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Carl Reiner - Comic, Producer, Director, Actor
Carl Reiner - Comic, Producer, Director, Actor
By Dulcy Brightman

Life in the Big Apple
Every day of the 40 plus years living in New York City was one of challenge, anticipation, and excitement. New York City is otherwise known as the “Big Apple”.

One day, when I was feeling that producing television shows on the lowest level, Public Access, was to no avail, I was about to be proven dead wrong. Little did I know that there were people actually watching my shows in Hollywood, California, and elsewhere. Believe me, I was happy meeting so many people, and having interesting television production conversations, until one day, something happened.

I should have known that fate was at work. The first signs of recognition by my peers came during one of my early cable show productions. I just didn’t know how much my innovations would carry me. When other producers used set backgrounds that had been used for numerous shows, I brought to the set a colorful abstract painting; it was my own idea for set design. My guests were mutual producers and friends that I had invited to appear. So impressed were these invited producers, that they ventured to say my abstract painting as a set background, was a refreshing change from the ordinary choices of say a New York City skyscraper scene, or the 59th Street Bridge. Later, after the shoot, someone made off with it. Guess someone loved it.

On another day, after work, I was walking in the Herald Square area across the street from Macy’s. There was the usual heavy traffic with an abundance of taxi cabs vying for position between trucks of all sizes. Suddenly, I heard a familiar voice yelling my name across ‘The Square‘; it was one of my video friends, who at the time was in the process of filming the musical group, “Naughty By Nature.” It was video studio owner, Bob, yelling at me over the din of loud traffic.

I stopped in my tracks, and replied to Bob, hoping he could hear me over the traffic. He then yelled back across the street, “There’s a message for you from Rockefeller Center …NBC-TV!” I yelled back once again, “Bob, who’s calling?” He said, “Just call the Rockefeller Center switchboard!” After yelling “O.k.” to Bob, I went right on walking, so as to catch a subway ride home, and didn’t think about this until the next day.

The next morning, I found the phone number for NBC-TV and phoned them. The Switchboard Operator answered. I told her my name and was surprised when she seemed to recognize it, and quickly put me on hold after saying she had to answer other calls.

When the operator came on again, I asked, “Who’s calling?” Again, the operator put me on hold. This happened again when she announced to me that there was a call coming from Burbank. I replied, “I don’t know anyone from Burbank!” “Who’s calling?” I asked for the second time. After putting me on hold yet again, and coming back on the line, she finally said, “it’s Carl Reiner, calling from NBC-TV, Burbank.” It happened that he was interested in something I’d produced to become a part of one of his television pilots.

Mr. Carl Reiner, (Comic, Producer, Director, Actor) produced, wrote, and acted in the award winning television shows: “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, “Your Show of Shows,” “The 2000 Year Old Man,” “Caesar’s Hour,” and many others. He is plays the character “Saul Bloom” in Oceans 11, 12, and 13. He is also the father of Rob Reiner (Director/Actor).

You never know who may be watching your shows when you experiment in television.


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