Mel Brooks Pays Tribute to Comedy Partner and Best Friend Carl Reiner

By: Jun. 30, 2020
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It was reported today that comedy legend and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" creator Carl Reiner has passed away at 98.

This afternoon, Reiner's longtime best friend and comedy partner, the great Mel Brooks, paid tribute to his late friend in a tweet, writing, "Carl was a giant, unmatched in his contributions to entertainment. He created comedy gems like 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' 'The Jerk' and 'Where's Poppa?' I met him in 1950 when he joined Sid Caesar on 'Your Show of Shows' and we've been best friends ever since. I loved him."

He continued, "Whether he wrote or performed or he was just your best friend - nobody could do it better. He'll be greatly missed. A tired cliché in times like this, but in Carl Reiner's case it's absolutely true. He will be greatly missed."

Read Mel's full tribute here:

Born in the Bronx, Reiner graduated from high school at 16 and worked as a machinist while studying acting. He entered the Army during WWII and he toured South Pacific bases in G.I. revues.

After the war, he landed a part in G.I. revue "Call Me Mister" and in 1948 appeared in the Broadway musical revue "Inside U.S.A.," starring Beatrice Lillie and Jack Haley.

Producer-director Max Liebman, cast him in the 1950 Broadway show "Alive and Kicking," and later Liebman hired Reiner as the emcee and a performer on NBC's comedy/variety program "Your Show of Shows."

Also on Broadway, he wrote and directed the farce "Something Different," which ran in 1967-68; helmed "Tough to Get Help" in 1972; wrote the book for the musical "So Long, 174th Street," in 1976; and directed "The Roast" in 1980.

Reiner won nine Emmy awards, including five for "The Dick Van Dyke Show." And he directed films like "Oh God," starring George Burns; "The Jerk," with Steve Martin; and "All of Me," with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin.

He first came to prominence as a regular cast member of Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows," for which he won two Emmys in 1956 and 1957 in the supporting category.

In 1961 Reiner created and produced "The Dick Van Dyke Show." The show won Emmys for writing its first three years and for producing its last two.

The last film Reiner directed was the 1997 romantic comedy "That Old Feeling," starring Bette Midler and Dennis Farina.

Reiner had many guest roles on television and in supporting roles in films since the 1990s, including "Frasier," "Mad About You," "Ally McBeal," "Boston Legal," "House," "Two and a Half Men", "Hot in Cleveland," "Family Guy," "American Dad," "King of the Hill," and "Bob's Burgers.

In film, he made appearances in 1990's "The Spirit of '76," directed by his son Lucas; "Slums of Beverly Hills" (1998); and all three films in the "Ocean's Eleven" series.

In 1995 Reiner received the Writers Guild's Laurel Award, a lifetime achievement award for a career in TV writing. In 2000 he won THE Mark Twain PRIZE for Humor and in 2009 he was presented with the WGA's Valentine Davies Award.

Carl Reiner is survived by his children, Rob, Sylvia Anne and Lucas.

Photo Credit: Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging