Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Kennedy Center Finally Honors Dick van Dyke, Age 95, Plus Joan Baez, 80, Debbie Allen, Garth Brooks, Midori


The Kennedy Center Honors finally got around to Dick van Dyke today. He’s 95, and they’re lucky he’s lasted this long. It’s kind of cruel how long they made him wait. But at least now, it’s done.

The great folk singer and performer Joan Baez, who’s just turned 80, is also in this new batch of inductees. She should have gotten in a long time ago, too.

The other three inductees this time around are Garth Brooks, violinist Midori, and actress choreographer Debbie Allen, all deserving and very good choices.

The Kennedy Center usually announces the inductees in the early summer, inducts them the first week of December and the show airs just before New Year’s.

But with the pandemic, there is no show, and no big ceremony. This time around the ceremony will be virtual and air in June, after May sweeps, on CBS.

Frankly, Bob Dylan had better induct Joan Baez. He can set aside his eccentricities for two minutes.

The June show will be the first under President Joe Biden. If there were no pandemic, it would also be the first year since Obama that the inductees went to the White House. But maybe if the pandemic eases, the Kennedy Center will return to its regular schedule, have another show in December and invite two years’ worth of honorees.

Still not in: Betty White, who turns 99 this week. Jane Fonda, who most definitely should be in already. The Rolling Stones, with whom the Kennedy Center can’t seem to make an arrangement, and Denzel Washington.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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