People who wonder whether Shakespeare could have actually written all his plays have never met Carl Reiner. Both men prove that all the world's a stage and one lifetime is long enough for unlimited encores.
Born in 1922, Carl Reiner has enjoyed a career as an actor, writer, director, comedian, novelist, screenwriter and recording artist. He started out doing stand-up comedy and is still remembered for the classic 1960s comedy routine "The 2,000-Year-Old Man" with Mel Brooks. He was one of the stars of Your Show of Shows, the Saturday Night Live of its era -- a 90-minute, live comedy sketch-variety show broadcast during prime time on Saturday nights. Working with Sid Caesar inspired him to create The Dick Van Dyke Show. Reiner originally wanted the Rob Petrie role, casting himself in the failed summer 1960 pilot called Head of the Family. Reiner didnt lose his head but rolled with the punches by completely revamping the show, casting Dick Van Dyke in the title role. The resulting series ran from 1961 to 1966, and won seven Emmy Awards.
Throughout Your Show of Shows, Reiner wore a toupee, but abandoned it for his rare appearances on Dick Van Dyke. He also worked with Van Dyke on The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971-1974). Reiner resigned when CBS refused to air an episode portraying 9-year-old daughter Annie walking in on her parents Dick and Jenny while they are apparently making love. Unlike Rob and Laura Petrie, Dick and Jenny slept in a double bed. Although the offending episode never aired, it does turn up in syndication. Reiner also directed the hit movies Oh God! and The Jerk. In the short-lived comedy series Good Heavens (1976), the modern-day Shakespeare played Mr. Angel, a business-suited kindly angel who grants characters one wish, as long as it is not money. Viewers must have wondered -- what kind of wish is that -- because they didnt buy it.
Reiner continues to work as an actor, appearing in movies, Oceans Eleven (2001), Twelve (2004) and Thirteen (2007) as well at TV roles on Boston Legal (2005), House (2008) and Two and a Half Men (2009).
Show business is all in the family, it might be added -- Carl Reiner's son Rob is also a successful comic actor, writer and director.
A distinctive talent with a distinctive crumple -- that's Alan Brady. When Brady doesn't like a sketch submitted by his writing staff, he mangles the paper into a shape that's instantly recognizable to gag man Buddy Sorrell.
The Alan Brady Show airs at 8:30 pm opposite CBS' Yancy Derringer. As any showbiz vet could tell you, life in the world of television isn't all fun and games. Not only are Alan's writers stressed out -- Alan himself can't make ends meet with his show alone. Ever resourceful, he has come up with a few business deals to fuel his show monetarily. Ishmoto Motorcycle pays Head Writer Rob Petrie's salary. The rest of the editorial staff was originally paid by Tam-o-Shanter, Ltd., which made Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis coloring books. Now Alan's mother-in-law's company-Barracuda Ltd., pays their bills. The show's band, meanwhile, is funded by Alan's wife's company, Brady Lady. But the biggest overall sponsor is Henry Burmont.
Thanks to a brilliant creative team and lots of generous patrons, Alan manages to keep his show on the air and maintain an apartment at Temple Towers on East 61st Street in Manhattan.