Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

"The Alan Brady Show Presents" is the Christmas episode of the CBS sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show. Widely considered an all-time classic of the genre, it premiered on December 18, 1963, as the thirteenth episode in the show's third season. It was said to be a welcome break from the demands of a weekly sitcom for all the cast members.


The episode begins with the opening to The Alan Brady Show, and Alan addresses the audience telling them that tonight's show will be a little different, and then invites his head writer Rob Petrie on stage to explain: A week earlier, Rob and the other writers for the show, Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rogers, had just turned in a script for the show and were just getting into the holiday spirit when Mel Cooley, the show's producer (and Alan's brother-in-law) comes in and tells them that he suggested to Alan that they should do a special holiday episode spotlighting the staff and their families (similar to what Perry Como used to do on his own variety show). Mel tells them that they'll have carte blanche to do whatever they want, and then stipulates that the episode will be called Alan Brady Presents. When Rob asks what Alan will present, Sally responds, "That's what we'll have to figure out between now and Christmas".

With Alan and a group of kids sitting off to the side watching, the first sketch is Buddy, Sally, Laura and Mel as a choir under Rob's direction as they, as Rob puts it, "immortalize another great man in song", which turns out to be Alan Brady; the song's only lyrics are Alan's name. They perform the song perfectly the first time, but Rob decides to do it again, this time with each singer singing Alan's name until it gets to Buddy, who sings his own instead of Alan's at the end. Rob orders Buddy off the stage and they begin again, but this time Sally sings her own name, only to get the same treatment from Rob. Before they can start again, Laura quickly sings her own name and dashes off stage as Rob grimaces. With only Mel remaining to sing the song again, Rob is certain that Mel won't let him down, but he sings his name and runs off stage leaving Rob alone until he quietly says his name, snaps his conductor's baton in two and storms off stage.

Rob and Laura dancing

Rob and Laura perform "I Have Everything But You"

The next sketch is Sally is writing a letter to Santa recalling Christmas as a child, but now that she's a woman she makes a grown-up request, in keeping with her man-hungry character: she sings "Santa Send a Fella". As the song ends a large package is wheeled onto stage for Sally; she opens it and, to her disappointment, finds Buddy inside with his cello at the ready. The whole sketch turns into musical slapstick as Buddy attempts to play his cello while Sally tries to accompany him on the piano but upstages him instead.

Next, Rob and Laura do a song-and-dance as they play two street-corner Santas who remove their beards for one another and fall in love with each other as they sing "I Have Everything But You". Ritchie then sings "The Little Drummer Boy".


Laura, Rob, Buddy and Sally perform "I Am a Fine Musician".

For the final number, Sally, Buddy, Rob and Laura, all dressed in marching band uniforms, sing "I Am a Fine Musician". At the very end, the entire cast breaches the fourth wall and sings the first few notes of the show's classic theme song.


Actor Character
Dick Van Dyke Rob Petrie
Rose Marie Sally Rogers
Morey Amsterdam Buddy Sorrell
Larry Matthews Ritchie Petrie
Mary Tyler Moore Laura Petrie
Richard Deacon Mel Cooley
Cornell Chulay Girl
Carl Reiner Alan Brady


Image Entertainment made the episode available on The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 3 DVD set, released on February 24, 2004, and later repackaged as part of The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Series on May 24, 2005. The episode made its high-definition video debut as part of The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Series Blu-ray set, released on November 13, 2012, and was included on the individual The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray set, released on June 11, 2013. It was then included on the episodes-only version of The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete 3rd Season DVD set on May 20, 2014. The episode was released again on a single-disc release, The Dick Van Dyke Show: Classic Christmas Episodes, on October 7, 2014. Its latest release was as part of a new The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Remastered Series DVD set on November 10, 2015.

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