Nerd Culture

Dick Van Dyke Is Coming to Phoenix Comicon 2017

Famed actor Dick Van Dyke.
Famed actor Dick Van Dyke. Kathy Hutchins/
Phoenix Comicon has revealed its final media guest for this year’s event – and they definitely saved the best for last.

Organizers of the annual four-day pop culture extravaganza announced on Thursday, April 27, that renowned actor Dick Van Dyke will appear at Phoenix Comicon 2017 in late May.

That’s right, Dick Van Dyke. The icon whose roles over the decades are the stuff of Hollywood legend and the source of many fond childhood memories for countless folks, ourselves included.

Van Dyke, 91, is esteemed for his multitude of talents as an entertainer. During his 70-year career in showbiz, he’s been an actor, dancer, comedian, and singer, not to mention a star of stage, screen, and radio.

We’ll always know him for the gentle and good-spirited characters he’s always had a knack for playing in films and on television.

He sang and danced his way into our hearts as the playful chimney sweep and everyman Bert in Mary Poppins. (You’re probably humming the melody to “Chim Chim Cher-ee” as you read this.)

A few years later, he was the eccentric genius Caractacus Potter in another Disney classic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

His most iconic role, however, was as the bumbling but well-meaning Rob Petrie on the Dick Van Dyke Show, which helped make him a household name along with the late Mary Tyler Moore in the early 1960s.

Van Dyke tops an enormous roster of actors and actresses that have already been announced as special guests at this year’s Comicon, which takes place from Thursday, May 25, to Sunday, May 28, at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The list includes Jenna Coleman and Arthur Darvill from Doctor Who, Rogue One's Alan Tudyk, and Charlie Cox and Jon Bernthal from Daredevil. Joan Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall, Garrett Wang, Robert Duncan McNeill, Bonnie Wright, Kevin Conroy, John de Lancie, and Danny Trejo are also scheduled to appear at the event.

Van Dyke’s appearance will also be a homecoming of sorts for the actor, who lived in the Cave Creek area in the 1970s and filmed the New Dick Van Dyke Show at the now-defunct Southwestern Studios in Carefree.

According to Comicon organizers, Van Dyke is scheduled to appear at the event on Saturday, May 27. Patrons can purchase an autograph or a photo op with the actor. He will also likely participate in a “spotlight" panel where he’ll answer questions from fans, although details haven't been announced yet.

You might even get a chance to shake hands with the man, which according to “Chim Chim Cher-ee” will cause good luck to rub off on you.

Can’t wait.

By the way, be sure to check back on Monday as we’ll have a rundown of every special guest set to appear at this year's Phoenix Comicon.

Phoenix Comicon 2017 takes place from Thursday, May 25, to Sunday, May 28, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Daily admission is currently $20 to $45 and a full event pass is $65.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.