Carl Reiner and Alan. Courtesy of Alan Muskovitz.

Alan Muskovitz shares his personal experience of interviewing Carl Reiner.

Legendary writer, actor, comedian, director and producer Carl Reiner passed away peace-fully from natural causes at his Beverly Hills home on June 30. He was 98.

I had the high honor of interviewing and meeting the beloved creative genius 19 years ago, Sept. 6, 2001, just 5 days before 9/11. Reiner traveled to Detroit to entertain a gathering of the Detroit American Friends of Bar-Ilan University (BIU) in Israel. I was a member of the local young leadership committee overseen by the late Les Goldstein, the Midwest director of BIU.

Prior to his arrival from Los Angeles, Reiner called into the Dick Purtan show on WOMC to promote the event. He could not have been more engaging or humble, a real mensch. At the time, the then nearly 80-year old Reiner reflected on the aging process saying: “I check on people who are older than me to find out what’s in store for me.”

When directing George Burns in the movie Oh God, Reiner recalled: “I used to question him every day about every part of his life when he was 83-4, knowing that hopefully I would get there some day and know what to expect.” You can listen to the interview on my Laugh with Big Al YouTube channel.

The photograph of Reiner and myself was taken the evening of the Bar-Ilan event. At the time, Carl was nearing 80 and I was nearing 50, both in age and pounds overweight.

My only regret that night was missing an opportunity to impress Carl Reiner’s agent who had tagged along with him from L.A.: George Shapiro, the executive producer of Seinfeld. I was certain Shapiro would see me as the next George Costanza. Nineteen years later, I’m still the same old Alan Muskovitz.

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