Carl Reiner

BirthDay:

20 Mar 1922

BirthPlace:

The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA

Bio:

Carl Reiner is a legend of American comedy, having achieved great success as a comic actor, a director, producer and recording artist. He has won nine Emmy Awards, three as an actor, three as a writer and two as a producer. He also won a Grammy Award for his "2,000 Year Old Man" album, based on his comedy routine with Mel Brooks.

Reiner was born in The Bronx, to Bessie (Mathias) and Irving Reiner, a watchmaker. His father was an Austrian Jewish immigrant and his mother was a Romanian Jewish immigrant. At the age of sixteen, while working as a sewing machine repairman, he attended a dramatic workshop sponsored by the Works Progress Administration. The direction of his life was set.

In the 1970s, some sources claimed that Reiner made his movie debut in New Faces of 1937 (1937), but that is unlikely as he would have only been 15-years-old at the time. (Interesting, that movie shares the same plot as his erstwhile partner Mel Brooks' 1968 classic, The Producers (1967), with a crooked producer planning to fleece his "angels" by producing a flop and absconding with the money). He didn't appear on screen, silver or small, until he made his TV debut in 1948 in the short-lived TV series, The Fashion Story (1948), then became a regular, the following year, on _"The Fifty-Fourth Street Revue" (1949), another TV series with a brief life.

Reiner made his Broadway debut in 1949 in the musical "Inside U.S.A.", a hit that ran for 399 performances. His next Broadway show, the 1950 musical revue, "Alive and Kicking", was a flop, lasting just 43 performances. Max Liebman, the producer/director/writer/composer, had been called in to provide additional material after the show's troubled six week out-of-town preview in Boston. It didn't help -- the show closed after six weeks on Broadway -- but an important contact had been made.

Leibman was a producer-director on Your Show of Shows (1950), one of the great TV series, and he hired Reiner to appear on the show in the middle of its first season. Reiner's first gig on the revue-like show was interviewing "The Professor", a character played by Sid Caesar. He became central to the comedy portions of the show and, in 1953, he racked up the first of six Emmy nominations for acting. (In all, he was nominated for an Emmy Award a total of 13 times). When, in 1954, "Your Show of Shows" was split up by the network into its constituent parts, Reiner continued on with Sid in Caesar's Hour (1954). (Imogene Coca was given her own show, which lasted one season, and Leibman was allowed to produced specials).

"Your Show or Shows" had been a Broadway-style revue, featuring skits such as dancing (including a young Bob Fosse) whereas "Caesar's Hour" was pure comedy. "Your Show of Shows" had had a great cast, another other than Coca, most of the cast, including Reiner, Howard Morris, and Nanette Fabray (who went on to win an Emmy) moved over to "Caesar's Hour". In his three seasons on the show, he was nominated three more times for a Best Supporting Actor Emmy, winning twice in 1957 and 1958. But it was its stable of comedy writers that was essential to the great success of both "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour". In addition to Mel Brooks, the writing staff included Neil Simon, his brother Danny Simon, Larry Gelbart and Mel Tolkin. (There are rumors that the young Woody Allen served as the writing staff's typist).

Reiner had sat in informally with the writers during "Your Show of Shows", but he began writing formally for "Caesar's Hour", having learned his craft from all of the other writers. As a self-described uncredited "writer without portfolio", he was able to leave writers' meetings at 6 PM, if he wanted to. This gave him the time to work on a semi-autobiographical novel. Published in 1958, Enter Laughing (1967) is about a young man in 1930s New York trying to make it in show business. It was transformed into a play and, eventually, adapted into a movie in 1967, and a musical, many years later.

In 1959, he created the pilot for a TV series, "Man of the House", in which he would play a writer, "Rob Petrie", who balanced his family life with the demands of working as a writer for a comedy show headlined by an egotistical comedic genius modeled after Sid Caesar (a "benign despot" who lacked social skills, according to Reiner). The series was rooted in his experience on "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour". The network didn't pick up the pilot at first, as CBS executives claimed the main character, which was clearly autobiographical on Reiner's part, was too New York, too Jewish and too intellectual. In 1960, Reiner teamed up with Mel Brooks on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show (1956), and their routine "The 2000 Year Old Man" was a huge success. Reiner played the straight man to Brooks in the routine, which was spun-off into five comedy albums, bringing them a Grammy Award. They also made an animated TV special based on their shtick in 1975.

Though CBS turned down "Man of the House", with the two-time Emmy-winning comedian Reiner as the lead, it was still interested in the series. However, they wanted a WASP in the role of "Rob Petrie" to ensure the broad appeal of the show, and the casting of the protagonist came down to Johnny Carson and Dick Van Dyke. Carson was a game show host of no great note at the time, but Van Dyke was in the smash Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie (1963), for which he won a Tony Award. He got the part and another chapter of TV history was made, when Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam all were cast in leading roles. Reiner, himself, would eventually play the role of "Alan Brady", the abrasive Sid Caesar-like comic convinced of his own genius, in the last few seasons of the series' five-year run.

Another milestone in TV comedy, The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961), brought Reiner five more Emmies, three for writing and two as the producer of the series. In 1966, Reiner and the other principals, including executive producer Sheldon Leonard and Dick Van Dyke, decided to end the series at the height of its popularity and critical acclaim. (The show won Emmies as best show and best comedy in 1965 and 1966, respectively). Twenty-nine years after the show was ended, Reiner reprised the role of "Alan Brady" on Mad About You (1992), winning his eighth (and so far, last) Emmy Award, this time as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.

It was on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" that Reiner first became a director. His feature film debut, as a director, was with the film adaptation of the play Joseph Stein had adapted from his 1958 novel, Enter Laughing (1967). His work as a writer-director, with Dick Van Dyke, in creating a Stan Laurel-type character in The Comic (1969) was not a success, but Where's Poppa? (1970) became a cult classic and Oh, God! (1977), with George Burns, and The Jerk (1979), with Steve Martin, were smash hits. The last movie he directed was the 1997 comedy, That Old Feeling (1997).

Reiner's career has continued on into the 21st Century, when most of his contemporaries had retired. He was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2000 and, starting in 2001, he acted in the remake of Ocean's Eleven (2001) and its two sequels. Most recently, he has appeared as a voice artist in the animated series, The Cleveland Show (2009) (he even wrote an episode for the series rooted in his "Your Show of Shows" experience) and has appeared as a regular on the TV series, Hot in Cleveland (2010) (with fellow nonagenarian Betty White), as well as appeared on an episode of Parks and Recreation (2009) in 2012.
Filmography

Actor ( 199 credits )

Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age (2017) Himself
The Last Laugh (2016) Himself
Justice League Action (2016)  The Wizard (1 episode, 2016)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (2015)  Himself (1 episode, 2015)
Shimmer and Shine (2015)  Santa Claus (1 episode, 2015)
Dumbbells (2014) Donald Cummings
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: Single Shot (2014)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014)  Himself (1 episode, 2015)
The Bronx Boys Still Playing at 80 (2013) Himself - Host
The Sixties (2013)  Alan Brady / ... (1 episode, 2014)
Tom Green Live (2013) (1 episode, 2014)
The Arsenio Hall Show (2013)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2014)
The Queen Latifah Show (2013)  Himself (1 episode, 2014)
Stand Up Planet (2013)  Himself
Lunch (2012) Himself
Inside Comedy (2012)  Himself (1 episode, 2012)
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (2012)  Himself (1 episode, 2012)
Welcome to the Basement (2012)  Himself (archive footage) (1 episode, 2013)
Excavating the 2000 Year Old Man (2012) Himself
I Ain't Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac (2011) Himself
The Traveler's Guide to Life (2011)  Himself (1 episode, 2011)
Jake and the Never Land Pirates (2011)  Captain Treasure Tooth (1 episode, 2014)
America in Primetime (2011)  Himself (2 episodes, 2011)
Bob's Burgers (2011)  Henry (1 episode, 2014)
Unscripted (2011) (1 episode, 2013)
Hot in Cleveland (2010)  Max / ... (8 episodes, 2010-2012)
Conan (2010)  Himself (2 episodes, 2013-2014)
The Talk (2010)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2013)
Parks and Recreation (2009)  Ned Jones (1 episode, 2012)
The Cleveland Show (2009)  Murray (4 episodes, 2010-2011)
The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (2009)  Himself (1 episode, 2009)
Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America (2009)  Himself / ... (3 episodes, 2009)
In the House with Peter Bart & Peter Guber (2009) (1 episode, 2010)
Shatner's Raw Nerve (2008)  Himself (1 episode, 2011)
The Penguins of Madagascar (2008)  Santa Claus (1 episode, 2010)
The Bonnie Hunt Show (2008)  Himself (1 episode, 2009)
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (2007) Himself
Ocean's Thirteen (2007) Saul Bloom
Chelsea Lately (2007)  Himself (1 episode, 2009)
The Florence Henderson Show (2007)  Himself (3 episodes, 2009)
The Blue Elephant (2006)
Talkshow with Spike Feresten (2006)  Himself (3 episodes, 2007-2009)
American Dad! (2005)  Mailbox #1 (1 episode, 2011)
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005)  Himself (12 episodes, 2005-2014)
Eye on Entertainment (2005)  Himself (1 episode, 2007)
Ocean's Twelve (2004) Saul Bloom
House M.D. (2004)  Eugene Schwartz (1 episode, 2009)
Boston Legal (2004)  Milton Bombay (1 episode, 2005)
Father of the Pride (2004)  Sarmoti (14 episodes, 2004-2005)
Tavis Smiley (2004)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 2014)
Good Boy! (2003) Shep (voice)
Two and a Half Men (2003)  Marty Pepper (4 episodes, 2009-2014)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003)  Himself (2 episodes, 2006-2013)
Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003)  Himself (4 episodes, 2003-2006)
Real Time with Bill Maher (2003)  Himself (1 episode, 2013)
Life with Bonnie (2002)  Mr. Portinbody (3 episodes, 2002-2003)
Just for Laughs (2002)  Himself (1 episode, 2005)
The Majestic (2001) Studio Executive (voice)
Ocean's Eleven (2001) Saul Bloom
Hail Sid Caesar! The Golden Age of Comedy (2001) Himself
Crossing Jordan (2001)  Harry Macy (1 episode, 2002)
The Bernie Mac Show (2001)  Himself / ... (3 episodes, 2002-2005)
Globehunters (2000) Max (voice)
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000) P.G. Biggershot
Family Law (1999)  Al Lipton (2 episodes, 1999-2000)
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (1999)  Himself (2 episodes, 2004)
Beggars and Choosers (1999)  Sid Barry (1 episode, 1999)
The Martin Short Show (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 1999)
Turn Ben Stein On (1999)  Himself (1 episode, 1999)
Slums of Beverly Hills (1998) Mickey
Hercules (1998)  Prometheus (1 episode, 1998)
King of the Hill (1997)  Garry Kasner / ... (2 episodes, 1997-2000)
Ally McBeal (1997)  Johnson Buck (1 episode, 2002)
The Rosie O'Donnell Show (1996)  Himself (2 episodes, 1997)
Sex, Censorship and the Silver Screen (1996)  Quote Reader (3 episodes, 1996)
E! True Hollywood Story (1996)  Himself (1 episode, 2001)
Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man (1994)  Salacious Priest (1 episode, 1996)
Dennis Miller Live (1994)  Himself (1 episode, 2000)
Bravo Profiles (1994)  Himself (1 episode, 2003)
Fatal Instinct (1993) Judge Ben Arugula
Frasier (1993)  Roger (1 episode, 1993)
Intimate Portrait (1993)  Himself (1 episode, 1998)
Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993)  Himself (2 episodes, 1995-1999)
Mad About You (1992)  Alan Brady (2 episodes, 1995-1996)
The Larry Sanders Show (1992)  Carl Reiner (1 episode, 1997)
HBO First Look (1992)  Himself (2 episodes, 2004-2007)
Charlie Rose (1991)  Himself - Guest (1 episode, 1997)
One on One with John Tesh (1991)  Himself (1 episode, 1991)
Sunday Best (1991)  Himself - Host (3 episodes, 1991)
The Spirit of '76 (1990) Dr. Von Mobil
The Arsenio Hall Show (1989)  Himself (2 episodes, 1989-1990)
The Pat Sajak Show (1989)  Himself (1 episode, 1989)
A Conversation with Dinah (1989)  Himself (1990) (unknown episodes)
In the Mood (1987) Alan Brady, Newsreel Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Summer School (1987) Mr. Dearadorian
Biography (1987)  Himself (3 episodes, 1995-2008)
It's Garry Shandling's Show. (1986)  Himself (2 episodes, 1988-1989)
American Masters (1985)  Himself (4 episodes, 1996-2013)
Cover Story (1984)  Himself (1 episode, 1984)
Jeopardy! (1984)  Himself - Video Clue Presenter (1 episode, 2014)
Showbiz Today (1984)  Himself (1 episode, 1997)
Star Search (1983)  Himself - Introducer (1 episode, 1984)
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) Field Marshall VonKluck
Faerie Tale Theatre (1982)  Geppetto (1 episode, 1984)
The Jerk (1979) Carl Reiner The Celebrity (as Carl Reiner The Celebrity
The End (1978) Dr. James Maneet
America 2-Night (1978) (1 episode, 1978)
The Jim Nabors Show (1978)  Himself (1 episode, 1978)
Oh, God! (1977) Dinah's Guest
3 Girls 3 (1977) (1 episode, 1977)
Van Dyke and Company (1976)  Himself (3 episodes, 1976)
Good Heavens (1976)  Mr. Angel (13 episodes, 1976)
Good Morning America (1975)  Himself (1 episode, 1979)
Dinah! (1974)  Himself (4 episodes, 1975-1976)
Ten from Your Show of Shows (1973)
The Julie Andrews Hour (1972)  Himself (2 episodes, 1972)
Dean Martin Presents: The Bobby Darin Amusement Co. (1972)  Himself (1 episode, 1972)
Great Performances (1971)  Himself (1 episode, 1997)
The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971)  Announcer / ... (3 episodes, 1971-1973)
Flip (1970)  Himself (1 episode, 1971)
The Tim Conway Comedy Hour (1970) (1 episode, 1970)
Generation (1969) Stan Herman
The Comic (1969) Al Schilling
Night Gallery (1969)  Professor Peabody (segment "Professor Peabody's Last L
The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (1969)  Arthur Gravis (1 episode, 1972)
The David Frost Show (1969)  Himself (3 episodes, 1969-1971)
The Movie Game (1969)  Himself (3 episodes, 1970-1971)
Star Spangled Salesman (1968) Himself
A Guide for the Married Man (1967) Technical Adviser (Rance G.)
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967)  Himself - Guest Performer (3 episodes, 1970-1972)
The Carol Burnett Show (1967)  Himself / ... (3 episodes, 1972-1974)
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967)  Himself (3 episodes, 1967-1968)
Good Morning, World (1967)  Himself (1 episode, 1967)
The Joey Bishop Show (1967)  Himself (3 episodes, 1967-1968)
Personality (1967)  Himself (1 episode, 1968)
The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (1966) Walt Whittaker
Alice of Wonderland in Paris (1966) Anatole (voice)
Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title (1966) Bald Bookstore Customer (uncredited)
That Girl (1966)  Himself (1 episode, 1969)
Funny Is Funny (1966) Brutus (voice)
The Art of Love (1965) Rodin
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (1965) Undetermined Cameo Appearance (uncredited) (unconfirmed
The Hollywood Squares (1965)  Himself (4 episodes, 1971-1974)
The Hollywood Palace (1964)  Himself - Comedian (7 episodes, 1964-1967)
The Celebrity Game (1964)  Himself - Host / ... (14 episodes, 1964-1965)
Linus! The Lion Hearted (1964)  Billie Bird (3 episodes, 1964-1965)
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) Tower Controller at Rancho Conejo
The Thrill of It All (1963) German Officer / Cad / Cowboy
Burke's Law (1963)  Binky Fawcett / ... (2 episodes, 1964)
The Judy Garland Show (1963)  Himself (1 episode, 1963)
The Art Linkletter Show (1963)  Regular (Apr - Sept, 1963) (unknown episodes)
The Jerry Lewis Show (1963)  Himself (1 episode, 1963)
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962)  Himself / ... (11 episodes, 1969-1980)
The Merv Griffin Show (1962)  Himself (5 episodes, 1963-1977)
The Andy Williams Show (1962)  Himself (1 episode, 1966)
The Jack Paar Program (1962)  Himself / ... (2 episodes, 1964-1965)
Anatole (1962) Anatole (voice) (uncredited)
Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) Russ Lawrence
The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961)  Alan Brady / ... (31 episodes, 1961-1966)
Password All-Stars (1961)  Himself (10 episodes, 1974)
The New Steve Allen Show (1961)  Himself - Interviewer / ... (3 episodes, 1961)
Here's Hollywood (1960)  Himself (2 episodes, 1960-1962)
The Comedy Spot (1960)  Rob Petrie (1 episode, 1960)
The Violinist (1959) (voice)
The Gazebo (1959) Harlow Edison
Happy Anniversary (1959) Bud
Take a Good Look (1959)  Himself / ... (unknown episodes)
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1958)  George Guthrie (1 episode, 1959)
The Patti Page Oldsmobile Show (1958)  Himself (1 episode, 1958)
Keep Talking (1958)  Himself / ... (unknown episodes)
Sid Caesar Invites You (1958)  Himself (1 episode, 1958)
The Jack Paar Tonight Show (1957)  Himself (4 episodes, 1958-1962)
Playhouse 90 (1956)  Regis (1 episode, 1957)
To Tell the Truth (1956)  Himself - Guest Panelist (1 episode, 1957)
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1956)  Himself / ... (7 episodes, 1959-1960)
The Patrice Munsel Show (1956)  Himself (1 episode, 1957)
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1954)  Himself (1 episode, 1981)
Producers' Showcase (1954)  Himself / ... (1 episode, 1954)
Caesar's Hour (1954)  Various (6 episodes, 1954-1957)
The George Gobel Show (1954)  Himself (2 episodes, 1958-1959)
Droodles (1954)  Himself / ...
Ponds Theater (1953)  Sir Kay (2 episodes, 1954)
This Is Your Life (1952)  Himself (1 episode, 1960)
I've Got a Secret (1952)  Himself - Guest Panelist (2 episodes, 1957)
The Linkletter Show (1952)  Himself (1 episode, 1966)
Campbell Summer Soundstage (1952) (1 episode, 1954)
The Name's the Same (1951)  Himself - Panelist / ... (18 episodes, 1953)
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950)  Hotel Waiter (1 episode, 1955)
Your Show of Shows (1950)  Himself - Regular Performer (139 episodes, 1950-1954)
The Kate Smith Hour (1950) (1 episode, 1950)
The Arthur Murray Party (1950)  Himself (1 episode, 1950)
Cavalcade of Stars (1949)  Himself / ... (uncredited) (1 episode, 1950)
The Fifty-Fourth Street Revue (1949)  Regular (1949-50) (unknown episodes)
Floor Show (1949)  Himself (1950) (unknown episodes)
The Ed Sullivan Show (1948)  Himself (1 episode, 1961)
The Milton Berle Show (1948)  Himself - Comic Performer (1 episode, 1950)
Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (1948)  Himself (1 episode, 1955)
The Fashion Story (1948)
Duck Duck Goose (0) (voice)

Producer ( 7 credits )

Good Heavens (1976) executive producer (13 episodes, 1976)
The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971) producer (5 episodes, 1973-1974)
The Comic (1969) producer
Enter Laughing (1967) producer
Good Morning, World (1967) executive producer (26 episodes, 1967-1968)
The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) producer (148 episodes, 1961-1966)
The Comedy Spot (1960) executive producer (1 episode, 1960)

Writer ( 14 credits )

The Cleveland Show (2009) (1 episode, 2011)
Bert Rigby, You're a Fool (1989) (written by)
The Man with Two Brains (1983) (written by)
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) (written by) &
Lotsa Luck (1973) (creator) (22 episodes, 1973-1974)
The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971) (creator) (72 episodes, 1971-1974)
The Comic (1969) (writer)
Enter Laughing (1967)
Funny Is Funny (1966) (story)
The Thrill of It All (1963) (story) &
The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) (creator) (158 episodes, 1961-1966)
The Comedy Spot (1960) (creator) (1 episode, 1960)
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1956) (8 episodes, 1959-1960)
Caesar's Hour (1954) (4 episodes, 1954-1957)

Director ( 19 credits )

That Old Feeling (1997)
Fatal Instinct (1993)
Sibling Rivalry (1990)
Bert Rigby, You're a Fool (1989)
Summer School (1987)
Summer Rental (1985)
All of Me (1984)
The Man with Two Brains (1983)
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
The Jerk (1979)
The One and Only (1978)
Oh, God! (1977)
Good Heavens (1976) (7 episodes, 1976)
A Touch of Grace (1973) (1 episode, 1973)
The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971) (8 episodes, 1971-1974)
Where's Poppa? (1970)
The Comic (1969)
Enter Laughing (1967)
Good Morning, World (1967) (4 episodes, 1967)