Monday, December 13, 2010

Dick van Dyke -- Happy 85th!!

Happy 85th birthday to one of my all-time favorite entertainers -- Dick van Dyke. This guy was one of the faces and voices of my childhood, which is something I guess I share with a lot of people in this age group -- anything from 40 to 60. I'll never forget some of the movies like Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ... and then being dumbfounded at the man's verve, energy and charisma in Night at the Museum.

Here's the thing of it: movies are a time machine. You watch the same movie at 10 and at 30, and you see two different movies. As a kid you just see the adventure and love the movie -- the flying car and all. At 30, you're going, "Lionel Jeffries was fantastic in that," and "Gawd, d'you remember Benny Hill and Stanley Unwin? Those were the days," and "Whoah, that's one damned attractive hunk of male -- what have I been missing?"

You notice, you read some really, really stupid things on YouTube. Like the complete idiot who thought Dick van Dyke was born a Cockney, because he played one Cockney part in his entire career. Cheese-zeus. His Cockney accent was good, but not quite good enough to pass the sniff test of real Londoners (who apparently can pick the flaws in Johnny Depp's Cockney -- inFrom Hell, for example. At which point I started to conclude that it's all in their imagination, because Johnny Depp's Cockney is utterly, absolutely, totally identical to Michael Caine, who is Cockney born and bred -- and anything else is all in your head).

Sorry for the digression. YouTube is great, but sometimes the comments get you steamed up.

Happy Birthday, Dick van Dyke ... and may you be entertaining us for many, many years to come!

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