Carl Reiner

  1. Dick Van Dyke, The Dick Van Dyke Show, TV, 1961-1966.    Anatomy of a TV  classic…After the cumbersomely titled pilot, The Comedy Spot: Head of the Family. 1960 the creator (and star) Carl Reiner sat on it for a year, then showed it to producer Sheldon Leonard. ”Has potential,” he opined. “Needs better actors –  including your part.”  So a total reboot, all five main characters were re-cast. (One  or two was the norm,  but five – that was a first for US TV!).  Reiner became the boss, Alan Brady. Barbara Britton’s Laura Petrie became, “ya know, da girl with three names” – Mary Tyler Moore. Dick Van Dyke, Broadway’s latest smash (in Bye Bye Birdie), became Rob Petrie, new head of both familes. At home. And at the the office… derived from the writers’ bullpen at Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, TV, 1950-1954, with Buddy and Brady based on Mel Brooks and Sid Caesar.  And  wherein the writers. Sylvia Miles (remember her 1968 Midnight Cowboy hooker?) and Morty Gunty. were replaced by  Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam. The Petrie’s son, Ritchie, was switched from Gary Morgan to Larry Matthews. The biggest star of them all proved to be… da girl with three names!  Paving the way for two more: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.


“Carl was a giant, unmatched in his contributions to entertainment. He created comedy gems like The Dick Van Dyke ShowThe 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. When we were doing The 2000 Year Old Man together there was no better straight man in the world. So 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. ”  – Mel Brooks

“My idol, Carl Reiner, wrote about the human comedy. He had a deeper understanding of the human condition than I think even he was aware of. Kind, gentle, compassionate, empathetic and wise. His scripts were never just funny, they always had something to say about us.” – Dick Van Dyke

“Anyone in comedy who got to know or even just meet Carl Reiner felt that they had been given a great gift. His comedy energy was one of pure joyfulness. It’s an unusual quality in our world and I have always tried to emulate him that way…  We lost an angel today.” – Jerry Seinfeld

 Birth year: 1922Death year: 2020Other name: Casting Calls:  1