Half a Bupkis is better than nothing

DVD.DTOne of the very few Facebook “fan” items I follow is The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book. As you may, or may not recall:
1) The Dick Van Dyke Show is one of the two TV shows of which I own the complete set on DVD; I’ve been slowly watching it with The Daughter, and
2) I really liked this book, as I noted here.

The book’s fan page posted recently:

I thought I’d pose a follow-up question to my recent post about Danny Thomas’s legendary cameo on “It May Look Like a Walnut!” For a super-sized supercilious and super-invisible Bupkis Award, name the one other time Danny appeared on screen in a scene with at least one character from the show?

As always with our trivia challenges on this page, this is “closed book” quiz–so no fair googling!

Of course, if you don’t know the answer, there’s never a penalty for just making something up! — with Danny Thomas and Richard W Van Dyke.

Do any of you know? I sort of half remembered the plot of a Danny Thomas Show episode, which was included in the DVDS box set.

Someone had previously written: “The character of Buddy Sorrel [Morey Amsterdam] was a guest on the Danny Thomas show.” That didn’t sound right, so I dashed off a response to that: “I thought Buddy was a writer for the Danny Williams [Danny Thomas] character.” Some guy named Ian noted: “Buddy crossed over to The Danny Thomas Show, writing for Danny and his wife.”

The response:

Actually, Ian and Roger, you’re both partially correct. In the crossover show, Kathy hires Buddy to write for her, at which point it’s established that Buddy has an exclusive contract to write material for Danny’s nightclub act. What Alan Brady’s lawyers would’ve thought about that arrangement remains unexplored. I’ll write more about this episode when I have a minute. But for now, your partially correct answers have earned you a shared Bupkis Award. (You can decide between yourselves on whose non-existent mantle you’ll display your non-existent award.)

Bupkis, BTW, means nothing. I mean literally nothing of value. The award is named after a later episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show when Rob Petrie (Van Dyke) hears a song on the radio and discovers an old army buddy of his has left Rob off the songwriting credits. It gets even more complicated by the end of the show.

So I’ll be placing my half a Bupkis award over the mantle proudly.
Then I got a FULL Bupkis related to this pic:
It is, of course, Barbara Bain, who played Cinnamon Carter on Mission: Impossible; her then-husband Martin Landau played Rollin Hand. Bain was replaced by Lesley Ann Warren, Landau by Leonard Nimoy. And while I watched them on MI, I’ll bet others know Landau and Bain best from from Space: 1999, though I never actually saw it.

I did not know this: during the Van Dyke show’s early days, Bain and Landau were personal friends of Carl and Estelle Reiner, and Bain regularly attended the show’s Tuesday night filming at Desilu Cahuenga. So when the part of Rob’s sultry ex-fiancee came up in season two’s “Will You Two Be My Wife?”, casting Barbara in the role seemed only natural.

One thought on “Half a Bupkis is better than nothing”

  1. Dick Van Dyke is really weird to me…at times I love him and think he’s perfect, but at others he bugs me for some reason. Strange thing about the guy. My favorite thing of his is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; I think he is pitch-perfect in that movie.


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