His signature achievement, nonetheless, stays “The Dick Van Dyke Present,” the pioneering comedy sequence that accounted for a lot of of Reiner’s dozen Emmys, and due to reruns, retrospectives and the occasional primetime particular, by no means appears to go away.
The assorted tales concerning the present — which premiered in 1961 — have been advised by the many years, however Reiner’s demise, on the age of 98, is sufficient purpose to have a good time and retell them over again. How Reiner, for starters, was alleged to star within the sequence — a pilot was shot — earlier than they opted to solid Van Dyke, with Reiner shifting into the occasional position of his mercurial boss, Alan Brady.
Drawing from Reiner’s experiences with Caesar, Van Dyke performed Rob Petrie, the top author on a Brady’s comedy present. The tales oscillated between Rob’s life at work and at residence, discovering comedy gold in each venues.
The sequence additionally launched the profession of Mary Tyler Moore, enjoying Rob’s spouse Laura. As Reiner all the time advised it, he had auditioned quite a few actresses — and was starting to despair about discovering the precise one — when Moore got here in and started studying.
“I made my hand like a claw like within the machines on the carnival that get sweet out of the issues, and I went throughout the room, I went to her head, and I grabbed the highest of her head and mentioned, ‘Include me,'” Reiner recalled on Conan O’Brien’s present a number of years in the past. He then walked her down the corridor to producer Sheldon Leonard, exclaiming, “I discovered her!”
Greater than 150 episodes adopted, together with plenty of memorable classics. Highlights included Rob convincing himself that that they had introduced the flawed child residence from the hospital, Laura imprudently saying to the world that Brady wore a toupee, and the couple’s son, Richie, discovering the origins of his uncommon center title, Rosebud.
Reiner has mentioned he consciously averted topical references in writing the present, one purpose it has proved so timeless. In a 2003 interview, he recalled balking at producing a sixth season regardless of being supplied some huge cash to proceed. “We knew we had began to repeat ourselves, and once you get to that, it is time to cease,” he mentioned.
“The Dick Van Dyke Present” might need stopped, however Reiner by no means did. Citing exercise as a key to longevity, he turned the oldest Emmy nominee ever in 2018, for the HBO documentary “If You are Not within the Obit, Eat Breakfast,” about folks remaining important into their 90s and past.”If you cannot snort,” Reiner says within the documentary, “life could be fairly empty.”
By that measure, Reiner spent his life making everybody else’s a bit fuller.