All the recent entries which have had to be made in the “In memoriam . . .” thread got me to thinking, “Why not have a thread where we can show our appreciation and admiration for some of our elder idols before they kick the bucket?”. That is what this thread is meant for – a place to shine the spotlight on senior heroes & heroines whose lives, work or careers have been particularly important to you.
I’ll begin with a man who has brought not just entertainment, not just laughter, but actual joy into my life, Dick Van Dyke.
I am just old enough to kind of remember seeing The Dick Van Dyke Show in its initial primetime run. It has been a staple in reruns throughout my life and it wasn’t until I was a little older than I appreciated how good that show was. Still, there was a lot of physical comedy on that show that made it funny even for a little kid.
More importantly, I am just old enough that the very first movie I ever saw in an actual theater was Mary Poppins. What with flying nannies, runaway carousel horses, penguin waiters, dancing chimneysweeps and a freakin’ tea party on the freakin’ ceiling, it was an explosion of entertainment the likes of which I had never experienced before (and rarely since). My four year old mind was blown. Some may criticize DVD’s accent here, but I will have none of it. That just adds to the charm of the movie to me.
DVD and the car were about the only redeeming things about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a movie I also saw as a kid, but I don’t think I could ever sit through it again. I was probably in my teens when I first saw a couple of other movies of his which I still like, The Comic and Cold Turkey.
His 2001 memoir, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, is worth reading if you are a fan of his. In lieu of that, here’s a nice interview from two years ago with Al Roker.
And here’s a music video he did with his wife last year. It’s a delight to see DVD still singing and dancing at 96!
And in a video posted just last week, DVD reads a speech written by Rod Serling which DVD had delivered in front of 60,000 people at the LA Coliseum in 1964.
So that’s my tribute to one of my true heroes. Now let’s have yours.