Friends, as I mentioned just last week with the sad news that Director Joel Schumacher had passed away – there is never any joy in having to write these articles about respected and beloved entertainers leaving us. However there are a handful, like with the LEGENDARY Carl Reiner, that I find myself having to take a few minutes to walk away from the computer to take care of the tears that are in my eyes. I would normally say that 98 years is an excellent run – but not with Reiner – it’s too soon… being totally honest I am just not ready to let him go. I know my reaction is one that is selfish but I accept that – we have lost a comedic genius who not only helped to bring us the likes of The Dick Van Dyke Show which he did create for television but Directed Oh, God! in 1977 as well as The Jerk two years later – the latter marking the first of four films that Steve Martin and Reiner would work together one. In ’82 they would join up once again to deliver the underappreciated Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, The Man with Two Brains the following year, and then All of Me in 1984. Obviously there have been many, many entertainers who have taken to social media today to extol the virtues and talent of Carl Reiner – although I have enjoyed those being shared by Steve Martin the most.
In fact thanks to Shout! Factory – we can enjoy this little chat between Carl Reiner and Steve Martin, this was included as part of the extra features on The Jerk Blu-ray in 2019. A film that I was lucky enough to catch at the 62 Drive-In of my youth and I assure you will be the subject of a future Pop Culture Retrorama podcast.
While I love the films that were created out of the partnership between both Martin and Reiner – it would be completely honest and factual to say that a legendary comedy team was formed when Carl was hired for 1950’s Your Show of Shows where he worked alongside Mel Brooks. Working together would not only cement a friendship that lasted for 70 years but the duo would go on to work together on The Steve Allen Show as well as producing 5 comedy albums – with 2000 Year Old Man being made into an animated special in ’75. Thanks to the Official MEL BROOKS Channel – we can enjoy this 1967 performance of that famous skit – with this clip originally airing on The Colgate Comedy Hour in 1967.
On Twitter today – just four hours ago – Mel Brooks shared this wonderful and quite frankly heartfelt post.
In past articles to mark the passing of wonderful entertainers – I have shared that while working at the local movie theater of my youth, a fellow co-worker taught me the phrase, “We will dim the lights in the auditorium to mark their passing.” Well friends, in this case we are not going to dim the lights but shut ’em all down in honor of the legacy that Carl Reiner left behind. Whether it be as Writer, Stand-Up Comedian, Director, or Actor… Reiner is going to be sorely missed.