The best way to describe Jerry Van Dyke is to say that he is naturally funny, he was simply born that way. He can have an audience in hysterics just by being himself; no over rehearsed skits or lines no "act." When he was acting, on the hit series "Coach," it is his own style and sense of humor that sets him apart from the present and past comics, and keep his millions of fans tuned in.
Jerry was born and raised in Danville, Illinois, this is where he began his career, in the local high school. He performed anywhere he could in front of anyone who would listen, including his teachers and Principal. He was the classic class clown, who soon found himself on stage doing stand-up in strip joints and performing in "hole-in-the-wall" clubs, through the Deep South. Before he knew it, he got himself hired as a regular for the Playboy clubs. It wasnt too long before he was off to Vegas, with showroom booking after showroom booking, and this was just the beginning.
In 1962, Jerry got a television break on his brothers number one show, "The Dick Van Dyke Show." He received immediate acclaim for his portrayal of a dual personality and was promptly signed to a contract with CBS-TV, as the show continued to air Jerry became increasingly in demand. He was hired as the comic relief for the "Judy Garland Show," and then became the host for the game show, "Picture This." His next venture was, "My Mother The Car," although shortly lived, it provoked a cult-like following that is still remember to this day. Other projects of Jerrys included "Accidental Family," "Headmaster," with Andy Griffith and "13 Queens Blvd.," with Eileen Brennan.
Because of his reputation for hard work and perfect performances he was soon cast for roles in various feature films, "The Courtship of Eddies Father," "Palm Springs Weekend," "McClintock," with the legendary John Wayne, and more recently, "Run If You Can."
Currently, Jerry is in high demand, during his hiatuses from the series "Coach," Jerry continued to perform live across the country. Although working in front of an audience he always been his first love, he had great fun with his character on "Coach," who he describes as being the "worlds most negative person." He played Luther Van Dam, who was the assistant to Craig T. Nelson, a coach for a much-to-be-desired football team. "Coach" is not the only show Van Dyke had been involved with, he also had a guest-starring role in the CBS mini-series "Fresno" with Carol Burnett, and was featured in "Charles In Charge," and "Newhart."
The other aspect of Jerrys life involves his wife, Shirley. They own and operate a 500-arce ranch in Arkansas, they have all kinds of "ranch type creatures," everything from cattle and horses to llamas. This gives Jerry a place to escape from Los Angeles but still work at something he loves.
Jerry Van Dyke has never stopped working in the last 40 years and he says, " I have no intentions of stopping now." Jerry continues his comedic and acting endeavors and explains what keeps the thrive in his work, "to me, life is like a soap opera. I love tuning in every day to see whats going to happen next."