Mel Brooks’ tribute to Carl Reiner after friend’s 2020 death: Dinner at his place, for a year


For years comedy legends and best friends Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks met nightly at Reiner’s home for dinner, where they then sat and watched television together. Then, for a year after Reiner died in 2020, Brooks (now 96) continued going to his home for dinner, Reiner’s family told correspondent Jim Axelrod in an interview to be broadcast on “Sunday Morning” January 1 on CBS and streamed on Paramount+.

“One year, he would go over to the house, and sit there, have dinner and watch television – when my dad wasn’t there for a whole year,” Reiner’s son, filmmaker Rob Reiner, told Axelrod.

Before Carl died, the two comic legends would sit and talk about “old music, and old actors, and old movies,” said daughter Annie Reiner.

“They took a lot of naps, because they were so old,” said son Lucas Reiner.

An undated photo of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner enjoying television. 

The chairs the two men sat in night after night, along with the TV tables they ate on, are now on display at the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York. The Reiner family was on hand to open an archive there in honor of their dad, who created the TV series “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” and who with Brooks created “The 2,000 Year Old Man.” Reiner was also a mentor to the likes of Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, Bette Midler and others.

“Listen, he got 12 Emmys, he got the Mark Twain Prize … but he never thought about those things,” Rob Reiner said. “The greatest gift was his ability to give to other people and to give his humor, and make people feel good.”