November 15, 2009


A Shtick With a Thousand Lives (ARI KARPEL, 11/15/09, NY Times)

MEL BROOKS and Carl Reiner have been cracking each other up for nearly 60 years. The two met while working on Sid Caesar’s early television series “Your Show of Shows,” when they cooked up a routine in which Mr. Reiner played an earnest, unnamed TV interviewer, and Mr. Brooks, the 2,000 Year Old Man.

In a Yiddish accent, the old guy held forth on the questionable wisdom of an absurdly long life, touching on topics including parenthood (“I have over 42,000 children — and not one comes to visit me”), Shakespeare (“He was a dreadful writer.” “Every letter was cockeyed, he had the worst penmanship I ever saw in my life!”) and the Black Plague (“Too many rats, not enough cats”).

The shtick yielded five comedy albums, television appearances with Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen and a 1975 animated television special, all of which are included in Shout! Factory’s remastered 50th anniversary four-disc reissue (three CDs and one DVD), “The 2000 Year Old Man: The Complete History,” in stores Nov. 24.

Of course, their funniest bit ever doesn't feature them nor was it written by them. It's the depiction of the Sid Caesar writers in the film, "My Favorite Year."

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 15, 2009 11:30 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus