JAMESTOWN – The children of famous comedian Carl Reiner joined the National Comedy Center to open a new exhibit, showcasing the comedy legend’s legacy on Wednesday.
All three children, who have made waves in the entertainment industry themselves, helped Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson open the exhibit, which features more than 75 artifacts of his career.
“It’s been a remarkable experience for our team to process, preserve and now present more than 75 boxes of material from one of the most prolific comedic minds the world will ever know,” explained Gunderson. “Carl Reiner’s more than seven decades in comedy have not only been remarkable for their consistency, but their longevity, and their ability to inspire legions of artists for generations to come.”
Reiner’s family had the opportunity to tour the exhibit before its unveiling.
“This is our father, we spent every minute of our lives with him, except for the past two years,” said Rob Reiner. “It means the world. But, I think more important is it’s going to mean a lot to a lot of people. Because, as my sister, Annie, was saying, he was a loved person and he wanted everybody to be happy. That was his main goal in life was to make people happy, make them laugh, make them have a good time, so this museum and his exhibit will do that for people.”
Carl Reiner was an actor, director, screenwriter, and famous stand-up comedian, winning dozens of awards. His work included popular shows like “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, “Your Show of Shows”, and his connection to other big names like Mel Brooks.
“I have this feeling that he was famous for all these years, all these decades, longer than most people,” explained Writer Annie Reiner. “I think it’s because he had this very open heart and that was who he was, and I think that touched people and it drew them to him.”
This exhibit is the most recent in the Comedy Center’s collection, a place that Artist Lucas Reiner touts as a collection of comedic archives that will allow people to discover those lost to time.
“The great thing about centers like this is that they go on and on and on long after we’re gone,“ says Lucas Reiner. “Somebody might not know who he is, walks in here and it’s all for them to discover, all in one place and that’s very gratifying.”
Carl Reiner was also a founding advisory board member of the National Comedy Center; he passed away in 2020.