Dick Van Dyke’s Top Guest Appearances in TV Shows That Will Make You Smile
I was watching old episodes of one of my favorite ’90s shows Sabrina, the Teenage Witch last night and was delighted to see Dick Van Dyke appear in one of the episodes. He popped in as Duke, one of Salem’s old cronies needing a place to stay after he resumed being a human with magical powers after being sentenced to being a cat.
While everyone else was wary of trusting Duke, Sabrina saw his good nature and believed in him. It warmed my heart to see the two dancing together toward the end of the episode and thought about how lucky Melissa Joan Hart was to dance with one of the most iconic actors of all time. So, this led me to question… what other series has Van Dyke guest-starred in?
Van Dyke was given a cartoon version of himself in a Scooby-Doo episode, part of The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1973). In this Scooby-Doo universe, Van Dyke owns a carnival and after all of his employees quit due to the carnival being haunted, he hires the gang to figure out what’s really going on. Of course, Scooby and his pals figure out the mystery and at the end of the episode, Van Dyke lets them run the carnival for a day.
Van Dyke’s character in Columbo was certainly different from his usual typecast. He played *gasp* a murderer. At first, he was seen as a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who was eventually revealed to have murdered his wife in order to start a new life with his assistant.
‘Highway to Heaven’
In this Michael Landon classic, Highway to Heaven, Van Dyke plays Wally, a homeless man who has such a good nature he is turned into an angel without him knowing. It is up to Jonathan (Landon) and Mark (Victor French) to help him out.
‘The Golden Girls’
In season five of The Golden Girls, Van Dyke makes an appearance on Richmond Street as Ken Whittingham, the new boyfriend of Dorothy Zbonorak (Bea Arthur). Things take a turn for their relationship when Ken decides that he wants to be a circus clown instead of a successful lawyer.
Dr. John Becker (Ted Danson) isn’t exactly thrilled when his father, played by Van Dyke, rolls into town. However, his friends are all charmed by the eldest Becker and encourage the two to repair their relationship. Despite making up, he isn’t seen again throughout the duration of the series.
Aw, Townsie. I’ll be honest, Scrubs is my favorite show of all time, and the episode “My Brother, My Keeper” really pulls at the heartstrings. Van Dyke plays Dr. Doug Townshend, a beloved doctor at Sacred Heart who J.D. (Zach Braff) labels “Townsie.” He’s friends with everyone including the universally hated Dr. Kelso (Ken Jenkins). However, when Dr. Townshend puts a patient’s life at risk with an outdated procedure and admits that he is too old to learn new things, Dr. Kelso is forced to give him early retirement, showing the harsh realities of modern medicine.
Over a decade later, Van Dyke reunited with Neil Flynn (Janitor on Scrubs) in an episode of The Middle. His brother, Jerry Van Dyke also appears in the episode (the real-life brothers also played brothers on TV in The Dick Van Dyke Show). Frankie (Patricia Heaton) and Mike (Flynn) are caught in the middle of a feud between Frankie’s dad and uncle (played by the Van Dyke brothers). Like any sitcom, all’s well that ends well and the reunion was even more special since Jerry sadly passed away just three years later.
Now, at 97 years old, Van Dyke has signed on for a new venture: soap operas. He is set to appear in an episode of the long-running soap Days of Our Lives.
Which is your favorite Van Dyke cameo?