When I was little, my three great loves were Dick Van Dyke, Danny Kaye and Donald O’Connor. (Pause for a gratuitous collage):
Where was I? Oh yes, one reason why
these particular three were my great loves (w/apologies to Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, etc.) was that they all had something specific in common: They were geniuses of physical comedy. And nothing
can make little kids laugh like brilliant physical comedy. Of the three, I probably fell hardest (as it were) for Dick Van Dyke, on the strength of his two classic performances in Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang
and Mary Poppins.
He is also the only one still with us today (with a Twitter account no less—check him out busting a dance move
in the department store on Vine too). In today’s clip from his classic sitcom, he is inspired to unpack the science of slapstick and pantomime in front of a classroom of little kids, after failing to impress them merely with words and his cred as a sketch writer for the Alan Brady show. Enjoy: