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Me and My Emmy
December 04, 2015

Me and My Emmy: Carl Reiner

  • Corey Nickols

Primetime Emmy Tally: 12

How He Got the Gold: Two supporting-performance wins for Caesar’s Hour (1957, ’58); seven for The Dick Van Dyke Show, for writing, program achievement and outstanding comedy (1962, ’63, ’64, two in both ’65 and ’66); two for The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special, for writing and variety special (1967), and a guest-appearance win for Mad About You (1995).

Now for the Noms: A supporting-performance nomination for Your Show of Shows (1954) and Caesar’s Hour (1956), an original-teleplay nom for The Dick Van Dyke Show (1965), a special-classification nom for Linus the Lionhearted (1966), a directing nom for The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special (1967), a guest-actor nod for Beggars and Choosers (2000) and a special-class program nom for The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited (2004).

First Rush: “My first Emmy was for Caesar’s Hour. It was the most exciting thing that had ever happened. I told the audience that if I’d known I was going to win, I’d have worn my hair.”

Class Act: “The writers’ room for Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour was full of the greatest writers — Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Woody Allen.... And each writer had a different kind of humor. Did we try to make each other laugh? No. We tried to make Sid laugh.”

Outplayed: “I decided to try writing a situation comedy based in part on my life. I wrote 13 episodes over a summer out on Fire Island. We shot a pilot called Head of the Family and it didn’t go, so I put it aside. One day I got a call from Sheldon Leonard; he’d read the scripts and thought they were wonderful. I said, ‘I don’t want to fail at this twice.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry! We’ll get a better actor to play you!’ That was Dick Van Dyke.”

Hit Parade: “The Dick Van Dyke Show was a hit because audiences saw that the life of the Petries was not unlike the lives they were living. I hit a nerve that we all have.”

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