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The Schmooze

Celebrities pay tribute to comedic legend Carl Reiner

On June 29, comedic legend Carl Reiner passed away at the age of 98.

The Bronx-born son of Jewish immigrants, Reiner served in the military during WWII and embarked on a long and storied comic career in the postwar era. With fellow jokester Mel Brooks, he formed one half of a hit comedy duo; he also created “The Dick van Dyke Show,” winning five Emmys for his work. In his later years, Reiner wrote novels and cultivated an outspoken political voice: in recent weeks he expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and in some of his last tweets he mourned the election of President Trump. He also emerged as an avuncular and generally menschy figure, known for sharing dinner with Brooks every night during their old age.

It’s no surprise that social media is filled with tributes to Reiner’s artistic legacy, sharp wit and kind heart. Here’s how fellow comedians, entertainers and admirers are remembering him.

Comedian Sarah Silverman said Reiner “embodies the word mensch.”

CNN host Jake Tapper posted a picture of Reiner in uniform, presumably dating from his military service during WWII.

Writer and producer David Simon said he was honored to have once been the butt of a Carl Reiner joke.

Actor Josh Gad said the news made an already difficult year even worse.

Journalist Dan Rather, one of Reiner’s contemporaries, described the comedian’s life as “a roadmap through American culture.”

TV personality Ben Mankiewicz shared one of Reiner’s last tweets, written just hours before he died, a criticism of President Trump.

Actor Max Brooks, the son of Reiner’s longtime partner-in-comedy Mel Brooks, said the news was “a loss for me, a loss for my family, a loss for all of us.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer paid tribute to the comedian, who was one of his constituents.

Jason Alexander, aka “Seinfeld’s” George Costanza, said Reiner’s contributions to comedy are “eternal.”

TV host Joy Reid shared a photo of Reiner taking a knee.

Natasha Lyonne shared this memory.

Bette Midler fondly remembered her days working with Reiner.

Political analyst Bill Kristol shared a vote-by-mail advertisement in which Reiner participated just weeks before his death.

Comedian Steve Martin called Reiner “my greatest mentor.”

Actress Jane Lynch was simply in disbelief.

Irene Katz Connelly is an editorial fellow at the Forward. You can contact her at [email protected]


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