Author Topic: Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke and Norman Lear on life after 90  (Read 1929 times)

Offline imchills

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Brooks' tip for longevity: Just "eat bran."

Mel Brooks made it clear that he was not paid to appear at the premiere of the new HBO documentary “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.”

“They never pay, they never pay,” he joked. “How funny I was tonight and I don’t get a penny.”

Brooks stole the show from fellow Hollywood legends Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke and Norman Lear, with whom he shared the stage after the screening Wednesday. The four longtime friends star in the film, which explores what makes for a vibrant, active life after age 90. Non-famous nonagenarians and centenarians are also featured, including a 101-year-old competitive runner, a 100-year-old pianist and a 98-year-old yoga teacher.

Producer George Shapiro (“Seinfeld”) said the cast is “truly sending a love letter to the human race.”

Reiner, 95, serves as host of the film, interviewing his friends Brooks and Lear, along with 95-year-old Betty White and 100-year-old Kirk Douglas.

All the active elders say the key is keeping yourself healthy and staying engaged with life by doing what you love. The film and its subjects are vivacious and inspiring.

Van Dyke is still singing and dancing — onscreen in the new “Mary Poppins,” in theaters next year, and off-screen with his wife, who’s more than four decades his junior. His advice is to “keep moving,” which is also the title of his book on aging published in 2015. Lear is working on a reboot of his 1975 series “One Day at a Time.” Reiner said writing every day gives his life purpose, adding that he just finished a book called “Too Busy to Die.”

“I just say eat bran,” Brooks quipped.

Tom Bergeron moderated the post-screening discussion with the stars. Once they got going, Brooks declared, “Tom, you’re superfluous, really. Everybody here is a self-starter.”

The conversation was actually one of mutual admiration. Reiner called Brooks “the funniest human being in the world” and Van Dyke “the single most talented man that ever lived.” Van Dyke described his stage-mates as “creative giants” and said Reiner has been his mentor and idol since they met.

When Bergeron asked if any of the men had ever considered retirement, Brooks said, “I thought of retiring Carl, but he won’t.”

They also talked about Donald Trump, the “2000 Year Old Man” and who had the nicest shoes (Brooks).

“Well, I have the most money here, except for Norman,” Brooks said. “Norman, you should dress better.”

“If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast” is set to debut June 5.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke and Norman Lear on life after 90
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 09:05:06 am »
Talk about life goals!  To be that talented, to have careers that long, to be that healthy.  Those are role models. 

Offline Battle

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Re: Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke and Norman Lear on life after 90
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 11:55:06 am »
Wednesday, 22nd May 2019
I Went to a Final Rehearsal of the All In The Family / The Jeffersons Revival
by Tonja Renée Stidhum

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All In The Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’ will air tonight (Wednesday) on ABC, May 22, 8-9:30 PM ET.

I owe a lot of my love for comedy writing to Norman Lear.

As a typical black child raised by her loving grandmother, I plopped my (then) tiny butt in front of the single TV in the house every day to watch episodes of All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Sanford & Son, Maude and more.

Though the material was likely too mature for my innocent eyes and ears, I chortled so heartily at all of the jokes, right along with my grandma.

I distinctly remember seeing one particular name pop up in the credits of all of these brilliant shows and wondered—who is this genius?!

Well, two of those shows, All in the Family and The Jeffersons are getting the live revival treatment thanks to ABC.

The live show will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and Lear, and will star Jamie Foxx, Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Wanda Sykes, Will Ferrell, Anthony Anderson, Kerry Washington, and more.

“I was shocked that you didn’t ask Queen Latifah first,” Sykes quipped on a promo segment of Jimmy Kimmel Live, after admitting how emotional it was to play such an iconic character such as Weezy Jefferson.

Kimmel also dubbed Black-ish to be the most Norman Lear-esque television show on air right now and I’d have to agree.

As The Root’s weekend writer Aliya Semper Ewing noted in relation to the live show’s announcement, “All in the Family was a beacon of political and social conversations in American homes for almost a full decade during a crucial time for race relations.”

As such, its spinoff, The Jeffersons carried that same tradition—but this time, from the perspective of black folks.
As Aliya noted:

With George Jefferson’s biting and brutal truths spoken, the show highlighted what it was really like to be a black man in a white man’s working world. Notably, The Jeffersons was the first television series to feature an interracial couple (played by Roxie Roker and Franklin Cover), and it became one of the longest running African American shows on TV.

On Tuesday night, I got the honor of attending the final taped run-through of the live show.

Admittedly, as a huge fan of both series, I did bristle at the thought of recreating what could never truly be recreated.

But, after the great energy of our warm-up guy (hey Roger!) and the talented performances of folks like Foxx (my God, I’ll never tire of lauding how talented and versatile this man is), Tomei (her Edith is crazy good), Sykes, and Woody Harrelson, I became more content with the fact that this isn’t so much a replacement as it is a reverence.

The set and costumes are like a visual tour of nostalgia — whether it was Archie Bunker’s chair (which we learned is at The Smithsonian), the Bunker piano (“Gee, our old LaSalle ran great...”), Weezy’s patented wardrobe (Sykes joked that the outfits were a part of her personal wardrobe during the final curtain call), and all the way down to the Jeffersons’ building elevator.

Fans of the show will be pleased with that aspect of the recreation.

It was certainly surreal for me to see.

As you know, the revived televisions shows originated in the 1970s and 1980s, but as you’ll see in the live show tonight, a lot of the racial, social and political topics are still very relevant today.

That, folks, speaks to Lear’s timeless virtuosity.
Get ready to get your clap-clap-doubleclap-clap on with a special version of The Jeffersons theme song.

I sure did it with enthusiasm and aplomb as I sat in the studio audience—though, I felt like I was in an advanced clap class because the white folks around me only did the safe single clap.

Maybe that was for the best because they did good! Yay, post-racial America. ::)

Plus, there’s one particular surprise in the Jeffersons episode that had me hollering with glee in the audience.

Once you see it, you’ll likely have the same reaction as a fan of the show.

Would You Like To Know More?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 04:14:13 pm by Battle »