by Marlene Cimons
“Carl Reiner, 97, has been a comedic icon for more than 70 years, a perennial favorite of baby boomers who grew up with Sid Caesar and Dick Van Dyke. But even younger generations have come to appreciate his singular wit. He’s been an actor, screenwriter and director, as well as a legendary straight man for his old pal, Mel Brooks. He believes humor has enriched his life and boosted his longevity.
“’There is no doubt about it,’ he says. ‘Laughter is my first priority. I watch something every night that makes me laugh. I wake up and tickle myself while I’m still in bed. There is no greater pleasure than pointing at something, smiling and laughing about it. I don’t think there is anything more important than being able to laugh. When you can laugh, life is worth living. It keeps me going. It keeps me young. ‘
“In 2017, Reiner hosted an HBO documentary, ‘If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast,’ featuring a number of still-active nonagenarians, including Brooks, who will be 93 this month, Van Dyke, 93, TV producer Norman Lear, who will be 97 next month, and actress Betty White, 97. He believes their good health — and his — is why they still enjoy humor and stay funny.”
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