OK, so Estelle Reiner didn’t really get her big toe stuck in a bathtub spigot.
But she did inspire her husband, Carl Reiner, to write “Never Bathe on Saturday,” a memorable episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” in which Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) and Rob (Van Dyke) Petrie go away for a romantic second honeymoon. Things go awry when Laura’s big toe gets wedged into a hotel bathtub spigot — because, as she yells to a helpless Rob, she was “playing with the drip.”
“We went to a hotel very much like [in that episode], sort of a weekend honeymoon,” says Reiner, 96, who created the classic CBS sitcom (1961-66). “My wife didn’t get stuck [in the spigot]but the water was dripping and she had her toe under it — and she was playing with the drip.”
Newly colorized versions of “Never Bathe on Saturday” and another Reiner-scripted episode, “Where Did I Come From?,” air Friday from 9-10 p.m. on CBS, preceded (from 8-9 p.m.) by two colorized episodes of “I Love Lucy”: “The Christmas Episode” and “Pioneer Women” (colorized for the first time).
“Both of those episodes were things that actually happened in my life, as most of the ‘Van Dyke Show’ episodes did,” says Reiner. “I wrote about 30 or 40 episodes [actually 54 in total]but always asked the other writers, ‘What happened in your life today that’s different from other days?’ ”