Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Watch Carl Reiner reflect on comedy, recite Shakespeare in his final interview

Illustration for article titled Watch Carl Reiner reflect on comedy, recite Shakespeare in his final interview
Photo: Steve Grayson (Getty Images)

Carl Reiner died today at the age of 98, but the comic legend stayed alert and active until the very end. Just yesterday, he spent time on Twitter criticizing Donald Trump and celebrating the wit of playwright Noel Coward. And, in late May, he delivered what turned out to be his final interview. It comes courtesy of Reboot and Tiffany Woolf’s Dispatches From Quarantine series, which, along with Reiner, has highlighted remote chats with Ellen Burstyn, Norman Lear, and Larry King.

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In the lovely 10-minute talk, Reiner reflects on making his brother laugh as a child, the pride he still has for the Dick Van Dyke Show, and his friendship with Mel Brooks, who he calls “the single most funny human being that ever existed.” He also praises his children, saying “the only thing that really matters in life is your progeny, people who come after you, people you send out to the world.”

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The episode ends with a soliloquy from Hamlet, with the nonagenarian deftly navigating Shakespeare’s glassy streams, fantastic garlands, and coronet weeds. It’d be impressive for someone of any age.

Watch it in full below.

As you listen, dig into the numerous tributes to Reiner that have surfaced on social media throughout the day. We’ve highlighted a handful below.

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Van Dyke, for example, called Reiner his idol. “He had a deeper understanding of the human condition than I think even he was aware of.” he writes.Kind, gentle, compassionate, empathetic and wise. His scripts were never just funny, they always had something to say about us.”

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Steve Martin, meanwhile, writes, “Goodbye to my greatest mentor in movies and in life.”

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“Growing up, Carl was like a second dad to me,” writes Albert Brooks. “He was the greatest. Not just as a comic legend but as a man. There was no one else this funny and this nice. I loved him.”

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See more from the likes of Bette Midler, Alan Alda, Michael McKean, Adam Sandler, and Jamie Lee Curtis, among others.

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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