In 2023, we said goodbye to so many showbusiness headliners. Norman Lear, Ma5tthew Perry, Suzanne Somers, Bob Barker, Andre Braugher and David McCallum to name just a few.

And while it is fitting that they be saluted in Oscar “In Memoriam” segments and in TCM’s annual year-end tributes, kudos to CBS for throwing a party for a living legend: Dick Van Dyke.

The two-hour special, Dick Van Dyke: 98 Years of Magic, airs Thursday night on CBS.

The network brought together many current stars to perform on stage in a song and dance salute to the 98-year-old entertainer. Among those performing on Thursday’s broadcast are Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Tichina Arnold, Beth Behrs, Jason Alexander, Zachary Levi, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Amanda Kloots, Tony Danza, Skylar Astin, Rufus Wainwright, and Jane Seymour, Brad Garrett, and JoJo Siwa.

I wrote my own salute to Van Dyke for Everything Zoomer, the on-line edition of Zoomer magazine. You can start reading it here:

The remarkable thing about Van Dyke is that he is not just still around; he’s still putting on a show. As he wrote in his 2015 autobiography, titled Keep Moving: “You don’t have to act your age. You don’t even have to feel it. And if it does attempt to elbow its way into your life, you do not have to pay attention.”


While he does now rely on the use of a cane and, on occasion, a wheelchair, Van Dyke has lived up to the title of his book. In the past year alone, this ultimate zoomer was a singing, dancing guest on The Masked Singer – at 97, their oldest celebrity participant ever. The judges and the studio audience went wild as he was unmasked from his large, furry gnome costume. As fans of the opening sequence to The Dick Van Dyke Show might say, thank God there was no ottoman for him to trip over on stage!

Van Dyke has outlived every other adult cast member of his self-titled situation comedy, which originally aired from 1961 to 1966. (Larry Mathews, who played the Petrie’s only child Ritchie, is now 67.)

That black and white series was very much rooted in the Kennedy era, with the pilot filmed the same day that the U.S. president was inaugurated, Jan. 20, 1961. The main character, TV head writer Robert Petrie (Van Dyke), had that Kennedy hair, with his wife, Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore) just a pillbox hat away from being a Jackie Kennedy looka-like.

Follow this link to read the rest of the article at Everything Zoomer.

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