We lost a comedic genius yesterday who passed away at the age of 98 years old. Carl Reiner was truly one of the pioneers of comedic entertainment coming up through the golden age of television and spreading his wings and flying with some of the absolute funniest feature films ever made.
Carl Reiner’s genius was that he wrote about the every man who he considered to be his peer and as a result, he was always able to find the truth in any situation and exploit that to its absolute greatest comedic advantage. I won’t belabor the point by listing all of the incredibly successful projects that he has been part of in this text message but I highly encourage you to look him up on IMDb if you are so inclined.
Carl was both a great humanitarian and family man and his son Rob went on to direct some of my favorite feature films of all time and to stand up for things that were morally objectionable when circumstances dictated he do so.
When Carl Reiner was asked what was the secret of his success, he replied “It’s like a bird. If he knew what he was doing, he would fall.”
But he also said, “If you write, right about what you do and who you are and you can’t be wrong. Don’t lie about anything. You are very similar to everybody else in the world. You love, you hate, you have friends, you have enemies, be who you are.“
Specific to this particular quote above, I treasure his thoughts because as creative entertainers, we are always trying to find the winning formula in an industry that wants desperately to knock us down, deflate our ego, and make us feel valueless. But the true artist is the one who has the vision that exceeds the limited focal point of those who stand between the artist and the opportunity to have the artist’s vision come to life.
In that regard, knowing that his first pass at what would become one of the most successful comedy television shows ever was rejected, only reinforces for all of us the necessity to believe in the fire in one’s belly and to trust your deeper instincts when you know you are on the right track.
Here’s to Carl Reiner, a life well lived and hundreds and hundreds of millions of laughs created.
“The ashtray, the paddleball game and these matches… and that’s all I need!”❤️❤️❤️ …and this chair. That’s all I need!”
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What is your favorite project that Carl Reiner was part of?
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Even failures can turn into something positive if you just keep on going. I wrote a television pilot called, “Head of Family.” CBS didn’t want it. It was considered a failure but we reworked it. A year later it became “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” – Carl Reiner