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Carl Reiner, career honored at TV Academy

October 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Friends, including an Oscar-winning surprise guest, saluted the career of Carl Reiner Thursday.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented "An Evening Honoring Carl Reiner."

Carl Reiner is best known for creating one of television's most beloved sitcoms.

Reiner originally called the show "Head of the Family" and he was the star.

The network liked the idea but thought Reiner was wrong for the part -- and he agreed. He turned it into "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and took on a supporting role instead.

Reiner says he knew he was on to something special.

"If you write about the human condition, if you write about what you know about and you're honest about the feelings and the relationships you have with people, those don't change," said Reiner. "They're the same today as they were then."

"He used to tell the writers, 'I don't care how crazy it gets as long as it starts with credibility and it could happen,'" said Dick Van Dyke. "He kept it real."

"He's a very talented, brilliant man. And a very nice guy besides," said Rose Marie.

Reiner got his big television break in the 1950s on TV's "Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caeser.

Reiner's "2,000-Year-Old Man" routine with Mel Brooks is considered a classic.

So is Reiner.

"You know, he just has incredible talent and incredible kindness and it's always been the combination of those two things are at the forefront of everything he does," said Bonnie Hunt.

Maybe that's what brought out surprise guest George Clooney, who worked with Reiner on the "Oceans" movies.

In TV terms, what a nice way to end the episode.

"You make us all feel like we're your best friend," Clooney told Reiner.

By the way, Reiner has 12 Emmy awards.

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