Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Feast of Saint Carl

My Fellow Comedists,

This week saw the feast day of Saint Carl. Carl Reiner turned 89 this week. Reiner was a member of that legendary group of writers for Sid Caeser including Neil Simon, Woody Allen, Larry Gelbart, and, of course, Mel Brooks, who was to become his comic partner.

My favorite Reiner/Brroks story: Mel was always cracking Carl up and one day while the two were on the road in a hotel, Carl Reiner decided he was going to turn the tables. He called over to Mel Brooks and asked him if he'd come over to his room for a minute. Reiner strips naked, stands on the coffee table in the middle of the room with a water pitcher and a bunch of grapes posing as a Greek statue. There's a knock at the door and Reiner tells Brooks to come on in, but it wasn't him -- Mel Brooks had sent over the maid.

The two would go on to do magnificent work, most memorably the 2,000 year old man albums. Reiner thought his Sid Caesar days so funny, that he made it into a sit-com and thus The Dick Van Dyke Show was born.

In the 70s he turned to directing and gave us the classics "Where's Poppa?" and "Oh God." Then he became co-writer and director for Steve Martin's "The Jerk," "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," "The Man with Two Brains," and "All of Me."

Little known Carl Riener fact: he had a straight role in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" -- he was the air traffic controller when Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett were trying to land the plane.

Happy birthday, Carl Reiner.

Live, laugh, and love,

Irreverend Steve