Dick Van Dyke is remembering his "idol," Carl Reiner, following his death at the age of 98 earlier this week. Just hours after news broke Tuesday morning that Reiner, who had created The Dick Van Dyke Show, had died, Van Dyke took to Twitter to pay tribute, remembering him as someone who had "a deeper understanding of the human condition, than I think even he was aware of."
My idol, Carl Reiner, wrote about the human comedy. He had a deeper understanding of the human condition, than I think even he was aware of. Kind, gentle, compassionate, empathetic and wise. His scripts were never just funny, they always had something to say about us.— Dick Van Dyke (@iammrvandy) June 30, 2020
Van Dyke's post was met with an outpouring of support from fans who have spent the morning sharing their own tributes to the prolific Hollywood icon. Responding to his tweet, one person said that he and Reiner "made the troubles of the world a little less ominous and taught us the importance that the tonic of laughter possesses." Another fan wrote that "the world is a little happier and people a little wiser because of his works." Many others sent their condolences, with one writing that "The Dick Van Dyke Show is such a remarkable legacy for both of you."
Premiering in 1961, Renier created and starred in the pioneering comedy series that would win him multiple Emmys. Initially slated to take on the leading role, Reiner ended up portraying Alan Brady, with Van Dyke taking the lead spot of Rob Petrie, the head writer on Brady's comedy show. He also had an instrumental role in casting a new actress as Van Dyke's wife in the show — Mary Tyler Moore.
"I made my hand like a claw like in the machines at the carnival that get candy out of the things, and I went across the room, I went to her head, and I grabbed the top of her head and said, 'Come with me,'" Reiner told Conan O’Brien several years ago, according to CNN.
The Dick Van Dyke Show would go on to span more than 150 episodes across five seasons. Reiner had been offered a large sum of money to produce a sixth season, though he had ultimately turned it down, stating that "we knew we had started to repeat ourselves, and when you get to that, it's time to stop."
Reiner passed away at his Beverly Hills home Monday night of natural causes. He was 98. He is survived by his three children: actor and director Rob Reiner, author Annie Reiner, and artist Lucas Reiner.