I just heard that Carl Reiner has died. He was 98 years old and he was one of the funniest men who ever lived.
By creating The Dick Van Dyke Show, Reienr redefined the American sitcom and made writing comedy seem like the most wonderful and rewarding job that someone could hope to have. Not only do you get to be funny 24 hours a day but you also get to marry Laura Petrie. In many ways, Reiner was responsible for a generation of writers flocking to New York City with dreams of writing for Saturday Night Live and Norman Lear.
Reiner was also an actor, a film director, and an always-entertaining talk show guest. For many, he will also be forever known as the man who interviewed the 2000 Year Old Man. In these interviews, Reiner asked questions to a 2000 year old man, who was played by Mel Brooks and who would largely improvise his answers. This was a skit that Reiner and Brooks developed (mostly as an inside joke) while they were both writing for Your Show Of Shows. It went on to become a beloved comedy classic and it is often cited as being the ideal comedy sketch. Though Reiner played the “straight man” in the 200 Year Old Man routine, his contribution was just as important as Brooks’s. Brooks may have gotten the most laughs with his improvised answers but Reiner always instinctively knew the right questions to ask.
Here they are performing it in 1967:
Carl Reiner, R.I.P.