The cover of the ninth issue sported a curious cover blurb: "Wake up, Laura! He's not good enough for you!" When I
purchased this issue, I assumed that referred to a story inside but 'twas not the case. The lead tale, "The Shady Brady," represents one of my
favorite kinds of stories — the Evil Twin episode! Rob gets Alan to promise to join them performing at an army hospital that evening, but
Alan reneges because he has to go on a sudden business trip. He departs, then suddenly and inexplicably returns to the office ahead of
schedule. What no one realizes is that the real Alan left but an Alan Brady impersonator, who'd been lurking around the building, spying and
waiting weeks for his chance, walked in and took his place.
The phony Alan is really an aspiring actor named Carl Reinhart (cute touch) whose career has never taken off because everyone tells him
he looks to much like that big TV star, Alan Brady. Bitter and angry, he has come to loathe Alan Brady and to believe that the star owes him,
so he sets about to assume his identity and loot the Brady bank account. He takes Alan's checkbook, writes a huge check and politely asks Mel
to go have it cashed. Mel is puzzled when Alan says "please" and doesn't tell him to shut up, but he complies. It turns out, it will take
several hours for the bank to process matters and deliver the cash, so Reinhart has to keep the charade up that long.
When Rob discovers that "Alan" is there, he insists Alan come, as promised, to the army hospital. Mel says he'll bring the cash
over when it arrives, so Reinhart goes along to the hospital, where Laura does a dance number, Sally sings a torch song, Rob does a pantomime, and
Buddy does a cello solo and tells a joke about a talking parrot. When "Alan Brady" is introduced, the crowd goes crazy and begins chanting for
him to do his famous Portuguese Fisherman routine. Reinhart is trapped...but with a little prompting from Rob, he's able to get through
it. At the end, people are cheering him and asking for autographs, and patients in the hospital ward are telling the man they think is Alan
Brady what it means to them to have him there. Reinhart is moved by this, and begins to think he has misjudged Brady.
In the meantime though, Rob has realized that there's something odd about Alan...his comic delivery was better than usual. When
Rob hears that Alan hasn't insulted Mel all day, he realizes it must be an impostor! He confronts "Alan" just as Mel is delivering the cash,
and Reinhart grabs the money and takes off. There's a big chase through the hospital and then I'm not sure what happens because there was a
contest in this issue of the comic book and some moron cut out a coupon in my copy. It was on the other side of the next-to-last page of the
story and though I've been searching for years for a complete copy, I've never seen one. (If anyone has one, please e-mail me. And if you
can, scan the page and send me a JPG file of it.) Anyway, on the last page, Reinhart has voluntarily given the money back and confessed, "I'm
not Alan Brady...I could never be a great star like Alan Brady." But Rob, Sally and Buddy have an idea and they not only get Alan to not press
charges but to hire Reinhart as his stand-in! In the last two panels, Reinhart is doing the job and he tells Mel to shut up. Rob remarks,
"Boy, he's really learning how to be Alan Brady."
I'm hesitant to judge this story since I never read one page of it, but I will say that it seems like a good one. The main
weakness seems to be that the comic book was still not showing Alan Brady's face, so we don't get to see how much Carl Reinhart looks like him.
I, for one, was curious.
The back-up story, "Super-Dentist," focuses on Jerry Helper. His son Freddie is ashamed because his father is "only" a dentist
and all the kids at school tell him that dentists are bad men who hurt people. To counter this, Rob sits Freddie and Ritchie down and tells
them a story he makes up on the spot. It casts Jerry as a great super-hero dentist who flies around and helps people. At the end, a
giant, furious King Kong style ape is about to step on New Rochelle and crush it but he doesn't because Super-Dentist flies up and fixes the
toothache that has made him go on a rampage. The huge ape becomes docile, New Rochelle is spared and the only problem is that Jerry tells the
ape to rinse, and it does and floods Scarsdale. The story causes Ritchie and Freddie to see Jerry in a new light but when Jerry offers to thank
Rob by filling a cavity he's had for some time, Rob runs off, crying that dentists hurt people! It's not a bad story but the ending seems a
little out of character for Rob.
The main thing of interest about this issue is that there is nothing in it that would justify the cover line warning Laura that "he"
isn't good enough for her. According to Elliot Zwart, it was an early sign of his father's obsession with Laura Petrie and his attempt to use
the covers of the Dick Van Dyke Show comic to "court" her. This would really get out of hand with the next issue.
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