Jerry Van Dyke is an American comedian and actor.
Jerry Van Dyke is the younger brother of comedian and actor Dick Van Dyke, and made his acting debut on The Dick Van Dyke Show with several guest appearances as Rob Petrie's brother, Stacie.
Van Dyke began his stand-up comedy career while still in high school in Danville, and was already a veteran of strip joints and nightclubs when he joined the Air Force Special Services in 1952. During the mid-Fifties, Van Dyke worked at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana. The "Jerry Van Dyke Show," which included future CBS News Today Show news anchor Joseph Benti, Nancee South and Ben Falber, was popular fare. In the service he performed at military bases around the world, twice winning the All Air Force Talent Show. Following his first guest appearances on The Dick Van Dyke Show and two appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, CBS made him a regular on The Judy Garland Show where he was given the astounding task of insulting Judy. Audiences cringed. He was also given hosting chores on the game show Picture This. In that same year, movie audiences saw him in supporting roles in the films McLintock! and The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
Eager to capitalize on his exposure, CBS made plans to set him up in his own series. After turning down the role of Gilligan in Gilligan's Island, and also turning down the chance to replace Don Knotts on The Andy Griffith Show (both moves he would later regret), he accepted the lead role in the outlandish and short-lived My Mother the Car (1965), the misadventures of a man whose dead mother is reincarnated into a restored antique car. Although the series failed, Van Dyke continued to work steadily in supporting roles in television and film throughout the rest of the decade.
During the 1970s, Van Dyke returned to stand-up comedy virtually full time. He spent much of the decade touring Playboy Clubs around the country, and headlining at venues in Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City, returning infrequently to Television for guest appearances on Love, American Style and Fantasy Island, and recurring roles on the series The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon (1976) and 13 Queens Boulevard (1979).
In 1989 Jerry Van Dyke began entertaining a new generation of fans with his work as the beloved, yet befuddled assistant coach on the long running series Coach (1989-1997) for which he received four consecutive Emmy nominations for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series" (1990,1991,1992,1993).
Jerry Van Dyke continues to make frequent television appearances and perform stand up comedy in major venues around the country. When not performing, he spends his time on his 800-acre ranch in Arkansas, where he raises, "everything from horses to llamas," and where he evidently picked up his oddly Southern accent.
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