June 29, 2020: Carl Reiner, Comedy Legend, Mourned by Hollywood

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They say that living to 98 is a good run. But when it’s a comedy legend such as Carl Reiner, it still doesn’t seem like enough. The actor, director, producer and writer, who passed June 29, 2020, at that ripe age, left behind a lifetime of material for generations to enjoy. The creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show and frequent collaborator with Mel Brooks–both of whom survive him–is being mourned by many Hollywood greats, who are paying tribute to the “comedy genius” on social media.

We’ve chosen some of them to share with you. First, from his son, Rob Reiner.

Brooks called his best friend “a giant, unmatched in his contributions to entertainment.”

Director and actor Ron Howard wrote, “RIP Carl Reiner – A brilliant comedy talent w/heart & intellect whether writing, directing, producing or performing. Try estimating how many times in your life this fella’s work made you laugh. I count well over 3k for me & growing. Thank you, Carl.”

In a lengthy post, Jerry Seinfeld wrote, in part, “Anyone in comedy who got to know or even just meet Carl Reiner felt that they had been given a great gift.

“When we shot the first episodes of my series, Carl came to visit. When he said, ‘This is the same stage where we made The Dick Van Dyke Show!’ I felt the stars lining up.

“We lost an angel today.”

Reiner was born March 20, 1922, in the Bronx. He and Brooks famously teamed for the comedy sketch, The 2000 Year Old Man, with Reiner as the straight man interviewing the historic subject. The routine was popular on stand-up and recordings with Brooks providing such zingers as “I have over 1500 children and not one of them ever comes to visit!”

Watch them reprise the routine on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Reiner’s work on the sketch comedy program Caesar’s Hour inspired him to create The Dick Van Dyke Show, a ratings smash for CBS during its 1961-66 run. Reiner himself earned five Emmy Awards for the program, which included Outstanding Comedy Series. The creator, producer and regular writer for the series also appeared as the fictitious host of the show within the show, The Alan Brady Show.

Reiner directed Steve Martin in the 1979 film, The Jerk. Martin wrote, “Goodbye to my greatest mentor in movies and in life. Thank you, dear Carl.”

On June 27, Reiner wrote a thoughtful tweet about what was most important to him.

And on the day he passed, he left us with one last swipe…

Related: Those we lost in 2020

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