Unforgettable Carl Reiner 1922-2020
September 18, 2020
This is Peter, the audio video materials librarian. I clearly remember going to see a movie at age 5 with my parents and younger brother at the old Melville 110 Drive-In in our ’62 Chevy station wagon. The movie was a cold war comedy called The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming and starred a TV comedian named Carl Reiner. I was too young to stay up to watch The Dick Van Dyke Show and too young to remember his TV work with Sid Caesar, so this was the first time I ever encountered him on screen, along with his co-star Alan Arkin. Normally, my brother and I would fall asleep in the back of the station wagon half-way through the drive-in movies, but this one was so entertaining that I stayed awake through the entire show. It turned out my Mom was a huge fan and she told me about Reiner’s work on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows in the 50’s. Years later, some of those sketches were compiled as a film and released to theaters and I could finally enjoy this predecessor to Saturday Night Live. Still later, additional episodes were released on video. I began watching the reruns of the Van Dyke show, realizing that it represented the first of the great workplace sitcoms that I enjoyed in the 70’s, such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Barney Miller. My friends and I were fans of Steve Martin, and never missed his movies, the first few of which were directed by Reiner, including The Jerk. Of course, I was also aware that Carl’s son, Rob, played Michael “Meathead” Stivic on All in the Family and became a film director himself. Carl Reiner remained very active on Twitter with daily tweets right up until the day he passed away on June 29 at age 98, and also authored a number of autobiographical books in recent years, including a new one to be published posthumously.
When I was a teen, there was an animated TV special called The 2000 Year Old Man with the characters voiced by Mel Brooks, another favorite of my Mom’s, and Reiner. That was my first exposure to these classic comedy routines and I sought out the numerous record albums the two had made up to that point. I learned that the sketches developed years earlier as improvised bits performed at private parties for friends hosted by the Reiner family during summers spent at Ocean Beach on Fire Island. Most of these albums are available from the Library via the digital service Hoopla, which can be easily accessed on the home page of our website. Downloads are immediate with no waiting time, and are automatically returned after seven days.
The following links will bring you directly to recordings from over 40 years of Carl Reiner with Mel Brooks as the 2000 Year Old Man, available from our Hoopla digital service. Items are available for immediate download, and are automatically returned after 7 days. Please give these timeless comedy classic a listen, and enjoy!
https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/11068427 (2000 Years) https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/11070388 (Live at Cannes) https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/11068705 (2000 and One Years) https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/11068607 (2000 and Thirteen) https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/11068704 (In the Year 2000)
These links will bring you to the complete run of The Dick Van Dyke Show, which was created and written by Carl Reiner, who also played the unforgettable recurring character of Alan Brady:
https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/12180954 (Season 1) https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/12180878 (Season 2) https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/12180912 (Season 3) https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/12180840 (Season 4) https://www.hoopladigital.com/title/12180892 (Season 5)
That Old Feeling, from 1997 and starring Bette Midler, was the last film directed by Carl Reiner:
To sign up for a Hoopla account through the Library, you will need to enter the email and password connected to your library card, select your home library of Lindenhurst from a drop-down list, and enter your library card barcode. Click here for your library account. If your card has expired, you may click here for a temporary Library card while the Library is closed. For any other issues that arise, please email the Library at email@example.com for help.
The following are books written by Carl Reiner, including a couple of novels, available from the Library via our OverDrive digital service. Clicking on each link will bring you directly to the download page for the title which, if not immediately available, may be reserved:
https://livebrary.overdrive.com/media/130904 My Anecdotal Life https://livebrary.overdrive.com/media/453257 How Paul Robeson Saved My Life: And Other Mostly Happy Stories https://livebrary.overdrive.com/media/308547 Enter Laughing https://livebrary.overdrive.com/media/308563 Just Desserts
To sign up for a Live-brary OverDrive account, you will need to select your home library of Lindenhurst from a drop-down list, and enter your library card barcode or username and password. Click here for your library account. If your card has expired, you may click here for a temporary Library card while the Library is closed. For any other issues that arise, please email the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.