Classic TV Episodes: The Patty Duke Show – The Cousins

In this entry in our Classic TV Episodes series we take a look at 1960’s identical twins sitcom The Patty Duke Show.

This episode re-creates the first meeting between those “identical cousins” Patty and Cathy Lane, in which cultured Cathy gets her Uncle Martin (William Schallert) fired from his job as managing editor of the New York Daily Chronicle and breaks up Patty’s romance with Richard (Eddie Applegate) — all before the second commercial.

This frothy family comedy boasted good writing and clever camera work, but its real distinction was Patty Duke’s extraordinary dual performance — never more noticeable than in “The Cousins,” in which she plays Cathy imitating Patty and vice versa. You can lose your mind when cousins are two of a kind.

“I always had the impression that I was working with two different people,” recalls Schallert. “Patty created two such totally different girls. What was amazing was that she could do that with such subtle changes. It really was marvelous acting on her part.”

Original Airdate: May 24, 1964

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.