Legendary comedian, actor, writer, and director Carl Reiner has died at age 98. Reiner is best known for performing with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca on the 1950s TV variety program Your Show of Shows and later creating The Dick Van Dyke Show. He also directed George Burns in the classic "Oh God!" (1977), Steve Martin in "The Jerk" (1979) and acted in movies and TV shows like "Ocean's Eleven" (2001), "Parks and Recreation," and "House." From the New York Times:
As part of a stellar supporting cast that also included Imogene Coca and Howard Morris, Mr. Reiner proved his versatility week after week on “Your Show of Shows,” which ran from 1950 to 1954 on NBC and established the template for sketch comedy on television. He played everything from a harried commuter to a frenzied rock ’n’ roller to an unctuous quiz-show host. But he is probably best remembered as an interviewer, solemnly posing questions to a mad professor, a spaced-out jazz musician or some other over-the-top character played by Mr. Caesar, and adding to the humor simply by being serious.
Mr. Reiner contributed behind the scenes as well. He took part in the frenzied writing sessions that shaped the show, bouncing jokes off the walls of the writers’ room with the likes of Mr. Brooks and Neil Simon.
“I became a writer because of that room,” he recalled. “I’d say something and somebody would yell: ‘What do you know? You’re not a writer.’ So I became a writer.”
He characterized his later career moves with similar self-effacing humor in an NPR interview: “I acted like a director. I acted like a producer. I sat in front of a typewriter and acted like a novelist.”
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