Mel Brooks has paid an emotional tribute to his comedy partner and best friend Carl Reiner, who died Monday night at the age of 98.
“Carl was a giant, unmatched in his contributions to entertainment,” Brooks said in a tweet. “He created comedy gems like ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ ‘The Jerk’ and ‘Where’s Poppa?’ I met him in 1950 when he joined Sid Caesar on ‘Your Show of Shows’ and we’ve been best friends ever since. I loved him.”
Brooks and Reiner created “The 2000 Year Old Man” sketch during the 1960s in which Brooks portrayed a 2,000-year-old man being interviewed by Reiner as the straight man on a variety of topics such as being married more than 200 times and children, which evoked the punchline “I have over 1500 children and not one of them ever comes to visit!” They released five profoundly influential comedy albums starting in 1960.
“When we were doing ‘The 2000 Year Old Man’ together there was no better straight man in the world,” Brooks said. “So whether he wrote or performed or he was just your best friend — nobody could do it better. He’ll be greatly missed. A tired cliché in times like this, but in Carl Reiner’s case it’s absolutely true. He will be greatly missed.”