A funny thing happened when a reader tried to use her Comcast X1 voice remote to search for The Dick Van Dyke Show holiday special On Demand.
She got called on her “language.”
She’d missed the two colorized episodes of the classic 1960s sitcom last Friday when CBS aired The Dick Van Dyke Show — Now in Living Color! and used her voice remote to search for “Dick Van Dyke Christmas Special.”
Her voice command elicited this response:
"Sorry, I cannot handle commands with that type of language. ‘Dick Van d*** Christmas special.’ "
After hearing from the reader, who prefers to be identified only as Pat, I tried it myself at home and got the same response.
Comcast, of course, didn’t mean to suggest the actor’s name is a slur and is working on a fix.
“We want to provide our customers with a best-in-class voice control experience that is also safe and appropriate for every member of the family,” the company said in a statement released Wednesday. "Last month alone, our customers issued 700 million voice commands, and when issues like this arise, we work to address them quickly. "
In fairness to Comcast, Philadelphia Media Network’s own internal spellcheck also flags Dyke as a problem word.
The good news is that if you’re a Comcast subscriber who missed the episodes — “Never Bathe on Saturday” and “Where Did I Come From?,” both of which were based on incidents in creator Carl Reiner’s life — you can watch them through On Demand. You just might need to do some clicking, not talking, to find them until the bug’s cleared up.
As for Van Dyke, whose first name apparently passed muster, having a potentially offensive last name doesn’t seem to have hurt his career any. The 93-year-old actor, who 54 years ago was Bert (and Mr. Dawes Sr.) to Julie Andrews' Mary Poppins, can be seen in Mary Poppins Returns, which opened Thursday, as Mr. Dawes Jr.