Comedy has long been one of the best ways for people to come together and have a good time. That’s whether you’re at a barbecue hanging on every word of the funniest person there, or if you’re crowded around the TV set getting in some chuckles on one of the late night shows.
Everyone has their favorite comedian that shaped their comedic sensibilities. Whether it’s someone new like Pete Davidson, or someone old like Mary Tyler Moore, there are plenty of legends to choose from, though only the best and funniest stick around for the long haul without fading to obscurity.
Carl Reiner was a huge part of the comedy landscape for most of his life. He has even spawned talented children of his own in the world of comedy. Unfortunately, it is with a heavy heart that I say that Carl Reiner has passed away. He was 98 years old, and the world just got a little less funny.
Carl Reiner was a writer, director, producer and actor. When it comes to comedic talent, he was the total package. He created the legendary The Dick Van Dyke Show for which he won five enemies, after all, as well as directed several hit films. Some of his hit films include George Burns’ “Oh God,” the 1977 Steve Martin classic “The Jerk” and “All of Me” starring Martin and Lily Tomlin. All of these are regarded as comedy classics. In total he has won nine Emmy awards.
On Monday night , he passed away due to natural causes in his Beverly Hills home. This was all confirmed by his assistant, Judy Nagy. He is survived by his son, Rob Reiner, an accomplished director in his own right. On Tuesday morning he tweeted, “Last night my dad passed away. As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.”
Reiner was considered such a continuing legend because he always remained sharp and part of the comedy community. He continued acting in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s in movies, shows, and animation. He voiced characters in American Dad, Family Guy, King of the Hill, and Bob’s Burgers, and was a main feature in the new Oceans Elevens movies. Even for his age, he was surprisingly up to date. In fact, he was active on Twitter up to the last day of his life. One aspect of his Twitter life was his vocal opposition to Donald Trump.
Reiner is part of a lineage of longtime comedic talent like Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, and Kirk Doguglas who were all featured in a documentary on HBO titled “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.” The documentary focused on how they’ve maintained long careers in the industry.
It is amazing that Reiner has continued to prove himself year after year. It was way back in 1995 that he won the Writers Guild’s Laurel Aware for his lifetime in TV writing. Just five years later he would go on to win the Mark Twain Prize for Humor. Even well after those historic awards, he continued to create simply because he loved the work.
He has several memoirs that he authored. “Enter Laughing,” “Continue Laughing,” “My Anecdotal Life,” and “I Remember Me.” How does a person have four memoirs in their lifetime? By living a life like Carl Reiner’s. In one of his books, he leaves us with sage advice, “Inviting people to laugh with you while you are laughing at yourself is a good thing to do. You may be a fool but you’re the fool in charge.”