Carl Reiner, Legendary Comedian, Dies at 98

Carl Reiner
(Image credit: Weigel Broadcasting)

Comedy legend Carl Reiner died Monday night at his home in Beverly Hills.

Reiner worked with Sid Caesar on some of TV’s earliest hits and later created The Dick Van Dyke Show, playing the egotistical host of the fictional TV show Van Dyke's character wrote jokes for.

He was also the father of Rob Reiner, who starred on All in the Family and became a decorated filmmaker.

During his long career, Carl Reiner won nine Emmys, one Grammy and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

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Born in The Bronx to immigrant parents, Reiner was drafted into the Army Air Forces during World War II. After the war, he appeared in Broadway musicals and then joined Sid Ceasar’s Your Show of Shows, appearing in skits and writing with legends Mel Brooks and Neil Simon. 

Reiner and Brooks worked as a duo and created the 2000 Year Old Man. One of their albums doing the act won a Grammy. 

He later developed a television pilot that eventually became The Dick Van Dyke Show, starring Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Reiner appeared in the show as vain but good-hearted comedy show host Alan Brady. The series ran from 1961 to 1966.

Tributes have poured out onto social media, including from Dick Van Dyke, Alan Alda, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Jamie Lee Curtis, Conan O'Brien (above), Stephen Colbert ("The Greatest,") and, of course, Rob Reiner.

Weigel Broadcasting retro services MeTV Network and Decades Network announced tribute schedules of Reiner-related programming. Weigel’s vice chairman Neal Sabin said: "Multi-talented, creative genius, patriot and world class citizen. Words often used or over used to describe those we have lost. In the case of Carl Reiner, they barely cover his contributions, talents and character. He will live on in the words and deeds of his life."

A lifelong Democrat, in recent years Reiner would take to Twitter to endorse Bernie Sanders and complain about Donald Trump. Three days ago, Reiner tweeted about his life and his love for his family.

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Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.