Monday, March 19, 2012


It's hard to walk away from Dick Van Dyke feeling depressed, but it happened to me about six or seven months ago. One of the kindest of men, modest and with great humility and humor, he happened to mention the possibility of an upcoming tour in "The Sunshine Boys" for himself and his brother Jerry Van Dyke. But he added, with an ironic smile, that at his age, he was "circling the drain."

Which is something a man in his late 80's does have to acknowledge if he's any kind of realist. But it was still a sad thought to ponder. Would any backers really put up money for a show starring a guy "circling the drain?" He did a little two-step at one point, by way of showing that he was still in very good shape. His voice was strong. He looked very healthy.

On February 29th, the news was not draining at all. Quite the reverse. Dick was flushed with happiness, eyes watery and glowing…he'd gotten married again! At 86, he married a pleasingly plump cutie of 40. And rather than circling the drain, he told reporters: "We're looking forward to a long and happy marriage!"

So good luck to Dr. Sloan of "Diagnosis Murder," and to the chimney sweep of "Mary Poppins" (he still beats up on himself for his notoriously bad Cockney accent in the film…not to the dialogue coach or director or Julie Andrews who all felt it wasn't too distracting). Most of all, to Rob Petrie of "The Dick Van Dyke Show," tripping over the ottoman or side-stepping it. The theme song for that show was so infectious that Morey Amsterdam decided to put lyrics to it. Morey never recorded it (he did record a comedy album "Funny You Should Ask," with Richard Deacon and Rose-Marie, and featuring a Dick Van Dyke portrait of Morey on the cover) but, as an afterthought nearly 50 years later, Van Dyke's given us a memorable minute of it.

Lucky Dick…he starred in TV shows when there was money to be made and royalties to be paid. It was all filmed in Hollywood using unions…not farmed out to Canada or Romania at cut-rate prices cutting out Americans in need of a job. There was no Internet: you bought a movie ticket or a record (or you didn't), and if you weren't sure, there were newspapers and magazines that informed you (rather than stole for you, as the New Reich of Amazon and Google believe in, as long as they hold the weapons of mass dysfunction.)

Speaking of the once robust world of magazines and newspapers, did you see the article in Business Week today (March 19, 2012)? Headline: "US newspapers lost $10 in print advertising revenue last year for every $1 they gained online, a deeper loss than in 2010." Follow-up: "“They’re continuing to lose ground to tech intermediaries such as Google Inc…The industry, suffering declines in print advertising, hasn’t been able to make up for those losses with digital revenue." But hey, I read it on Business Week's website and don't subscribe to the magazine itself. Heck, I bet that article is already on a thousand blogs owned by Google….

Nevermind. Listen to the lyrics here! Trouble's a bubble!

DICK VAN DYKE SHOW theme lyrics by Morey Amsterdam. Instant download or listen on line. No capcha codes or pimp-demands from a crooked file-sharing website to buy a premium account so they can make money from what they've stolen.

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