Carl Reiner: Keeping Busy Keeps You Going


Turning 97 in March, Carl Reiner shows no sign of slowing down. “I wake up with ideas!” the veteran actor, writer, director, and producer said from Los Angeles.

The Dick Van Dyke Show

One of those ideas was to colorize episodes of his crown television jewel, “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”  Two color episodes were produced in 2017 and last year Reiner selected a couple more favorites, with plots loosely based on his family’s experience, which aired on CBS over the holiday season.

“I’ve done a lot in my life but have to say that show is what I’m most proud of,” said Reiner. “We couldn’t afford to shoot it originally in color and make a profit, but I’m so pleased with the colorized episodes – they look fantastic.”

In “Where Did I Come From?” young Richie (Larry Matthews) questions his parents about his birth, much like Reiner’s own children did, while in “Never Bathe on Saturday” Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) gets stuck in a hotel bathtub, ruining a vacation for hubby Rob (Dick Van Dyke).

“I wrote that based on the time my wife and I were away, and she noticed the faucet dripping while taking a bath and wanted to get a plumber,” Reiner recalled.

Reiner says it was important to produce colorized versions close to the originals.

“Luckily some enterprising photographers were on hand during the original filming and took color photos of the set and actors,” he noted. “So some colors are very accurate, like the rooms. Colorization has come a long way and I wish we could do all 158 episodes, but it’s very expensive.”

Carl Reiner front-left with George Shapiro, Mel Brooks, and Norman Lear, who appear in “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.” Courtesy of HBO

Reiner’s 2017 HBO documentary “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast” was also recently released on DVD in which he narrates a series of interviews with active nonagenarians.

“In my opening section, I’m reading the newspaper obituary section and remark if I’m not in it, I’ll have breakfast,” he said.

“They thought that would make a good title.”

The documentary features 90+ year-old guests still active in areas such as sports, fashion, music, comedy, and acting such as Dick Van Dyke, Kirk Douglas, and Reiner’s long-time cohort in comedy Mel Brooks. “Truly a collection of remarkable people,” said Reiner.

But of all the people Reiner has known, he has the highest praise for his late wife Estelle to whom he was married for 65 years.

“While you do live in your memories as you get older and especially after losing a spouse, if you’ve had a good marriage it sustains you,” he said. “She was perhaps the most extraordinary woman I ever met and could do everything better than anyone else. I think about her every night I go to bed, so she’s still alive in me, no question.”

A prominent comedy writer throughout his career, Reiner also continues to work on new book projects this year.

“If you have something to do every day, you’ll hang around,” he said.

 

About the Author

Check out the latest issue of our online magazine!

More for You

Dining & Drinks

Carbs Are Not Bad – Just Misunderstood

Useful tips for the 50+ gen and everyone else Carbohydrates aren’t bad guys. They are, however, one of the six required nutrients broken down to give the body energy. How many people do you know …

Read More
Topics & Perspectives

Tuesday’s Child is Full of Grace

It is a joyous occasion to welcome a new baby into the world. This tiny creation cannot be loved any more than at this moment.  Ten fingers, ten toes, tiny movements, all magically created by …

Read More
Money & Retirement

Retiring? What’s Your Escape Plan?

A prisoner’s dream is to break out of prison and escape to freedom! And guess what? 60% are found within the first 24 hours.  80% are found within the first week What keeps their dream …

Read More
error: Content is protected !!