MovieChat Forums > The Dick Van Dyke Show Discussion > Little Ritchie was kind of a brat

Little Ritchie was kind of a brat


That boy was so irritating. They treated him like a baby all the time too. There was one episode where he had to learn a song about the Mona Lisa for school, and he kept singing "the Mommy Lisa" like he was three years old! He must've been at least 8 or 9. Laura was so delicate around him, like he was their little china doll. I thought the show was very funny when the kid was not in the story.


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Bring back the old emoticons!

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I hadn’t really thought much about it, but I certainly agree. I can’t help but think that somebody fell down on the job conceptually where the character Richie was concerned. He seemed very …uneven at times, you might say. I, too, prefer episodes where he appears very little or not at all.

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Redart, you write that Richie "must've been at least 8 or 9." A quick check on IMDB reveals you to be grossly in error.

The episode where he sang "You're the Top" (the song you referenced) aired in October 1961, less than two months after the actor's, Larry Mathews' SIXTH birthday. It is also presumed that he was playing a kid a year or two younger than himself--which is the norm on TV shows, particularly in the black-and-white years.

In all likelihood, the episode was filmed when the boy was still 5. How you could think he looked as old as 9 is a mystery to me.


Now I'm going to comment on your overall point--that you liked the episodes that didn't feature Richie more than the ones that did. Here, I quite agree with you. He was still somewhat good in some episodes, mostly in the later seasons when he was 8-10 years old in real life. But his dialogue was poorly written and acted in those early seasons.

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Richie was at the worst when he sang in the Christmas show. The child could not carry a tune in a bucket.

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I know!! GOD FORBID parents deal with little boys in any other way other than hitting and beatings.

Create a society in which you would like to live, not knowing what you're going to come into it as.

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I have to respectfully and wholeheartedly disagree with you Redar27!
He was a cute little boy and I think his acting chops were dead on as playing a little kid! Watch the episode, "Never Name a Duck" and tell me his scenes aren't spooky good! I felt overwhelmed as he seemed that he really was going to burst into tears. As for his singing, ala the Christmas special, where he sings "Little Drummer Boy" it too is exactly how a little boy might sing it! Let's remember, he's not on "American Idol" or "The Voice", it's just a little boy singing a Christmas Carol and he, IMHO, knocks it out of the park!

I think the problem most people have with his acting is that he seems like such a real little boy, that most people dismiss it as no talent because they can't SEE the acting.

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People forget that there's a director.

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no kidding, that kids voice was like fingernails on a chalk board.

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And he yelled all his lines.

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She is delicate around him because he is her only child. I think many mothers are this way with their only, younger or especially, the youngest child. I don't think he was a brat. He played the part of a little boy and he acted pretty much like a little boy would.

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Myself and eveyone I've ever watched the show with agree the little boy was awful. I know that sounds harsh but it's a real head scratcher. There are young children who could act so unless he was related to someone important, I have no idea why they selected that child. Dick and Mary both had kids around that age, why not use one of theirs if the acting didn't matter? They could not have been worse than that kid. Sometimes sitcoms cast kids who can't act (Frasier's son Frederick, the youngest kid on Home Improvement) and other times they cast mini Meryl Streeps (all the Cosby youngsters, Jodie Sweetin, Ron Howard.) I don't know the rhyme or reason. Sometimes it feels like they're thinking it won't matter, it's a small part and the audience knows kids are kids... Idk

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NEWSFLASH kids are objectively awful, esp when they're not your own.
i have a fanfiction in the works in which richie dies every episode just like kennhy from south park, i think that's apt.

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Hahahaha omg I'm sorry but I HAVE to read that fan fiction when you're finished it sounds HILARIOUS!!! Lol post a link when you're done writing it!

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Agreed. I pretty much skip any episodes that he was in. Terrible little actor and even more annoying and useless character in the show.

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