How Dick Van Dyke Could Return to 'The Masked Singer' After Epic Reveal

Legendary actor Dick Van Dyke has hinted that he could return to The Masked Singer after his epic reveal as the Gnome character on Wednesday.

The Fox singing competition, hosted by Nick Cannon, returned to screens on Wednesday, February 15, for Season 9, just months after Amber Riley, as Harp, was crowned the winner of the show's eighth season in November 2022.

Returning to The Masked Singer's judging panel are Robin Thicke, Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg and Nicole Scherzinger, the latter of whom was left in tears as Van Dyke was unmasked on the season premiere.

The actor, famous for his roles in classic movies like Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Night at the Museum and Bye Bye Birdie, took to the stage under the guise of a Gnome character to perform "When You're Smiling," originally performed by Billie Holiday.

Dick Van Dyke on Masked Singer
Dick Van Dyke has teased he could return to "The Masked Singer." The legendary actor is pictured here, on the right, with the Fox singing competition's host Nick Cannon. Michael Becker/FOX

The judges guessed that the famous face behind the Gnome costume could be actors Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro or Mel Brooks, or musician Tony Bennett.

When it came time for the Gnome to be unmasked, however, Van Dyke was revealed and the judges were left stunned, with Scherzinger bursting into tears over seeing the iconic actor on stage.

Van Dyke, who turned 97 in December, has beat Season 8 contestant William Shatner's record as the oldest performer on The Masked Singer and host Cannon described him as "the most decorated and seasoned entertainer" to take part in the show.

Since the format shake up in Season 8 of The Masked Singer, only one contestant per week has made it through to the next week, and for week one of Season 9, the Medusa costume was the successful contestant.

Now that he has been unmasked, Van Dyke won't continue to the next stage of the competition, but the actor has hinted that he could return to the show in another capacity.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly after the episode aired on Fox, Van Dyke described the experience as "the weirdest thing [he's] ever done."

He also said he felt "pretty good" about the panel guessing he was Tony Bennett, but joked that he "wasn't crazy about any of the other ones."

The Masked Singer Dick Van Dyke
Dick Van Dyke wowed "The Masked Singer" judges with his performance of Billie Holiday's "When You're Smiling." He participated in the show in the Gnome costume, pictured. Michael Becker/FOX

"I knew that they couldn't guess who I was. I don't think they expected anybody from my generation to be on that show," Van Dyke added. "So I knew I was gonna fool them. They were so surprised. I stepped out and everybody's mouths dropped open."

"I think some people thought I was dead," he joked.

Van Dyke was also asked if he would go back as a guest panelist, to which he replied: "Yeah. Nobody would expect it."

Of course, the show has not confirmed or suggested that Van Dyke will be back but, judging by the panel's reactions to seeing him, we're sure they'd love for him to return.

Newsweek has contacted The Masked Singer for comment.

The Masked Singer has had several celebrity guest panelists in the past, including the late Will and Grace star Leslie Jordan, Community actor Joel McHale and musical legend Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Actress Rita Wilson, musician and chef Gordon Ramsay have all also made appearances on the famous panel.

The Masked Singer judges
Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke are back on the judging panel for "The Masked Singer" Season 9. Actress Amber Riley won the show's eighth season in November 2022. Michael Becker/FOX

Elsewhere on The Masked Singer's Season 9 premiere, country singer Sara Evans was revealed as the celebrity behind the Mustang costume, following her performance of "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake.

There was also a new twist introduced, called "Ding Dong Keep It On Bell," which will allow the panelists to ring a special bell three times in the first three rounds.

Those three saved singers will battle it out on a special episode to rejoin the competition.

The Masked Singer continues Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.