Saturday, August 02, 2014
Like Father Like Son: The Reiners
Last night on PBS, Tavis Smiley's guests were Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner. Both of these men have been immensely successful in show business and it was nice to see their mutual admiration for one another. They pointed out how the Reiner family didn't even own a TV in the early days of Carl Reiner's groundbreaking program, "Your Show of Shows" (1950-1954). The show featured Sid Caesar and it had a star-studded lineup of writers including Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Larry Gelbart ("MASH") and more. The show acted as the blueprint for all comedy TV shows that would follow.
Later, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks teamed up to do their comedy skit "The 2000 Year Old Man" and are close friends still to this day. Carl Reiner would eventually create the iconic show "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-1966). By the way, Johnny Carson was considered for the title role before it was given to Van Dyke. Carl also worked as a film director on such classics as "Oh God" with George Burns and several Steve Martin projects including "The Jerk", "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" and "The Man with Two Brains".
Rob Reiner was destined to follow in his dad's footsteps and he had success as an actor and a director. He will always be known for his role as "Meathead" in the classic CBS sitcom "All in the Family" led by the legendary producer Norman Lear. Before that role he had appeared in TV shows such as "That Girl", "Gomer Pyle USMC" and "The Beverly Hillbillies". On the Tavis Smiley interview program, the elder Reiner spoke of his admiration for his son's work, from his TV roles to his film directing jobs on such works as "The Princess Bride" and "This is Spinal Tap". Rob also directed "When Harry Met Sally", "The Bucket List" and "A Few Good Men". The younger Reiner was asked about if it was hard to make it in show biz being the son of a legend. He said it made it easier to get a foot-in-the-door, but once you are in, you better do a good job, or else you will be fired.
*Some information from www.imdb.com.