Carl Reiner Appreciation: A Comic Straight Man Who Knew When to Get Crooked

Steve Pond

Of all the accomplishments Carl Reiner had over his 70-year career in the entertainment industry, the most impressive thing I ever saw him do had nothing to do with writing “Your Show of Shows” or recording the “2000 Year Old Man” records with Mel Brooks or creating “The Dick Van Dyke Show” or directing “All of Me” or even acting in “Gidget Goes Hawaiian.” All of those things were consequential, of course, and so was much, much more in Reiner’s titanic comedy career. But the one that got me came about a decade ago, when Reiner took the stage of a Century City hotel ballroom to host the Directors Guild Awards. He did this for the DGA almost every year for three decades, controlling the show with offhand charm that made everything sound as if it were coming off the top of his head. Those shows were never short or succinct, but with Reiner in charge you didn’t really care. (When Kelsey Grammer took over in 2012 after a particularly long, tribute-studded show the previous year, his opening line was, “The only reason Carl Reiner isn’t hosting this year’s awards is that he’s still hosting last year’s awards.”) Also Read:...

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