Comedy legend Carl Reiner died Monday, June 29, at age 98 in his Beverly Hills home. He was the creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” star of pioneering TV variety shows “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour,” comedy partner of Mel Brooks on stage and recordings and director of many films, including several early Steve Martin movies (“The Jerk,” “All of Me” and more). He was the father of Emmy-winning actor and director Rob Reiner, plus daughter Sylvia Anne and son Lucas.
Gold Derby interviewed the icon two summers ago (watch our funny 20-minute video chat above). At 96 years old, Reiner had become the oldest Emmy nominee in history for narrating the HBO documentary “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast,” which he also stars in. It’s not a bad record to break, especially considering, as he revealed, the film “fell into my lap accidentally.”
The idea began with Reiner’s nephew, talent agent and “Seinfeld” producer George Shapiro, who wanted to shine a light on people who have remained active well into their 90s and beyond. “He went around and found marathon runners who were running in their 100s,” Reiner explained. “I had mentioned the fact that I get up in the morning and I read the newspapers, and if I’m not in the obituary, I’ll have breakfast. Somebody thought that was a very good title,” and the TV legend became the film’s host.
Among the vital nonagenarians interviewed included fellow icons Brooks, Dick Van Dyke, Norman Lear, Betty White, Tony Bennett, Stan Lee and Kirk Douglas. “I’ve been an emcee almost from the day I was a kid,” said Reiner. All his life he’s enjoyed being a man “who points people to things they might enjoy,” and he took this film as an opportunity to do that.
Reiner won nine Emmys in his lengthy career: two for “Caesar’s Hour” (Best TV Supporting Actor in 1957 and 1958), five for “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (Best Comedy Writing from 1962-1964; Best Series in 1965 and 1966), one for “The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special” (Best Variety Writing in 1967) and most recently one for “Mad About You” (Best Comedy Guest Actor in 1995). He was a Grammy winner along with Brooks for “The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000.” In our interview, we also discuss his induction into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1999 and being honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in 2000.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before the nominees are announced on July 28. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.