Saturday, January 06, 2018

R.I.P. Jerry Van Dyke

R.I.P. Jerry "Burfurt" Van Dyke

As you older readers probably know, he was the half-brother of Dick Van Dyke. They had the same father, but Jerry's mother was a car, specifically a 1928 Porter.

This I did not know: "After turning down two of TV’s most iconic comic doofuses — Gilligan’s Island’s Gilligan and Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show — Van Dyke finally settled for My Mother The Car, which only lasted for a single season at NBC."


  1. The episodes of My Mother the Car are available on Youtube. I've seen a couple of them and I don't think it's as bad as the critics claim it is, though obviously that's subjective.

    I think some of the jokes are quite clever like his mother having 'carthritis.'

    The problem ultimately with the show is that there really wasn't anywhere to go with it, once he comes home with the car, his mother, what do you do with it?

    The creators of the show obviously realized this by making his car not just his mother, but also a 40 year old jalopy and by making a major character in the show an underhanded person who wanted to buy (or otherwise get hold of) the car.

    As a high concept comedy movie, it probably could have worked quite well.

  2. That he turned down the role of Barney Fife can't possibly be true. That role was created in 1960, two years before Jerry appeared on his brother's show--or anywhere else.

    As for My Mother the Car, I'm sure I saw every episode when it first aired, but I can't recall if it was any good or if it was just my kid's mind thinking it was funny. However, it was co-created by Allan Burns and Chris Heywood, two guys with huge resumes. Burns co-created the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Heyward wrote a ton of Get Smart episodes, plus Barney Miller and many more.