Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Star Wars and the Science Fiction Awards

I recall something called "The Science Fiction Awards", hosted by Dick Van Dyke. Being a fan of Dick Van Dyke in an era when you had to wait to see if Disney would re-release "Mary Poppins" or hope "The Dick Van Dyke Show" would be rerun, I tuned in. It contained one of the most surreal moments of my TV-watching childhood.

This show, which featured Heatwave singing "Boogie Nights", which Van Dyke announced as "Boojee Nights" by THE Heatwave, also featured a dance tribute to Star Wars. A flying saucer-ish light display descended from the rafters. Four dancers, dressed up as Tusken Raiders or Stormtroopers (can't remember which) came out, armed with fake rifles and broke into...a soft shoe routine. At the end of this, they all dropped to one knee extended one arm each and in came, to applause, R2D2. This started a short antiphonal section, in which the orchestra played the "Star Wars" theme, which R2D2 "sang" the last four notes.

That's all I can remember of this number, however that is NOT the most surreal moment. Kitschy, but not surreal.

Since I didn't produce this show, my guess is that someone didn't show up, or they mistimed the whole affair, but Dick Van Dyke came out after a few more awards were given out and said something along these lines:

"Folks, I hope you're having a good time tonight. The response has been tremendous and the phones have been ringin' off the hook, so we are going to show you the tribute to "Star Wars" again!"

Sure enough, that's what happened. They showed the same sequence AGAIN. I have never seen that done before or since.

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