One of the true kings of comedy has left us
June 30, 2020 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Carl Reiner dead at 98, natural causes. Carl Reiner, the quintessential straight man for Sid Caesar and Mel Brooks who based the beloved sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show on his own life and jump-started Steve Martin’s big-screen career, has died, his assistant Judy Nagy confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 98. The influential writer, director, actor, author and 12-time Emmy Award winner died Monday night at his Beverly Hills home of natural causes, Nagy said. Son Rob Reiner, the actor, writer, director and Oscar-nominated producer, said in a tweet Tuesday morning: "Last night my dad passed away. As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light."
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (108 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
.
posted by jquinby at 7:45 AM on June 30


.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:46 AM on June 30


.
posted by Songdog at 7:47 AM on June 30


.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:47 AM on June 30


.

(also my near-immediate reaction was "oh no, poor Mel")
posted by nonasuch at 7:49 AM on June 30 [37 favorites]


.
posted by Windopaene at 7:52 AM on June 30


.
posted by SansPoint at 7:52 AM on June 30


.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:53 AM on June 30


Comedy genius and all-around mensch.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:53 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


.
posted by bondcliff at 7:54 AM on June 30


Here's a lovely interview in the Guardian, Feb 2020, Reiner with Mel Brooks as they get together every night to watch Jeopardy.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:59 AM on June 30 [29 favorites]


.

A life well lived.
posted by jb at 7:59 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


.
posted by cmfletcher at 8:01 AM on June 30


. Such a legacy. The man's influence on American comedy is hard to overstate.
posted by octothorpe at 8:03 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I fear Mel Brooks won't be far behind. The bromance between Mel and Carl was legendary and they were basically life companions for the past many years.

Carl's influence on everything comedy (including the works created by his son) cannot be overstated. A giant in American comedy, and thank the Universe for his contributions toward communal laughter here.

.
posted by hippybear at 8:05 AM on June 30 [18 favorites]


“REINEMACHEFRAU!!”
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:06 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:09 AM on June 30


🎭
posted by adamrice at 8:10 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


.

I really miss the Alan Brady Show.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:11 AM on June 30 [9 favorites]


.
posted by me3dia at 8:12 AM on June 30


I remember he was the go-to last minute sub on the Johnny Carson show when guests cancelled, and he was always delightful.
posted by thelonius at 8:16 AM on June 30


.
posted by blob at 8:17 AM on June 30


.
posted by allthinky at 8:23 AM on June 30


.
posted by Melismata at 8:24 AM on June 30


.
posted by MythMaker at 8:26 AM on June 30


.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:28 AM on June 30


The day after Mel's birthday.
.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:30 AM on June 30 [5 favorites]


As a kid, I wore out the grooves on a copy of one of the early Two Thousand Year Old Man albums. At the time, I thought of Carl Reiner as a better straight man than a comedian, but his comedy chops are legendary.

A true mensch. He'll be missed, and he'll live on in his works.
posted by hanov3r at 8:32 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


.
posted by lalochezia at 8:35 AM on June 30


.
posted by Carillon at 8:37 AM on June 30


.

I fear Mel Brooks won't be far behind. The bromance between Mel and Carl was legendary and they were basically life companions for the past many years.

My second thought on reading this news. If you've never seen the episode of Seinfeld's Comedians Getting Coffee with Mel Brooks, please treat yourself--it's the only episode of that show I recommend, but it's delightful and features Jerry and Mel ending up at Mel's house for dinner, because Carl was coming over and they wanted Jerry to hang out. Brooks and Reiner, having both outlived their much-loved spouses, ate dinner and watched a movie together every night for years. Such a deep friendship and professional collaboration between those two, for decades...it's really inspiring, and I worry about Brooks now. Living that long, with good health and sound mind, is amazing and a gift, but it must also be so, so hard to spend years at the end of your life, with death gradually taking away the people who matter to you. (Like Martin's comment to Indy when they look at a photo of his deceased father, in that one good scene in the fourth Indiana Jones movie: 'it seems we've reached the age where life stops giving things to you, and starts taking them away.')

Carl Reiner's influence on comedy is so vast and deep it's hard to quantify. A few choice bits of his writing:

Dr Hfuhruhurr Meets Ann Uumellmahaye
"If there's anything wrong with my feelings for Dolores, just give me sign"
I couldn't fuck a gorilla
You know how to dial don't you?

RIP, and thank you.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:41 AM on June 30 [32 favorites]


.
posted by Philofacts at 8:44 AM on June 30


Brooks and Reiner, having both outlived their much-loved spouses, ate dinner and watched a movie together every night for years.

These two lions of humor, these legends of laughter, these two of the very few pillars upon whom American comedy rests, had one criterion for which movies to watch: Does someone say "Secure the perimeter!"?

.
posted by Etrigan at 8:47 AM on June 30 [10 favorites]


.
posted by ahimsakid at 8:48 AM on June 30


There's a visual gag from the Dick Van Dyke show where Reiner is in the writer's room and is frustrated and he tears like 4 layers of different toupes off his head becoming increasingly bald and it is a thing that has stuck in my head forever. It's one of the funniest things i've ever seen outside of a Marx Brothers movie.
posted by hippybear at 8:56 AM on June 30 [10 favorites]


.
posted by gauche at 8:58 AM on June 30


.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:02 AM on June 30


.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:10 AM on June 30


.

I read the Guardian interview posted here, published just before the world went to hell. In fact, I posted it on the blue, if I recall.

I will be wearing out my YouTube premium account searching for anything and everything related to both Mel and Carl.

2000 year old man skit from the official Mel Brooks channel.
posted by indianbadger1 at 9:11 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]


.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:12 AM on June 30


Sad news indeed. He was a titan. His talents as a straight man to Brooks and Caesar are mentioned above, but his greatest feature-length straight man bit was The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! where he does this for newcomer Alan Arkin. The scene where he first meets two officers of the Soviet sub that has inadvertently run aground is perfect.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:17 AM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Mel Brooks was trending on Twitter the other day and I freaked out until I realized it saw it was his birthday. He and Carl apparently got together with Annie Reiner and were hanging out wearing Black Lives Matter shirts.

I guess Carl decided to make it to have that last birthday with Mel, and then it was time to go.

.
posted by damayanti at 9:22 AM on June 30 [14 favorites]


I have a couple of years of the old Dick Van Dyke show on DVD including the pilot in which Carl Reiner took the main role. Carl Reiner was very good, but it took both genius and humility to step aside for Dick Van Dyke who was very great.

Being 2000 years old, I am taking this personally.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:29 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]




.
posted by pseudophile at 9:33 AM on June 30


.
posted by Pendragon at 9:34 AM on June 30


.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:36 AM on June 30


.
posted by neon meat dream of an octofish at 9:40 AM on June 30


.
posted by mmascolino at 9:41 AM on June 30


.
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 9:50 AM on June 30


.
"Dear Justice Anthony Kennedy,
I would like to start with congratulatory wishes on your forthcoming 81st birthday.
As someone who has almost a decade and a half on you, I can tell you this: It may well be that the best part of your career has just begun. As a nonagenarian who has just completed the most prolific, productive five years of my life, I feel it incumbent upon me to urge a hearty octogenarian such as yourself not to put your feet up on the ottoman just yet. You have important and fulfilling work ahead of you."
-- Carl Reiner's letter to Justice Kennedy, July 7, 2017
posted by matthewr at 9:57 AM on June 30 [8 favorites]


.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:01 AM on June 30


.
posted by cooker girl at 10:02 AM on June 30


.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:07 AM on June 30


.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 10:21 AM on June 30


.
posted by suetanvil at 10:23 AM on June 30


.
posted by mark k at 10:54 AM on June 30


.
posted by jabo at 11:01 AM on June 30


.
posted by w0mbat at 11:06 AM on June 30


.
posted by sammyo at 11:10 AM on June 30


.
posted by Splunge at 11:17 AM on June 30


.
posted by double bubble at 11:19 AM on June 30


" I saw you at the paddock... before the second race, outside the men's room when I placed my bet. I saw you before you even got up this morning."
posted by praemunire at 11:24 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Oh, no!

Long before I knew he was Rob Reiner's dad, I'd cracked up at his vain variety show host on Dick Van Dyke Show reruns. He was so funny.

Poor Mel! What will he do now?

🎭
posted by droplet at 11:26 AM on June 30


.
posted by The Bellman at 11:32 AM on June 30


.
posted by oneironaut at 11:47 AM on June 30


Marc Maron did interviews with both Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner and they are a gem. (Brooks, a goddamn master, uses the opportunity to set up a callback he does WEEKS later, it's amazing).

Such a genius, and saw entire industries grow in his lifetime. He will be missed.

.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:52 AM on June 30 [12 favorites]


.
posted by key_of_z at 12:19 PM on June 30


.
posted by joedan at 12:30 PM on June 30


"Sorry, I'm a butler, not a catcher."

Which doesn't include my favorite bit just previous:
Butler: Who shall I say is calling?
Rigby Reardon: Rigby Reardon, tell her I've been shot.
Butler: Very good, sir. May I tell her by whom?
“REINEMACHEFRAU!!”

"It means, she could be my cleaning woman."
How to pronounce Reinemachefrau in German is surprisingly hypnotic and soothing.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:42 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


.
posted by cazoo at 1:05 PM on June 30


.
posted by jadepearl at 1:05 PM on June 30


For anyone who has Disney+, watch "Forky Asks a Question: What is Love?" Probably one of Carl and Mel's last collaborations, with Carol Burnett and Betty White to boot. Always hilarious. I am not sure how much of it was scripted, and how much of it was them just riffing.

.
posted by Badgermann at 1:09 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


.
posted by haiku warrior at 1:32 PM on June 30


Forgive my favorite memory but I can't find a link for it...

(Rob with Laura in Alan Brady's office and in trouble for something Laura did. Might be at the end of the Bald Apology scene linked above where she's about to get the whatfer)
Alan: "Laura.."
Rob interrupts: "Hey now anything you can say to my wife you can say to me."
Alan (turning to Rob): "Fine. Rob, you're a lovely girl, but..."

.
posted by hal9k at 1:39 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Saluting one of the great ones, exit stage left.

.
posted by Lynsey at 1:53 PM on June 30


What a career.

I guess Mel could hang out with Donald Fagen now.
posted by hototogisu at 2:12 PM on June 30


.
posted by riverlife at 2:14 PM on June 30


.
posted by djseafood at 2:16 PM on June 30


.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 2:32 PM on June 30




RIP... He was a hero... Active until his death.... Will be missed.... Forky Asks a Question, What Is Love episode was his last piece of work in 2019...
posted by zhorakiev at 3:34 PM on June 30


.
posted by bluecore at 3:47 PM on June 30


That story about Beef Stroganoff mentioned above is wonderful.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:05 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Can we please stop writing "RIP" when Jewish people die?

May his memory be a blessing.

.
posted by tzikeh at 4:12 PM on June 30 [13 favorites]


.
posted by wanderingmind at 4:21 PM on June 30


.
posted by Kattullus at 4:24 PM on June 30


.
posted by PlusDistance at 4:32 PM on June 30


.
posted by queensissy at 4:47 PM on June 30


I've always seen the . as a bit like a pebble laid on a grave. So,

.
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:23 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Nthing the Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episode with Carl and Mel. It's in the second season and is so sweet and funny and heartwarming to see those two old funny guys hanging out like they always do.

Thanks for all the laughs.

.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:25 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


That episode is on Netflix if you have that particular service.
posted by hippybear at 5:29 PM on June 30


.
posted by condour75 at 5:44 PM on June 30


I love it when someone who deserves it enjoys a good, long run.

.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:21 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


.
posted by Ranucci at 7:16 PM on June 30


One of my favorite comedy specials I've ever seen was called "Carol, Carl, Whoopi & Robin." It starred exactly who you might think: Carol Burnett, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams, all on a plain stage doing sketch and improv comedy. Carl and Robin did this madcap Shakespearean-inspired scene together which was ... utterly indescribable.
posted by metabaroque at 7:21 PM on June 30 [6 favorites]


.
posted by anadem at 9:18 PM on June 30


.
posted by gudrun at 9:20 PM on June 30


.
posted by Ickster at 9:27 PM on June 30


.
posted by evilDoug at 9:27 PM on June 30


.
posted by bryon at 10:11 PM on June 30


.
posted by Pouteria at 10:48 PM on June 30


.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:00 AM on July 1


.
posted by filtergik at 4:12 AM on July 1




Mel Brooks shared this about his friend.

You can tell how absolutely shattered he is by the lack of a joke in that statement.
posted by Etrigan at 10:47 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Archer25 at 4:44 PM on July 1


.
posted by detachd at 9:57 AM on July 2


« Older Zooming Out   |   The evolutionary origins of the cat attractant... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.