#158: Third Report of the New Rochelle Genealogical Society

158.1  Maurice B. “Buddy” Sorrell…and right away we have a name problem. His full name is given in 4-107, and I believe that’s the only time…the actor was born Moritz Amsterdam, and Moritz is indeed the German form of Maurice…also Morris in English, from Latin Mauritius or Mauricius. But in 5-148, at his much delayed bar mitzvah, he is called “Moshe Selig Sorrell,” and Moshe is Hebrew for Moses, with no connection to Maurice. BTW, in 3-97 he mentions having had his bar mitzvah, but given his subsequent embarrassment at not having one as a youth, I give him a pass for this small fib. Anyway….he has a German Shepherd named Larry…he smokes…married with no kids…once and only once he wears glasses.

chart 548

158.2   As you can see from Chart 548, he has a brother Blackie, a one-shot, played by jackbainePhil Leeds…no relation that I can find to Peter Leeds, who appears twice in the first season as Officer Jack Baine…and who coincidentally has relatives in Danville, Ill., where Rob grew up…he asks for Alan Brady Show tickets for them in 1-17. No other Sorrell siblings are mentioned, either specifically or thru nieces/nephews…like Norman, his 10-year-old “kid cousin from Little Neck” in 3-81…who could have easily been written in as a “nephew” but wasn’t. Cousin Ira is a make-up man…Cousin Irving is a jack-of-all-trades, being a dentist, a lawyer, and by 5-135 he “rents bulls.”

158.3   As for uncles and aunts, Uncle Lou Sorrell, the shoe-store owner (4-116) is the only one ever shown. You’ll recall that I decided these charts would show screen captures for characters who appear, black circles for those mentioned…with a notation of their relationship as mentioned. Buddy’s father was never mentioned…so his circle is blank…but he had to exist for Lou to be Buddy’s uncle on the Sorrell side. He is probably dead by the season 5 bar mitzvah, since Buddy says he’s doing it for his mother who lives in Brooklyn, and there’s no father present at the ceremony, only her. Altho now that I think about it, in 3-91 Buddy talks  about a grandfather who likes to come over and play cards, so who knows about his father. He also mentions a “drunken uncle” (3-69) who could be Uncle Phil or dead Uncle Henry…no indication when we see Uncle Lou that it could be him.

158.4  Fiona “Pickles” Conway Sorrell…and as she explains in 1-13, everybody in her neighborhood named Fiona was nicknamed “Pickles”…of which, of course, she’s the only one…yuck yuck. Previously married to a professor turned forger, played by the show’s produced Sheldon Leonard, but only as a voice outside Rob’s front door. Portrayed by 2 different actresses…Barbara Perry 1-13, 1-25…and Joan Shawlee 2-51, 2-54, 2-58. A former showgirl…she smokes…has an Aunt Harriet in Vermont…both parents apparently still living, as Buddy once mentions his “in-laws.”

158.5  Starting with the third season, Pickles is never seen again, altho often referred to, and sometimes on the other end of the telephone, altho never heard. In fact, at Buddy’s bar mitzvah (5-148) he says she is there, altho we don’t see her. But Pickles’ last physical appearance in the second season is an odd one…

fake picles

…at Rob’s surprise morning birth party (2-60)…which is why they’re all wearing pajamas…she’s seen only from the back, with her hair piled high Joan Shawlee-style, and with Joan’s general, um, build. No one is credited for this stand-in part, and the Internet Movie Data Base, which is famous for ferreting out uncredited actors, has nothing on her either. Personally, I think it’s a shame Pickles’ character was written out as a physical presence…at least the first Pickles…Barbara Perry is awfully cute with those dimples and all, and plays the part as a sweet scatterbrain, like Georgette Franklin from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Joan Shawlee’s take on the character is more brash and crude, but there you go…

158.6  Sally Rogers…Not a lot is known about Our Gal Sal…was once engaged to a man named Bill Henderson, hence the name of her cat “Mr. Henderson”…she smokes…she once dated Pickles’ cousin. In the first season, she recites several incompressible “sayings” from her mother…for the rest of the series, these quips are transferred to her “Aunt Agnes.” But altho never seen, Aunt Agnes does more than offer advice…she lives in Greentown, Connecticut…Sally visits her once, and she visits Sally on 2 other occasions. Greentown is also the location of Randy Twizzle’s bowling alley, altho it’s a fictitious town.

chart 549

158.7  We know Sally has no sisters (4-116)…nothing ever mentioned about brothers or her father. That Agnes is her mother’s sister is pure speculation on my part, based on the fact that they both watched Sally on “The Stevie Parsons Show”…I got the feeling they were together. In 5-148 she mentions her cousin Eddie the psychiatrist…could this be the same cousin who once hired a birthday party clown (3-81) or who is a twin (3-70)?

158.8  Among Sally’s many beaus, the only one of any permanence is Bill Idelson’s Herman Glimsher, whom she eventually marries in the 2004 reunion special “The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited.” Idelson specialized in weird names, portraying Rush Gook, the adopted son on radio’s “Vic and Sade.” More than an actor, he wrote several TDVDS episodes, along with scripts for “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Gomer Pyle USMC,” “The Odd Couple,” even “Twilight Zone” and “M*A*S*H,” plus the 1963 low-budget scifi flick “The Crawling Hand”…and he went on to produce “The Bob Newhart Show” among others. He was Herman Glimsher on only 4 TDVDS episodes…once per season, second thru fifth…and also in one episode he’s a bellboy. His widowed mother appears just once (3-70), with no first name…recognize her? Same actress who portrayed Uncle Hezekiah’s and half-brother Alfred Reinback’s cousin Luthuella Detweiller in 5-133.

158.9  Notice that I’m spelling Glimsher with an “-sher” on the end. TDVDS did not include character names in the closing credits until the 4th season…so let’s check the tale of the tape…


158.10  Well…that settles that!  Another pick ’em. The other question about Herman is his brother Woodrow…or are they brothers? In 1-2…just the second episode of the series…Sally’s got a date and Buddy asks if it’s that weird-looking one, Woodrow Glimsher…Sally says no, that’s off. Woodrow’s mother wants him to wait a little while, until Sally is too old for him…so now she’s going out with “Herman”…he was introduced to her by…wait for it…Woodrow Glimsher’s mother. Now many fans assume Herman and Woodrow are brothers…as I have done on Chart 549, but only as speculation.

158.11  On the surface it might seem open and shut except for 2 things: in 1-2, Herman’s last name is not given…Herman Glimsher isn’t the only Herman in the world after all. But also, does Mrs. Glimsher really intend to steer Sally away from her son by introducing her to…another son? Maybe so, depending on how she feels about these 2 sons…then again, she eventually acts towards Herman the way she originally acted towards Woodrow…maybe Woodrow croaked sometime after 1-2. Another possibility is that this Herman, assuming he is the Herman Glimsher, is a relative on Mrs. Glimsher’s husbands’ side…her nephew by marriage, say…and not being her blood relative, what does she care who he goes out with?

 158.12  Finally, of the main characters on TDVDS, Mel Cooley and Alan Brady are inexorably intertwined, being brothers-in-law. Did Alan marry a Cooley or Mel marry a Brady? The show has it both ways, and we examined this in detail in Related How Again? #143. Thus, 2 charts for the 2 possible scenarios.

 158.13  Melvin Cooley…No middle name that we are told…that he’s Melvin and not Melville, Melburn, or Melwick is established in the pilot, 1-1. Went to Princeton…married, but his wife is never seen and has no first name…amateur ventriloquist with “Dummy McGee,” seen on Chart 551and at last we have a major character who’s never seen smoking, which doesn’t mean he doesn’t….Richie?…candy cigs in several episodes.

chart 550

 158.14  Now the fact that sometimes he’s Alan’s fraternal brother-in-law, sometimes spousal brother-in-law (see Related How Again #144) is simply an irreconcilable continuity gaff… altho it’s interesting to note that early on, he’s assumed to have gotten his job by “marrying the star’s sister”…1-14, 1-18, 1-27, 2-39, 3-70…as in Chart 550. Later on…and usually just to fit the gag…it’s the other way around…3-70, 5-145, 5-152…Chart 551. But what’s fascinating about the Fan Logic Game is how such seemingly inconsequential “throw-away” facts can have serious implications.

chart 551

 158.15  Take the famous “babies switched at the hospital” episode, 3-63. The plot is set up by Mel telling Rob and Laura that his wife’s out of town, helping her sister who’s having a baby…it’s a girl, and this baby niece is beautiful, unlike the mother and father, whom Rob recalls Buddy has nicknamed “Godzilla.” Now if, as in Chart 550, Mel married Alan’s sister, then his wife’s sister is also Alan’s sister… otherwise not, Chart 551. But it’s looking like Alan could be from a reasonably large family as the families of TDVDS characters go…

 158.16 Alan Lester Brady…middle name from 4-103. And almost all we know about his kin comes from one joke…in 1-37, the Petries and Helpers are watching his show, and at the end it says it’s a Jeff Greg Barb Ben Ray Lou Polly production…Rob explains that the company is named after his 2 kids, wife, lawyer, brother, manager…and bird. His wife Barb is also named Margaret in 5-152…and his niece Jackie appears in 3-84, played by Jackie Joseph, who on an earlier episode played dancer Alberta Schweitzer…you’ll recall her from “The Andy Griffith Show,” and lots of other shows. Is Jackie the daughter of Alan’s brother Ray? His sister married to Godzilla would seem too young to have a daughter that old, so I speculate that that’s the case…you could add yet another Brady sibling, but I’d come at you swinging Occam’s Razor (see Related How Again #156).

158.17  In Chart 551 I assume Alan’s father is still living…no reason not to, altho he only ever mentions his mother. But in Chart 550 he is definitely dead, since in 3-70 Mel says his (Mel’s) mother-in-law…Alan’s mother this time…is single. And that’s pretty much all we know about the main characters’ family trees…except for one last mystery…


158.18  …and it’s a doozie, altho one that happily has a potential solution. In episode 3-86, “How to Spank a Star,” the gang must deal with the egotistical actress Paula Marshall, stunningly portrayed by Lola Albright, showing far more acting chops than she ever did on 3 seasons of “Peter Gunn,” I must say. Mel can’t handle her, so Rob takes a stab at it…and the above scene takes place in Mel’s Office…so who’s in the picture frame?

158.19  No Cooley children are ever mentioned or even implied…the photo looks too old to be Mel’s daughter…then again, too young to be his wife? Still, I’m wiliing to go out on a limb and say it is supposed to be his wife…but whose picture is it really? Not Richard Deacon’s wife, he was gay…uh-huh. A relative of the cast or crew? Such “inside jokes” were not uncommon…but for now, as they say, it’s a mystery…well, OK, I checked pictures of Carl Reiner’s wife Estelle…don’t think it’s her…but that’s the only one I did. If you care to, knock yourself out and be the one who comes up with it. Next week, back from its hiatal hernia, Adventures in Cousinland…

wicked petrie


Speaking of inside jokes, if Mary Tyler Moore could “shout out” to her first husband with “Laura Meeker” in season 1, she could get her second husband Grant Tinker 3 times later on…in 4-102, Arthur Batanides plays prison convict Harry Tinker…in 4-112, the butler of Stacey’s fiancée Julie Kincaid is named Tinker…then in 5-142 Laura mentions an amusement park called Tinker Town…not to be confused with Dizzyland from 3-81. But what we have above are 2 cameo appearances by Garry Marshall, the creator of “Happy Days”…as a referee for the Pitter-Patter Petrie fight in 5-137 and as a bartender in the Western fantasy 5-157. He wrote 18 episodes of TDVDS, but not these 2…nor did he write 4-97, where Rob recalls his old Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Masciarelli…that was Marshall’s father’s name before he changed it, pronounced Mash-a-relly.


And here’s a weird one…TDVDS didn’t do product placements…occasionally something off the supermarket shelf was seen in the kitchen, but with the brand name solidly blacked out. But these 2 puppets…Morticia Addams and Uncle Fester…are seen hanging on the wall of Richie room in 5-153, “The Man from My Uncle,” with Godfrey Cambridge as “G-man” Harry Bond. Trouble is, “The Addams Family” was on ABC…TDVDS was on CBS, which countered with “The Munsters”…wha–?


Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s