How flop led to fame for Dick Van Dyke

A bump in the road led to better things.

There's an old adage in Hollywood that says, "You're only as good as your last project." Memories are so fickle, especially when it comes to entertainment, and there are only so many impressions an artist can make. The truth in that saying may be up for debate, but it does hint towards the importance of one's reputation in a business that's constantly changing. Sometimes, a movie or a show is bad enough to ruin a person's career.

A failure doesn't always spell disaster for all parties involved. Sometimes it can be merely a turning point. This was the case for Dick Van Dyke early in his show business career. While there's plenty of pressure involved in a person's first big break onstage, but for Van Dyke, it was just another job. 

After a series of onscreen hosting gigs that didn't lead to very much, Dick Van Dyke headed for the stage. A TV friend suggested him for a part in Broadway's The Girls Against The Boys, and the stage was set for a legendary debut. Except, that didn't happen, and the show closed after just two weeks.

Van Dyke later described the show as "a definite turning point" in a 1960 interview with the Associated Press

While the show was a dud, the one thing that did capture the public's attention was Dick Van Dyke's performance. The show was critically derided, but Van Dyke received a ton of praise in the press. 

That good press led to his second Broadway gig, a starring role in Bye, Bye Birdie. This was where Van Dyke began gaining much more momentum, building towards his own series, The Dick Van Dyke Show. But while that was all in his future, Van Dyke reflected on his good-bad fortune. 

"I'm probably making a lot more money than if we had run," said Van Dyke about his initial Broadway arrangement. It wasn't a great show, but it led to great things.

"I'm lazy by nature but I've worked hard. I've been luckier than most, for I've never really had to pound the pavements or beat out my brains for work."

Sometimes even missteps are part of the path.


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31 Comments

LoveMETV22 2 months ago
Like the promo/commercial MeTV did with the "TDVDS" a few years ago :

The lyrics were written by the marvelous Morey Amsterdam ("Buddy Sorrell"), who also wrote the lyrics to 'Rum and Coca-Cola" published on Dec. 11, 1944.
justjeff 2 months ago
I'd just finished watching the CBS 98th birthday celebration for Dick Van Dyke... He truly is a national treasure, and I wish him many, many more good years...
cperrynaples justjeff 2 months ago
I'll watch it today! I'm sure all of us will!
Andybandit 2 months ago
Happy birthday DVD. I hope I am still alive at 98 yrs old.
cperrynaples Andybandit 2 months ago
Well, I'm 65 and I know I won't make it!
Runeshaper 2 months ago
"Sometimes even missteps are part of the path." (-:
bdettlingmetv 2 months ago
Not to drag you all away from The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Hogan's Heroes tonight, but CBS is airing a special tribute to Dick Van Dyke tonight at 9:00PM (perhaps 8:00PM Central time?).
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justjeff cperrynaples 2 months ago
Paul Lynde?
cperrynaples justjeff 2 months ago
I'm running that picture in my head and say "No he wouldn't marry Laura! Buddy maybe!" I guess you thought my clue was BBB, but it was "tonight"! Maybe I was too subtle with my hint, but yes Johnny Carson almost got to be MTM's husband! Can't imagine her saying "OH Johnny"...LOL!
MrsPhilHarris justjeff 2 months ago
Oh of course Bye Bye Birdie. Thanks.
Everyone knows (or should know), it was Johnny Carson!
LoveMETV22 2 months ago
" How flop led to fame"
" Sometimes even missteps are part of the path."
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Flops, falls or missteps. Mr. Van Dyke has had a great career.

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justjeff cperrynaples 1 month ago
"I-T" It... LOL!
justjeff LoveMETV22 1 month ago
Thanks ever so much!

Did you see the February releases I have ready to go?...
LoveMETV22 justjeff 1 month ago
Yes I saw them in the "Bing Crosby" Quiz earlier in the week. Thanks for sharing.
justjeff LoveMETV22 1 month ago
No... thank YOU for noticing them!
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