When a celebrity trends on Twitter, it usually means one of three things: they've been canceled, they've died, or fans are celebrating how awesome they are. On Sunday afternoon, The Washington Post tweeted out an article about legendary actor Dick Van Dyke's post-pandemic plans for his career ahead of the Kennedy Center Honors. In the article, Van Dyke's friends and former castmates gush about his infectious personality and boundless talent. Van Dyke even talks about his plans for a one-man show. "I've got an hour and a half put together like a one-man show," he explained. "Gregory Peck went out and did it and Cary Grant did it. Just sit in a chair to have a little footage to show and talk about their lives. I've got so much material."
However, The Washington Post's tweet began "At 95, Dick Van Dyke...," causing many to panic and assume that the beloved Mary Poppins actor had died. Van Dyke ended up trending, with fans worldwide letting out a collective sigh of relief that the actor was still alive and even planning his next act.
"The Washington Post just sent a push notification that started with 'At 95, Dick Van Dyke…' and I was like not today. And it was about how he wants to keep performing and there needs to be a rule that all headlines about beloved celebrities over 75 start with NOT AN OBIT," wrote one Twitter user.
WTF, WaPo! Don't start an alert with "At 95, Dick Van Dyke..."
Next time, maybe try "Dick Van Dyke, still alive, is..." pic.twitter.com/gq2bENmRsB— Kyle Decker (@kfd2010) May 16, 2021
"I saw his name in the side column and was like HE BETTER STILL BE ALIVE I DON'T CARE HOW OLD HE IS," wrote another panicked then relieved fan.
DICK VAN DYKE IS ALIVE— Doug Benson (@DougBenson) May 16, 2021
"I saw he was trending and my heart dropped. I need people to add context when they say Dick Van Dyke or Betty White," another fan pointed out.
Me going to check Twitter to see if Dick Van Dyke is okay pic.twitter.com/e8cVhQnXmU— 🌙🔥🖋️🖌️🏳️🌈BLM (@MischiefNightly) May 16, 2021
"l was like 'not OK WaPo, with all the things l am worried about right now l do not need my blood pressure raised over Dick Van Dyke first thing in the morning!'" quipped another Twitter user.
Saw Dick Van Dyke trending and nearly had a heart attack , thank god he’s okay 😅 pic.twitter.com/PygZ4xjX6T— !Megan! (she/her) (@morethanpilots) May 16, 2021
"Twitter, you can't just put 'Dick Van Dyke' in trending topics and NOT expect me to have a heart attack! At least have a parenthetical, "he's fine." Jfc," tweeted another fan.
Everyone when Dick Van Dyke is trending pic.twitter.com/qe5Wj8lz7s— Allison the disney Diva is fully vaccinated (@Daviesallison1A) May 16, 2021
EXCUSE ME TWITTER I ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK WHEN I SAW DICK VAN DYKE TRENDING.— sincerely, ivy marie. (@sincerelyivy) May 16, 2021
Ultimately, Twitter proved today that Dick Van Dyke is indeed an international treasure. Not many people can say they are that universally beloved at 95.
“At 95, Dick Van Dyke......”
Me: Not today, can’t handle it today.
Twitter: “still wants to perform....etc”May 16, 2021
i saw Dick Van Dyke trending and i was like lord please. pic.twitter.com/eecw6xbmkb— Foolish Killah ଘ(∩ᄑ_ᄑ)⊃━☆ﾟ(Xexe) (@fozziexe) May 16, 2021