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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Kevin Pollak & Dick Van Dyke

I've written about my admiration for Kevin Pollak's Chat Show, which he does live online (with video) most Sunday afternoons, but I listen to later via the podcasts on iTunes as I drive around. He's had an impressive roster of guests, including a recent extended chat with Dick Van Dyke.

At one point, Dick mentioned how he didn't like the title his publisher had forced on him for his autobiography, "My Lucky Life In And Out Of Show Business." I read the book, which is full of good anecdotes from his career, but he's right -- it's a lousy title. Then Pollak got in a plug for his book, "How I Slept My Way To The Middle." I made a mental note to get a copy from the library and, on Monday, used the St. Louis County Library's app to order the book.

To my amazement, I got an e-mail from the library this morning that the book was waiting for me. So I drove over, picked it up, brought it home, and opened it up. But as soon as I started reading, I had an odd sense of deja vu. The introductions by Penn Jillette and Billy Bob Thornton sounded familiar. So did the first story Pollak told, about how he was cast in Martin Scorcese's "Casino" after an awkward, silence-filled one-on-one with Robert DeNiro.

Maybe I'd heard him tell that story on the show, I thought. I leafed forward to see what other anecdotes he'd included until it hit me -- they all looked familiar. The reason: I had read Pollak's book earlier this year. In fact, that was the copy I bought when it first came out. It was worth reading, but I certainly didn't need to borrow a book from the library that I already have on my bookshelf.

My moment of personal idiocy aside, here are Pollak and Van Dyke trading stories (and Dick being surprised to find out that Kevin does impressions)...

Previously on Harris Online...