Thursday, August 13, 2015

Dick Van Dyke Houdini connection?

Here's a photo sent over from a friend showing Dick Van Dyke standing in front of a Houdini King of Cards poster. This still is from a 1967 CBS television special, but I couldn't find much information about this show online. What did it have to do with Houdini and/or magic? You'll also notice the image of Bela Lugosi's Dracula used as a fictional magician, The Great Ludwig. Tux, cape, hypnotic gestures...why not?

If anyone has an information or memories of this Dick Van Dyke special, drop us a comment below.

Thanks to Barry Spector.

UPDATE: Reader John Simpson has uncovered this description of the comedy sketch from Dick Van Dyke's autobiography, My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business. That you, John!

UPDATE 2: Here's the clip!



  1. Well, I can tell you it was called The Dick Van Dyke Special and it aired on the date on the back of the photo. It was produced after the series finale of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in 1966 and was the 1st of two specials with that title the second being broadcast in 1968.

    MPI Home Video owns the rights to the show and a clip from the 1967 special appears as a bonus feature on a box set of Van Dyke's variety show effort so you might want to reach out to them with your interest in return for some publicity.

    1. Oh and a columnist in the St Petersburg Times recognized it as the Worst Musical-Variety Special

      I also found this. Read pages 156-158 for Dick Van Dyke's description of The Great Ludwig Sketch.

    2. Sensational! Thank you so much for the info, John. I love being able to throw something like this out on my blog and hear from an expert. Thanks again. :)

  2. A related item is on diagnosis murder, there is a framed Houdini poster in Mark Sloane's office