Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Dick Van Dyke

All the time I've been standing within ten feet of Conan, and I never realized he was interviewing Dick Van Dyke!

With the interview ended, Conan goes to talk to his camera crew, and Van Dyke visits with some of the people gathered nearby.

He’s here for the convention, obviously, but the man has a lot of roots and history in barbershop music. In fact, he currently has his own quartet – Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastiks – and they will be performing on the AIC (Association of International Champions) Show tomorrow evening at the Honda Center. I was hoping to go to that show mainly to see him, and now he’s standing just a few feet away from me.

I maneuver closer to Dick Van Dyke, hoping to shake his hand. He is not very tall, no, but for a man of 83 he looks to be in pretty good condition – especially for a guy who took all those spills over the ottoman back when he was married to Mary Tyler Moore!

I don’t get swept up in celebrity culture very much, but I have to admit to almost shaking with excitement here. I’m almost within arm’s-length of Dick Van Dyke – Burt from Mary Poppins, star of Diagnosis: Murder, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Dick Van Dyke Show and so many other entertainment memories from my life.

He signs some autographs and poses for a few pictures, one with a mom and her two daughters who look to be about four and six years old – he comments, “Why, they don’t even know who I am!” But at the same time, he has handlers from the Society to keep him on schedule – and to keep him from being mobbed – and very quickly they are announcing that Mr. Van Dyke will be leaving and to make room.

I can respect that, and I’m not so obnoxious that I’ll force my way in anyway after such an announcement, so I probably won’t get my handshake. Oh, well, I can live with that. It helps that he exits right past me. Our sleeves almost touch, he’s that close.

Okay, maybe for some people I do get caught up in celebrity culture.

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