I’ve attached some background information as well as the transcripts to The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 1, episode 3 called “My Blonde-Haired Brunette”. Episode can also be found on YouTube, etc. Please answer the below question in no less than 250 words.Question: What is your reaction when you see Laura as a blonde? In the larger scheme of things, what does this moment mean?the_dick_van_dyke_show.docxThe Dick Van Dyke Show – Season 1, Episode 3: “My Blonde-Haired Brunette”
For some modern viewers, this early episode is fascinating; for others, it is excruciatingly
painful. First, note the twin beds, along with Rob’s and Laura’s sleepwear, which is almost
Victorian in its coverage. (How did Richie ever come into the world?)
Second, notice the use of the voiceover to tell us what Laura is thinking. Her thoughts had
to have been important; otherwise, this antinaturalistic device would not have been
Third, notice the theme and the plot. Laura believes that Rob is growing tired of her, that
she is growing old and losing her looks. (She is overanalyzing an unrelated group of minor
details and comments.) She becomes frantic, and the only conclusion that the viewer can
reach is that Laura believes that her only selling points are her youth and looks.
Rob saves the day by letting her know that he loves her for more than just her appearance.
This seems nice—until we realize that he has the power to approve—an ability that is part of
a concept called paternalism, the traditional authority that men hold over women.
The Dick Van Dyke Show “My Blonde Haired Brunette” Transcript
Laura: Good Morning, darling. Come on, rise and shine. It’s a beautiful day out. The sun is
shining, come on honey, let’s get an early start. Rob? Honey? Hey
Rob: Don’t do that.
Laura: Don’t do that? He used to love me to do that. My Prince Charming, promised to slay
dragons for me, won’t even get up to have breakfast with me on his day off. Well, I guess
it’s natural for a husband to behave this way after so many years of marriage. But I still feel
like eating breakfast with him. I wonder if he’s getting tired of me. I never noticed these
lines before. Maybe he has. Oh I’m just being silly. We’re not married that long. Rob? Are
you asleep?
Rob: uh
Laura: Want to have breakfast with me?
Rob: What time is it?
Laura: Well, it’s after nine.
Rob: How much after?
Laura: A minute. Rob, don’t you want to have breakfast with me?
Rob: Oh do I have too?
Laura: No you don’t have to if you’d rather just lie there.
Rob: Ah, yeah I would.
Laura: Well, I guess I’ll just have to have breakfast alone again.
Rob: Well, wait for me honey, I’ll eat with ya.
Laura: When? In two hours? Rob if I wait till eleven I’ll faint.
Rob: Good idea.
Laura: All right!
Rob: Honey… Would you pull the curtain? The lights in my eyes.
Laura: Rob, are you going to sleep all day?
Rob: No, just till eleven, honey, wake me at eleven.
[alarm clock rings]
Rob: Oh boy, I feel good.
Laura: Good morning Honey.
Rob: Good morning Honey. Thanks for letting me sleep.
Laura: Feeling better?
Rob: Oh, those extra two hours sleep really set me up.
Laura: Sure.
Rob: What time did you get up?
Laura: Well, I’ve been up since seven.
Rob: Then you’ve had your breakfast.
Laura: Um Um. Waited for you.
Rob: Well you must be starving honey, how’d you do that?
Laura: It’s easy. I set the alarm ahead two hours.
Rob: Good idea. You mean I didn’t get those extra two hours sleep?
Laura: No.
Rob: Well, uh, how much extra sleep did I get?
Laura: About seven seconds.
Rob: Oh boy am I tired.
Laura: Rob, you had eight hours.
Rob: I know. But that was last night. I’d like to get a couple hours in the morning.
Laura: Oh, Rob!
Rob: Shh honey. How about a little respect for Daddy. Morning Honey. How’s my old lady?
Laura: What did you say?
Rob: I said how’s my old lady?
Laura: I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to your mother lately, but I’m fine.
Rob: Oh oh, touché! Honey, there’s pits and seeds and orange flesh in this orange juice.
You know how meticulous I am about my orange flesh.
Laura: Not too meticulous about the way you dress, are you? My, don’t you look dashing?
Rob: Why thank you my dear.
Laura: What are you doing?
Rob: A gray hair!
Laura: So?
Rob: So, congratulations. Today you’re a woman. Do you want to press it in a book or have
it bronzed.
Laura: Do you want your breakfast now?
Rob: Sure. Honey, are you angry with me for something?
Laura: What makes you think that?
Rob: That, makes me think that. I’ve been joking around with you, you haven’t been joking
Laura: You mean I’m not my usual pleasant self?
Rob: Honey, are you angry with me because I didn’t have breakfast with you?
Laura: No I’m not.
Rob: You’re not angry!
Laura: No I am not angry.
Rob: Honey, who have you got in there?
Laura: I am beating your eggs. What do you want with them?
Rob: Well, I don’t know, a smile would be nice. I think I’ll go back and start the whole day
over again.
Laura: While you’re at it you might choose something a little less formal to wear.
Rob: Honey, this is my day off outfit! That’s it! You’re angry with me because of the way I’m
Laura: Well, do you like the way you look?
Rob: I guess I do look pretty yucky at that. I’m sorry, honey, I’ll go in and change.
Laura: No, no, you don’t have to change on my account.
Rob: Well whose account am I gonna change on? I can’t see how yucky I look.
Laura: Well I can. I mean, don’t you care that I can see you looking this way? Just excuse
Rob: Well, honey, you always told me before I look cute when I’m sloppy.
Laura: You don’t look cute. Look like somebody who doesn’t care if . . .If…
Rob: Who doesn’t care what?
Laura: Well, if I walked around like that . . . I mean if a husband really cares about . . . Well
all I know is that if . . . Well if the bloom is off the rose . . . and if two married people can’t .
. . well then I say what’s the use?
Rob: Honey, what are you trying to say?
Laura: You just don’t care!
Rob: Don’t care about what?
Laura: Well if you don’t know what you don’t care about then I’m certainly not gonna tell
Rob: Honey, I don’t know what you just said. I don’t know what you’re so upset about. I
know it has something about my sleeping late and my general yuckiness. Honey, I don’t like
to see you this way, is there anything I can do?
Laura: Yes, just eat your eggs. [Crying]
Rob: Honey, honey you can stop crying, I’m eating my eggs.
Millie: What’s the matter with you Laura, we’ve been addressing envelopes for an hour now
and all you can say is uh huh and um hum. Are you alright?
Laura: I’m fine.
Millie: Everything alright with you and Rob?
Laura: Why do you ask that?
Millie: Oh, I don’t know.
Laura: You’ve noticed something between us haven’t you?
Millie: No, not at all, I just asked . . .
Laura: You did notice something now didn’t you?
Millie: Well, I’m noticing it now. What’s happened?
Laura: Oh, Millie, I’ve seen it happen to other married couples, but I just never thought I’d
see it happen to Rob and me. I mean that Rob is like, that,
Millie: What?
Laura: That my own husband . . .
Millie: What?
Laura: Would . . .
Millie: Laura, you’re making me nervous. What happened?
Laura: This.
Millie: He hit you in the head?
Laura: No, of course not.
Millie: Well, what are you showing me?
Laura: Well, can’t you see the gray hair?
Millie: Gray hair? Where? I don’t see any gray hair.
Laura: It was there yesterday, Rob pulled one out. Oh, Millie, I’m getting old!
Millie: Oh, come on, Laura, one gray hair isn’t going to make you old.
Laura: Yeah, well, it’s not just the gray hair, Rob’s whole attitude toward me. You stuff that
Millie: You mean he’s not as attentive as he used to be?
Laura: He’s not. And he doesn’t look at me the same way he used to either.
Millie: Well why should he, he’s got you memorized. He knows you’re pretty, he takes it for
Laura: Yeah, that’s it, for granted. Everything in our lives is just too for granted. We each
know exactly what the other is going to think and do, there just aren’t any more surprises
Millie: Well, you have to make them.
Laura: Well, how do you do that?
Millie: Well, whenever Jerry starts taking me for granted I have a simple remedy.
Laura: What?
Millie: I just bleach my hair.
Laura: You bleach your hair?
Millie: Uh huh. It’s amazing what happens. Jerry will stare at me as though he’s looking at a
whole new lady. He gets very affectionate too.
Laura: Millie, do you think that if I bleach my hair that . . . no I couldn’t.
Millie: Why not?
Laura: Well, I don’t think Rob would approve of me as a blonde.
Millie: How does he feel about Marilyn Monroe and Bridgett Bardo?
Laura: Millie, I’ll do it.
Millie: Fabulous
Laura: Oh, what do we do first?
Sally: Five, four, three, two, one, zero. Well, we did it.
Buddy: What? What’d we do?
Sally: We wasted a whole day.
Buddy: Thanks a lot. For this big spoof you had to wake me up? I had a beautiful dream.
Sally: Now you can go home and go finish it.
Buddy: Not this one, my wife wouldn’t let me bring it in the house.
Rob: Look you guys, if you want to call it a day, go home.
Sally: Rob, I’m here to work, if you wanna work, let’s work.
Rob: The way you’re doing your nails, I figured you had a date.
Sally: Well, as a matter of fact I have, but it’s the kind of date where it’s better if I show up
a little late. Like, two or three days.
Buddy: Ah, one of those, huh. Hey, what ever happened to those prospective bride grooms
you used had hanging around here.
Sally: They’re still around. There’s doubting Charlie,
Rob: Doubting Charlie?
Sally: Yeah, he keeps proposing, and I keep saying yes, but he just won’t believe me.
Buddy: Remember that guy who used to hang around, had kind of an ear like this you know
and a funny nose, like this . . .
Sally: You mean Woodrow Glimcher.
Buddy: Yeah, that’s it, Woodrow Glimcher
Sally: He’s got a mother problem.
Buddy: Yeah, he’s got a name problem too.
Sally: See, Woodrow’s momma wants us to wait a little while. She doesn’t want us to get
married until I’m too old.
Buddy: Well, who’s the lucky little gent tonight?
Sally: Herman.
Buddy: Who’s Herman?
Sally: Please, let’s not talk about him before dinner.
Rob: Where’d you meet this Herman?
Sally: Woodrow’s mother introduced us.
Buddy: Come on, Sal, what’s he like?
Sally: Herman?
Buddy: Yeah.
Sally: Well, Herman is ah, ah, bleah.
Buddy: Bleah? Herman’s bleah? I think I know him.
Sally: Are we gonna talk about our romances, or are we gonna get some work done around
Rob: Look, gang, go on home will ya? I’m sorry I’ve been such a big drag today.
Buddy: Yeah, you know, you have been a drag. What’s a matter, ya sick or something?
Rob: No, I’m not sick.
Sally: Don’t you know our chief well enough by now? When he’s sick he works harder, when
he broods, it’s one of two things. One, he had a fight with Laura, or two, Laura had a fight
with him.
Buddy: True or false?
Rob: True.
Buddy: Well, what was the beef about?
Rob: I don’t know, we didn’t fight long enough for me to find out.
Buddy: Oh one of those, If you don’t know
Buddy and Rob: I’m certainly not gonna tell you.
Sally: Hey, Rob, did she give ya a hint?
Rob: Well, she was about to at one point and she started to cry.
Buddy: Ohhh, this kid is in trouble. Rob, why don’t you do like I do?
Sally: Yeah, why don’t you do like he does? What do you do?
Buddy: I just look down my list of all the things that wives get upset about.
Sally: Good thinking.
Rob: No, I’ve been doing that all day, buddy. It hasn’t got me anywhere.
Buddy: Well, maybe your list isn’t as full as mine, The longer you’re married, the longer the
list. Hey, how about jealousy?
Rob: Nah, I tried that, it couldn’t be jealousy. Laura doesn’t cry when she’s jealous, she just
sits there and smiles.
Sally: Smiles?
Rob: Yeah, like this.
Buddy: Have ya insulted your mother in law lately?
Rob: No, I love my mother in law, I’d never insult her.
Buddy: That’s just it, you’re neglecting the old bat. You got to insult them or they think you
don’t care.
Sally: You know, this is an education, I better remember this in case Woodrow’s mother
ever proposes.
Buddy: How about presents.
Rob: Presents?
Buddy: Yeah, like for special occasions.
Rob: Like what?
Buddy: Birthday, anniversary . . .
Sally: Valentine’s Day, mother’s day . . .
Buddy: Bastille Day, Rosh Hashanah
Rob: Except for Bastille Day and Rosh Hashanah I’m all squared away.
Sally: Did you take the garbage out?
Rob: Every night.
Buddy: More important, have you taken her out?
Rob: Almost as often as the garbage.
Sally: Rob, have you told her how pretty she is, and that you love her so much that you just
can’t work.
Rob: Oh sure . . . Sal, you’re kidding, but you know something, I think you might have hit
it. You know, I can’t remember the last time I told her I loved her.
Buddy: See, Sally is right.
Sally: Listen, the worst thing that can happen to a woman, is, is that she go out on a date
with one unpolished fingernail.
Rob: Hey, listen gang, thanks a lot. I’m sorry it’s been such an unproductive day.
Buddy: What do ya mean unproductive? I got in a beautiful eight hours sleep.
Sally: I got my nails done and saved your marriage.
Buddy: I think it’s been a beautiful day. Here’s your coat Sal.
Sally: Tallyho.
Buddy: Holy Tal.
Millie: Oh, hi Rob, it’s Millie, Laura’s in the other room just a minute and I’ll get her. Laura,
it’s Rob.
Laura: Oh, I can’t talk to him this way.
Millie: Laura, you’re being foolish. She’ll be with ya in a minute. You look beautiful.
Laura: I look hideous.
Millie: I disagree, but even if you do, he can’t see you on the phone.
Laura: Oh, Millie, I don’t know why I ever let you talk me into it, I can’t stand the way I
Millie: Rob will love it, you’ll see.
Laura: Hello Rob? What? What did you say? Sing that again.
Laura: Well I don’t think it was that good, but if you insist. I dreamed of Laura with the dark
brown hair.
Laura: Did you tell him about my hair?
Millie: I didn’t say anything but hello.
Laura: Then why’s he singing about my dark brown hair?
Millie: I don’t know, it’s just a coincidence.
Rob: Honey, what’s going on there.
Laura: Oh, uh, nothing, nothing darling. Millie just asked me a question. Uh, what’d you
call about?
Rob: Well, nothing really.
Laura: You just called to sing about my hair?
Rob: Actually I called to tell you that I love you and that I’d like to be your friend again.
Laura: Well, you didn’t call about my hair, then.
Rob: I didn’t call about your hair, why would I do that?
Laura: Well, I don’t know, I pick up the phone and there you are singing about my dark
brown hair and . . . I mean . . . Rob, do you really like my hair? I mean, really like my hair?
Rob: Honey, I love your hair.
Laura: Well, honey, what if I were a blonde? Would I be as attractive to you if I were a
Rob: Uh, I can’t picture you as a blonde honey. No, wait a minute, yes I can, you know who
you’d look like?
Laura: Who?
Rob: Harpo Marx.
Laura: He said I’d look like Harpo Marx. And I do.
Rob: Honey, you’re not considering bleaching your hair are ya?
Laura: Oh, no, I’m not considering that.
Rob: Good. Don’t you dare. I married a brunette honey. If I wanted a blonde I could have
married Bridgett Bardo or Marilyn Monroe. Please stay as sweet as you are. Look, honey, I’ll
be home in less than an hour to take my brown-haired beauty to dinner. You’re supposed
to say Yay!
Laura: Yay!
Rob: You, uh, don’t sound too pleased.
Laura: Well I am honey, I’m very pleased, it’s just that I don’t think I can go.
Rob: Why not?
Laura: Well, it’s my hair.
Rob: I know, it’s a mess, honey, but you’ll get it looking fine, you always do.
Laura: No it’s a, well I shampooed it and, well I don’t think it will be dry in time. Honey, so,
you go ahead to the restaurant and I’ll meet you there in…How long will it take you to dye it
Millie: Well, about an hour, but why do you want to . . .
Laura: In about an hour. So, don’t come home.
Rob: Will you please calm down, it’s just dinner, what are you so excited about?
Laura: Well, uh, I’m just excited about going out to dinner with you.
Rob: I’ll be home in less than an hour, and I’m on my way, bye.
Laura: No, No, well, Rob, Rob, wait… Millie, you’ve got less than an hour to turn me back
into a brunette.
Millie: Well why don’t you let Rob see you this way?
Laura: Because I look like Harpo Marx.
Millie: Well, alright, but I don’t know if I can do it in an hour.
Laura: Well you just said you could.
Millie: Well, I know, but I just remembered, I don’t have your shade in stock, I used it all up
on myself last week.
Laura: What are you doing?
Millie: I’ll have to call the drug store.
Laura: Well how long will it take?
Millie: Just until I’m finished dialing.
Laura: Oh, I need to dye it back.
Millie: I’ll tell them to rush it.
Pharmacist: Hello.
Millie: Hello? How fast can you get a bottle of number three brown hair coloring to onefoureight
Bonny Meadow Road? It’s an emergency.
Pharmacist: A what?
Millie: An emergency.
Pharmacist: A hair coloring emergency?
Millie: Yes.
Pharmacist: Is this a rib?
Millie: It’s no rib.
Pharmacist: Is that you Phil.
Millie: No, it’s not Phil, its Mrs. Helper.
Pharmacist: OH, oh, Helper, yes, fine, now, now, don’t get excited, now I’ll get it over to
you as fast as I can.
Millie: Come on
Laura: Millie we’ll never get it done in time.
Rob: Laura? Rich? Where is everybody?
Ritchie: Here I am Daddy.
Rob: What are you doing in there?
Ritchie: Playing hat check.
Rob: Well, how’s business?
Ritchie: Terrible.
Rob: Alright, I’ll tell ya what. Here is a tip for you. Thanks. Hey, did you bring me anything
Rob: Rich, I just gave you the baseball cards.
Ritchie: OH, yeah, I forgot.
Rob: Rich, where’s your mommy?
Ritchie: She’s in the bedroom. Coloring.
Rob: Coloring? Well hi, Millie.
Millie: Hi. Don’t go in there.
Rob: Huh?
Millie: You were going in the bedroom weren’t you?
Rob: Well, yeah, why?
Millie: Well just don’t.
Rob: What, well, is Laura in there?
Millie: Yes. She is. But
Rob: Well, is she alright, anything happen to her Millie?
Millie: Well, no, she’s alright . . .
Rob: Millie, I’m her husband, if anything’s happened, Laura.
Millie: Rob, trust me, go away and come back in an hour.
Rob: I will not. Laura are you alright?
Laura: Don’t come in.
Rob: Why not?
Laura: Because I don’t want you to.
Rob: This is getting ridiculous, Laura, are you alright?
Laura: I, I’m fine. Just go away.
Millie: If you go away, and come back in one hour . . .
Rob: I’m not going away and coming back in any hour now please Millie, until I find out
what this is about . . . Laura. Laura. This is my house. You’re my wife. And this is my door. I
told you to let me in there.
Laura: Please Rob, go away.
Rob: Laura, Laura, now I’m serious. Laura, listen to the tone of my voice. Laura, you know
this tone, don’t you? Laura, I am not a violent man, but unless you’re out of there by the
time I count three I’m gonna bust this door down.
Laura: Go away.
Rob: Laura, I’m serious. One, two,
Ritchie: Don’t open it mommy, don’t open it.
Rob: Rich, go to your room and look at your baseball cards.
Ritchie: Can’t I see you bust the door down first?
Rob: I’m not gonna bust that door down. I’m gonna bust that door down. Go to your room.
Where was I?
Millie: One.
Rob: Thank you. One, two, three.
Rob: Why, why? What is that?
Laura: Well are you satisfied?
Millie: We told you to come back in an hour.
Rob: You’re bleaching your hair blonde.
Millie: We’re not bleaching her hair blonde . .
Rob: I suppose it’s turning by itself?
Laura: We’re dying it back to its natural color.
Millie: Laura’s been a blonde all afternoon.
Laura: All afternoon.
Rob: Honey, why?
Laura: Why? Well, yesterday morning, when I kissed you, and you said don’t do that, And
you came down to breakfast with a yucky shirt. And the pants… and a gray hair. And the
Harpo Marx… and the general yuckieness…
Rob: I understand honey. I understand.
Millie: You do? I think I’ll come back after dinner and finish the job. Bye.
Laura: Oh, Rob.
Millie: Goodbye everybody.
Ritchie: Goodnight Daddy.
Rob: Goodnight son.
Ritchie: Daddy, tomorrow is mommy’s hair gonna be brown again?
Rob: It certainly is.
Ritchie: That’s good.
Rob: Oh, you think momma’s prettier with brown hair too?
Ritchie: No, I think she’s prettier with yellow.
Rob: You do? Then why are you so happy about her turning brown again?
Ritchie: Because I don’t want her to look prettier, I want her to look like mommy.

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