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View Full Version : Jerry VanDyke Storms Out of Big Lots Autograph Signing!



JediCole
01-19-2003, 08:39 PM
At a recent promotional autograph signing at a Big Lots! store in Prestonton, Kentucky, vetran character actor Jerry VanDyke reportedly stormed out in fit of rage. The aging performer had been scheduled to appear at the store's grand opening as a promotional gimic and to autograph his new book, "Upstaged". During the course of the three hour appearance Mr. VanDyke was reportedly asked questions about episodes of "Diagnosis Murder" and "The Dick VanDyke Show" as if he were his more famous brother.

Sales of his book were lacklustre and autograph requests were few when those in attendence for the event were informed that he was not Dick VanDyke. Repeated groups of fans would arrive in waves only to be rebuked by the realization that the man they had come to see was conspicuosly absent. Mr. VanDyke was said to have become most disheartened when a young girl of about six years of age asked him if he was a "second bananna".

The final insult came when VanDyke was asked quite sincerely if he could take a photograph of his more famous brother with him to be autographed and mailed back to the fan. Enraged by the constant mistaken identity and belittlement, the actor slammed his fists on the table where he was seated and cried out, "Enough of this!". He then toppled two sizeable stacks of unsold copies of his book and stormed down the center aisle of the store. A spokesman for Big Lots said that Mr. VanDyke was later found enjoying a hot fudge sundae at a nearby ice cream shop and returned an hour later to complete the book signing and promotional appearance in improved spirits.

Fulit
01-19-2003, 09:03 PM
Heh. That guy has a house and I think a big ranch over here south of LR. What was his characters name on that crappy show? Whatever it was, we used to drive by and say, "there's _______'s house". I hate that show.

Lord Malakite
01-19-2003, 09:46 PM
Can't say I blame him. I'd be a bit P.O. too if something like that happened to me.

2-1B
01-19-2003, 09:51 PM
That's hilarious !
Maybe next time he can do a triple billing with Axl Rose and Vince Neil !

Big Lots? That's too funny. :D

I like him on Coach, if that makes him fell better . . . :crazed:

Hasbro'sBountyHunter
01-19-2003, 10:35 PM
There's nothing like a good hot fudge sundae to get your spirits back up.:D

stillakid
01-19-2003, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by Caesar

Big Lots? That's too funny. :D


That's exactly what I was thinking. Big Lots? What kind of reception would anybody (outside of Vern) expect at a Big Lots?

James Boba Fettfield
01-20-2003, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by Fulit
What was his characters name on that crappy show?

You mean the character of Luther on Coach?

icatch9
01-20-2003, 07:57 AM
Hey, Jerry is from my home town of Danville IL. As is his aparently more famous brother. It's one of our few claims to fame. Our native sons also include Gene Hackman, Bobby Short, Joe Cannon(Speaker of the House 100 years ago), and astronaught Joe Tanner (hey, how many of you been to outer space?!).

Bad press for such a loveable actor. To bad for him, but that realy speaks bad about the people of that town. I mean its one thing to ask about his brother, but to keep bringing it up. It's simply rude.

2-1B
01-20-2003, 10:47 AM
Uhhhhhhh, it speaks badly for him too. It's not like the same person kept grinding away on the Dicky VD angle, it was a common mistake that MANY made.

I think it's rude to agree to appear at Big Lots and then storm out because you underestimated the intelligence of the customers. :rolleyes:

QLD
01-20-2003, 11:38 AM
I imagine that Clint Howard might have the same problem at his Big Lots signings.

2-1B
01-20-2003, 11:41 AM
Kevin Dillon did an appearance at Goodwill and stormed out because everybody mistook him for his brother Matt.

icatch9
01-20-2003, 03:18 PM
I agree that it was pretty lame of Jerry to do that. He had an obligation, and someone who is as humorus as he is should of been a little more understanding. Still, it's not like they are twins or anything. They look like they are related, but realy look nothing alike. It's dime witted people who would mistake Jerry for Dick. Nothing personal, but I think they should have known better. Especially since it was at Big Lots. I've never sceen Dick VD on a Big Lots Commercial. Just like I wouldn't expect to see Kathryn Zeta Jones at the opening of a new Verizon store.

Needless to say it was a bad day around for all that were involved.

Jedi Master Silas
01-20-2003, 04:58 PM
Thank for the laugh.

JediTricks
01-20-2003, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by stillakid
That's exactly what I was thinking. Big Lots? What kind of reception would anybody (outside of Vern) expect at a Big Lots? Jerry Van Dyke has appeared in a series of TV commercials for Big Lots, so the assumption probably was that folks would recognize him from said commercials.

This is really just karmic payback for doing "My Mother the Car" though.

2-1B
01-21-2003, 12:23 AM
Big Lots does commercials?

I've never seen one, and we have a store 15 miles from here . . . I know they are part of Big Lots/Odd Lots but I swear I've seen no commercials. :)

Exhaust Port
01-21-2003, 10:29 AM
Yup, they do have them. It's hard to believe that a store selling Tang with Arabic writing needs commericals. :)

Lord Malakite
01-21-2003, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by Caesar
Uhhhhhhh, it speaks badly for him too. It's not like the same person kept grinding away on the Dicky VD angle, it was a common mistake that MANY made.

I think it's rude to agree to appear at Big Lots and then storm out because you underestimated the intelligence of the customers. :rolleyes:

I don't think he was being rude so much for the mistaken identity. It was more for comments he recieved from the customers, like the young girl asking him if he was a "second bananna" or the person who asked if he could take a photograph of his more famous brother with him to be autographed and mailed back.

2-1B
01-21-2003, 03:12 PM
Second banana? Yeah, that would rile me up too. :D

icatch9
01-21-2003, 03:16 PM
I just wounder what makes these people think the Dick Van Dyke is such a big star. He's no Andy Grifith, why where they makeing such a huge deal out of him? I still don't understand any of it. A true case of the bizzar.

Old Fossil
01-21-2003, 07:15 PM
Jerry is a funny guy. Seems more likeable than his brother Dick. His character on 'Coach' was hilarious.

But a book signing at a Big Lots??? I know he's a paid spokesman for them, but... book signing at Big Lots? That's like having a wine tasting at, say, Western Sizzlin'. He might have had better recognition at a bookstore.

Exhaust Port
01-21-2003, 09:40 PM
I hope to God that his book isn't about being a Big Lots spokesman.

icatch9
01-22-2003, 12:36 PM
I imagine his book is about his life and times as an almost celeberty. Should be an interesting read. After all he's been entertaining for many years. I mean through the war, the 60's, and today. He's sceen it all. I'm sure he has a unique look on life too. I doubt I'll buy it or even read it, but as far as simi-autobiographies go it ought to be good.

JediCole
01-22-2003, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by icatch9
I imagine his book is about his life and times as an almost celeberty. Should be an interesting read. After all he's been entertaining for many years. I mean through the war, the 60's, and today. He's sceen it all. I'm sure he has a unique look on life too. I doubt I'll buy it or even read it, but as far as simi-autobiographies go it ought to be good.

Further research through a friend of mine who is a life-long bibliophile and fan of television character actors reveals that "Upstaged" was published in 1987 by the University of Illinois Press with a limited print run. Needless to say it has been out of print for over a decade and been the pervue of remaindered booksellers ever since. Where Big Lots came by a supply is unknown, but that may explain why he was signing there and not at Borders or Barnes & Noble.

My friend had a copy that he bought back in 1987 but he has been unable to locate it in his vast library. He said it was signed by Jerry VanDyke, who saw my friend rereading it at the Jerry VanDyke's Soda Shop in Fort Worth, Texas in 2001! It seems Mr. VanDyke was in town and on hand at the shop and seeing his book in someones hands prompted him to walk out and meet my friend. This was described as something akin to "half a thrill" or a "brush with near-greatness".

More info as it becomes available.

Jayspawn
02-02-2003, 12:06 AM
I watched "Coach" regularly when It was on, I loved him in that!

"Thanks for having me over Hayden."

scruffziller
02-03-2003, 05:14 PM
My brother met Dick Van Dyke at the COLD TURKEY reunion in Greenfield, IA. I should have had him say, "You were also great on COACH!":D