconic “Foreign Man” character. Also featured was the hilariously inept stuntman “Super Dave Osborne,” created and performed by series writer/producer Bob Einstein. A recurring sketch called “The Bright Family” parodied the situation comedies that made Van Dyke famous, one of many meta in-jokes from an all-star team of writers.
Despite winning an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy-Variety Series, Van Dyke And Company lasted only one short season on NBC. Happily, its host would continue to entertain us for decades to come.
Notable guest stars: Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, KC and the Sunshine Band
Produced by: Byron Paul, Allan Blye, Bob Einstein, Dick Van Dyke. Directed by John Moffitt (Emmy nominee).