Derek Hough was one of the performers selected to honor this year’s group of Kennedy Center Honorees, taking the stage to tribute Dick Van Dyke during the annual ceremony, which took place last month. Hough performed twice during the show, first delivering a spectacular performance of “Put On A Happy Face” from Bye Bye Birdie alongside Broadway star Laura Osnes.
The 43rd Kennedy Center Honors ran for 90 minutes with a limited audience and the musical performances and tributes were split into two other nights. A video of Hough and Osnes’ performance shows the duo on an empty indoor stage, and photos from the event seem to show them giving the same performance for audience members, including Van Dyke. Along with “Put On A Happy Face,” Hough and Osnes also performed “Step in Time” with Aaron Tveit and Pentatonix on a rooftop in Washington, D.C. with a view of the Potomac River behind them.
On Sunday, Hough wrote on Instagram that it was “A pleasure to be a part of such a special event.” In a red carpet clip previously shared by Entertainment Tonight, the Dancing With the Stars judge joked that he was worried about a potential wardrobe malfunction. “I’m going to be straight up with you guys. I haven’t worn this suit in over two years. Very tight,” he said. “This gonna pop. This suit. If I even go like that, I just heard a stitch go pop.”
Van Dyke was introduced by his Mary Poppins co-star Julie Andrews, who compared him to his character in the film, Bert the chimney sweep. “Like his character Bert in that movie, Dick seems to have found the secret to happiness, and like Bert, Dick is many things: He’s an artist, a one-man band, a profound philosopher, a high-stepping showman and spreader of charm,” she said. “Good luck does rub off when he shakes hands with you.”
Actor Bryan Cranston called the legendary actor his “boyhood idol and an inspiration in becoming an actor.” Presenter Lin-Manuel Miranda added, “Spend five minutes with Dick Van Dyke, and you’re more alive than you were before. He’s the kind of performing legend you hope to meet one day and say, ‘Thank you for showing us how it should be done.'”
Additional performers during this year’s honors included Sturgill Simpson, Rhiannon Giddens, Emmylou Harris, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, Jimmie Allen, Aaron Tveit, Pentatonix, Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Adele Anthony, Hilary Hahn, Randall Goosby and Midori’s Orchestra Residencies Program. Presenters included Jackson Browne, Phoebe Bridgers, Tom Morello, Bradley Cooper, Jason Aldean, John Travolta, Wayne Gretzky, Chita Rivera, Steve Martin, Gustavo Dudamel, John Lithgow, and Bette Midler.