Carl Reiner, driving pressure in American comedy, useless at 98

LOS ANGELES — Carl Reiner, a driving pressure in American comedy as a author for tv pioneer Sid Caesar, associate of Mel Brooks and creator and co-star of the traditional sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Present,” has died at age 98, Variety reported on Tuesday.

Reiner died on Monday night time of pure causes in his Beverly Hills, California, house, the leisure information outlet stated, citing the legendary comic’s assistant, Judy Nagy.


Reiner’s profession spanned seven many years and each medium from theater and recordings to tv and flicks, together with directing “Oh, God!,” three collaborations with Steve Martin and a task as an aged con man within the revived “Ocean’s Eleven” sequence.

He was nonetheless taking voice roles in his 90s and had a key function in “If You’re Not within the Obit, Eat Breakfast,” a documentary about individuals who maintain busy into their 90s.

Reiner is survived by three youngsters, together with Rob Reiner, director of a number of hit motion pictures and identified for taking part in Archie Bunker’s son-in-law “Meathead” within the hit TV comedy “All within the Household.” Reiner’s spouse of 64 years, Estelle, died in 2008.


Reiner expressed his method to his work in his e-book “My Anecdotal Life,” when he stated, “Inviting folks to chuckle at you when you are laughing at your self is an efficient factor to do. Chances are you’ll be the idiot however you’re the idiot in cost.”

Reiner, the Bronx-born son of a watchmaker, began in leisure as a young person in a touring theater troupe that carried out Shakespearean performs. However his profession took a decisive flip after he joined the Military Sign Corps throughout World Conflict Two.

Recruited right into a particular unit that placed on reveals for the troops, Reiner started writing and performing his personal comedy materials.


Returning to New York Metropolis after the conflict, Reiner appeared in a number of Broadway musicals, together with a lead in “Name Me Mister,” earlier than he was employed to hitch Caesar’s fashionable TV sketch comedy sequence “Your Present of Reveals” within the 1950s.


Reiner was a part of Caesar’s ensemble of performers in addition to a celebrated writing workforce that included such then-unknown skills as Brooks, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart.

Reiner and Brooks remained shut into their late 90s with Reiner telling USA As we speak in 2019 that they acquired collectively frequently to observe sport reveals and flicks.

Brooks joined Reiner in creating the “2,000-Yr-Previous Man” routine wherein Reiner interviewed the world’s oldest residing man, performed by Brooks, who deadpans satiric, first-person anecdotes of historical past in a thick Jewish accent.


Requested why the cross grew to become a logo for Christianity, for instance, Brooks replied: “It was simpler to place collectively than the Star of David.”

Initially ad-libbed by Reiner and Brooks at a celebration, the sketch advanced right into a perennial TV favorite and foundation for 5 comedy albums, the most recent of which earned a 1998 Grammy Award.

When “Your Present of Reveals” ended its Four-1/2-year run in 1954, Reiner adopted Caesar to his subsequent sequence, “Caesar’s Hour,” and earned his first two Emmys.


Inspired by his spouse to develop a TV present as his personal, Reiner started work on a sitcom pilot loosely primarily based on his experiences with the Caesar reveals, titled “Head of the Household,” casting himself as a TV author with a spouse and two youngsters.

Community executives initially handed on the mission, sad with Reiner because the lead character, Rob Petrie. However CBS finally picked up the sequence in 1961, after it was recast and retitled for its new star, “The Dick Van Dyke Present.”

Reiner, who earned a number of Emmys writing and producing the hit sequence, performed the recurring function of Petrie’s boss, the temperamental selection present host Alan Brady.


A reprisal of his Alan Brady function three many years later, for a visitor spot on the 1990s sitcom “Mad About You,” earned Reiner yet one more Emmy.

In addition to serving to rework its creator and star into family names, “The Dick Van Dyke Present” launched the profession of Mary Tyler Moore, who performed Rob Petrie’s spouse. The sequence, thought-about a TV sitcom traditional, ended its run in 1966.

The next yr, Reiner made his characteristic movie directing and producing debut with “Enter Laughing,” which he tailored from a Joseph Stein play that was primarily based on Reiner’s semiautobiographical 1958 e-book of the identical identify.


He later directed George Burns within the title function of the 1977 comedy movie “Oh God!” earlier than collaborating with Steve Martin for a string of films, together with “The Jerk,” “Lifeless Males Don’t Put on Plaid” and “The Man with Two Brains.”

Beginning in 2001, he made a big-screen comeback enjoying elder con artist Saul Bloom, who comes out of retirement to hitch George Clooney, Brad Pitt and others within the blockbuster remake of the 1960s heist movie “Ocean’s Eleven.” Reiner returned to that function in two “Ocean’s” sequels.

However Reiner by no means strayed removed from tv, persevering with to make visitor appearances on varied reveals comparable to “Two and a Half Males” and “Sizzling in Cleveland” effectively into his 90s, in addition to maintaining a busy Twitter account.


Reiner wrote 4 volumes of memoirs, together with “I Simply Remembered” in 2014, in addition to youngsters’s books.