My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business

My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business - Dick Van Dyke Who doesn’t remember Rob Petrie tripping over the ottoman at the beginning of the Dick Van Dyke show or Bert singing and dancing with penguins? Mr. Van Dyke tells the behind the scenes secrets that led to those iconic television and movie moments and that alone would have been enough to entice me to read this memoir. But this book is so much more.

Mr. Van Dyke shares his years as a boy and then young man growing up in the Midwest. He reveals joining the armed forces so that he could fly and how that didn’t quite pan out. His early years starting out in radio and the years of living hand to mouth, sometimes getting evicted because the rent didn’t get paid and how (and why) he persevered. Yet this is not a self-serving “look what I went through” telling of his story. He writes with honesty, as well as his trademark sense of humor, even when the reader senses that the subject matter is painful. Mr. Van Dyke never strayed from his determination to never make a television series or film that he could not enjoy with his children. I think that was the key to his success … everyone could enjoy his talent. Despite his 50+ years of success in show business he still considers himself a simple “song and dance man”.

I listened to the audio book, narrated by Mr. Van Dyke himself, and although the book doesn’t need any help in the “interesting” department, it did make it a little more special.