Happy 88th birthday, Dick Van Dyke!

Dick Van Dyke celebrates his 88th birthday Friday, and the comedy legend has been much in the news recently. He was saved from his burning Jaguar, he posed with Julie Andrews for a "Mary Poppins" reunion, and he attended his grandson's art show and joked, "I feel like Justin Bieber." Here are eight reasons we love him still.

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    Image: FILE: Dick Van Dyke Honored With SAG Lifetime Achievement Award: A Look Back

    Dick Van Dyke

    From his long-running TV comedy to his starring film roles, the veteran entertainer has done it all.

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    Meet your host, Dick Van Dyke -

    In 1987, Dick Van Dyke hosted the AFI Comedy Special on NBC. The special showcased sketches from recently discovered comedy writers.

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    Newlyweds! -

    At the age of 86, Van Dyke married Arlene Silver, his 40-year-old makeup artist. The two attended the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Jan. 29, 2012.

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    Rob and Laura, reunited -

    Mary Tyler Moore, left, reunites with Van Dyke, her co-star on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," on the New York set of "The Rachel Ray Show" on May 5, 2011.

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    Father and sons -

    Van Dyke poses with his actor sons, from left, Barry, Carey and Shane, upon their arrival at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' "Father's Day Salute to TV Dads" in North Hollywood on June 18, 2009.

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    'Night at the Museum' -

    Van Dyke's film career has been a healthy one. Here, he stars with Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs in a scene from "Night at the Museum."

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    Save this dance -

    Moore and Van Dyke reprise their roles as Laura and Rob Petrie in this scene from the "Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited." The reunion show aired May 10, 2004.

    Tony Esparza / AP
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    'Mary Poppins' anniversary -

    Van Dyke and his "Mary Poppins" co-star Julie Andrews celebrate the film's 40th Anniversary Edition DVD release party at El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles on Nov. 30, 2004.

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    Look back at 'Becker' -

    Ted Danson and Van Dyke headlined the TV series "Becker," which ran from 1998-2004.

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    Whipped into action -

    Not your average press shot! Moore and Van Dyke go the S&M route in a 1995 photo shot by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair magazine's "TV Hall of Fame" issue.

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    Is there a doctor in the house? -

    Another notch on Van Dyke's TV belt was his stint as Dr. Mark Sloan in the CBS crime drama "Diagnosis Murder." The series, in which a doctor solved crimes in his spare time, aired from 1993 to 2001.

    CBS via Getty Images
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    Hollywood star -

    Van Dyke was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1993. If you look closely, you can spot a typo: His name is spelled "Vandyke." It was later fixed.

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    'Golden' guy -

    The hit show "Golden Girls" (starring Bea Arthur) played host to Van Dyke in 1989. He did a guest spot in the episode, "Love Under the Big Top" which might explain that clown nose.

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    Talking heads -

    Carl Reiner, right, guest stars on the short-lived 1976 series "Van Dyke and Company."

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    'The Morning After' -

    Based on the novel, "The Morning After" was a made-for-television movie about a public relations writer with a serious drinking problem. At the same time Van Dyke starred in the 1974 film, he admitted that he, too, was an alcoholic and was seeking treatment.

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    'The New Dick Van Dyke Show' -

    Airing on CBS from 1971-74, "The New Dick Van Dyke Show" -- and Angela Powell and Hope Lange -- was Van Dyke's first series return to television after "The Dick Van Dyke Show" ended.

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    'The Comic' -

    Van Dyke teamed with Carl Reiner, his "Dick Van Dyke Show" writer, for Reiner's film "The Comic" in 1969. Van Dyke played a silent-film comic with an ego problem.

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    Disney days -

    Van Dyke stars with Sally Ann Howes, Adrian Hall and Heather Ripley in the successful Disney musical "Chitty Chitty Bang" in 1968.

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    'Divorce American Style' -

    Van Dyke starred with Debbie Reynolds in the 1967 comedy "Divorce American Style," which followed a couple teetering on the edge of divorce, only to find out single life is pretty lonely.

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    'The Carol Burnett Show' -

    In 1977, Van Dyke had an 11-episode run on "The Carol Burnett Show," and is shown here with, from left: Vicki Lawrence, Ken Berry and Carol Burnett.

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    'Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.' -

    One of Van Dyke's less successful films was "Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N." The comedy about a Navy pilot who becomes a castaway was released in 1966.

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    Grammy winner -

    Van Dyke received a Grammy Award in 1964 along with Julie Andrews for the "Mary Poppins" soundtrack.

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    Emmy duo -

    Van Dyke and Moore pose backstage at the Palladium in Los Angeles with the Emmys for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" at the 16th annual awards show on May 25, 1964. They won the best actor and actress in a series.

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    Music man -

    One of Van Dyke's earliest Broadway roles was as Albert Peterson, the lead in "Bye Bye Birdie." It ran on Broadway from 1960-61.

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    American icon -

    Van Dyke will be recogized for his decades of work on the stage, television and in film at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 27, 2013.

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1. The ottoman empire
If you've watched his classic sitcom, "The Dick Van Dyke Show," you may have noticed the opening credits aren't always the same. Van Dyke walks into Rob Petrie's New Rochelle, N.Y., home and always an ottoman is there to confront him. In one version, he evades the ottoman, in one, he avoids it but trips on the carpet, and in this version, he takes a classic comedy pratfall and is helped up by Mary Tyler Moore and friends.

2. Never need a reason, never need a rhyme
Say what you will about Van Dyke's goofy Cockney accent in "Mary Poppins," his Bert the chimney sweep is the kind of man we'd all love to know. Somewhere there may be a musical number that makes us want to dance more than "Step in Time," but good luck finding it. Even the practically perfect Mary Poppins goes for a twirl when Bert and crew boogie down on the rooftops of London. 

3. Comedy with Carol
In 1977, Van Dyke joined the cast of "The Carol Burnett Show." He didn't last long — the show was in its final season and barely outlasted him — but he had some memorable moments nonetheless. This bit featuring him as a struggling encyclopedia salesman is classic.

4. 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'
Van Dyke sang songs by Richard and Robert Sherman in "Mary Poppins," and they were also the songwriters behind 1968's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," in which Van Dyke played an eccentric inventor with a flying car. Who wouldn't go for a bizarre ride with the affable Van Dyke, crazy inventions and all?

5. He understands what's funny and what's not
In an interview earlier this year, Van Dyke confessed that he doesn't really get modern comedies. His musings should be required reading in every comedy writing class anywhere. "I think back to 'All in the Family,' when you knew what those relationships were and the comedy that came out of that," he said. "Today it's just one line after another, and they seem to try to cover too much in the way of story in a short time. Then I think they signal when they're trying to be funny, and the minute I catch someone trying to be funny, then I won't laugh."

IMAGE: Dick Van Dyke Matt Sayles / AP
Dick Van Dyke arrives at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

6. He's in a barbershop quartet
Dick Van Dyke and the Vantasticks have even performed the little-known lyrics to the "Dick Van Dyke Show" theme song. (Written by the late Morey Amsterdam, who played Dick's co-writer Buddy on the show.)

7. He's been open about his challenges
Van Dyke has discussed kicking his heavy cigarette habit (he uses nicotine gum), his alcoholism (he drank for 25 years), even the horrible headaches he says came from his dental implants

8. That smile
There's not another one like it, not in Hollywood nor anywhere. You really believe, as he sang in "Chim Chim Cheree," that he "does what I likes, and I likes what I do."

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