A faculty reunion for Albert Brooks and Rob Reiner

Photo of author

By Calvin S. Nelson

Sixty years in the past Rob Reiner and Albert Brooks met at Beverly Hills Excessive Faculty in a drama class. Just lately they returned. “That is the primary time each of us have been again since we graduated,” mentioned Reiner.

“Over a sure age, it is towards the legislation,” added Brooks, who riffed on reminiscence and reunions: “When you need to confront the precise individuals you had been with [back then] – ‘Oh my God, who’re you? You are my grandmother?’ ‘No, you had been in love with me.’ Oh my God!”

“You preferred older girls,” Reiner defined.

Albert Brooks and Rob Reiner again at Beverly Hills Excessive Faculty, surveying the Wall of Fame. Sure, they’re on it. 

CBS Information

They have not been again, however they’ve remained shut associates for six many years, as Reiner went from enjoying Meathead in Norman Lear’s “All within the Household” to a profession as a top-tier film director: “A Few Good Males,” “Distress,” “When Harry Met Sally.” Rob’s father, legendary comic and author Carl Reiner, knew humorous in addition to anybody, and through an look on “The Tonight Present” in 1963, singled out his teenaged son’s teenaged good friend, referring to 16-year-old Albert Einstein (Brooks’ beginning title) because the funniest particular person he knew.

Brooks modified his title firstly of his profession due to the opposite man named Albert Einstein. His mother and father, Harry Einstein, a well-known radio comedian identified, and his spouse, Thelma, by no means owned as much as why they burdened their son with the title of the world’s most well-known physicist: “I requested. Imagine me, I requested,” he mentioned. “And all I received was, ‘Ask your dad.’ ‘Ask your mother.’ No one would inform me.”

Rob Reiner and Albert Einstein’s yearbook images. 

CBS Information

Albert Brooks went on to turn into the funniest comic of his technology, relativity talking. Reiner mentioned, “He cannot cut up the atom, however he can create power by way of laughter.”

Brooks’ originality was on show as quickly as he discovered an viewers, totally on selection exhibits within the late Nineteen Sixties and ’70s. Reasonably than inform jokes, he carried out prolonged bits and created characters, just like the world’s least-talented ventriloquist:

Albert Brooks on “The Flip Wilson Present” in 1972:

Albert Brooks Ventriloquist Bit by
StandApartComedy on

Brooks mentioned, “It was like an elixir. I imply, it may make lifeless individuals snigger. It made everybody snigger. So, I stored getting jobs due to it.”

As Brooks stored working, Reiner stored pestering with a request: let me make a film about your life.

Reiner’s documentary, “Albert Brooks: Defending My Life,” is presently streaming on Max. Why now? “As a result of he would not do it after I needed to do it!” Reiner mentioned.

Brooks (whose credit embody the voice of Marlin in “Discovering Nemo”) mentioned, “There’s quite a lot of younger individuals who, in the event that they know me in any respect, they know me as a fish. You simply want to say, ‘You already know, there’s extra to it.’ And you’ll’t [say it] your self on a road nook, ‘trigger that is psychological sickness: ‘Properly, wait a minute, I am not only a fish. Are you aware that in 1975 –’ ‘Look, I gotta, my automobile is right here.'”

And Reiner helped out: “I knew all of the issues that Albert had accomplished. I knew how good he was. I needed them to know.”

Rob Reiner and Albert Brooks. 

CBS Information

There’s quite a bit to know. In 1971, Brooks wrote a chunk for Esquire Journal concerning the Albert Brooks Well-known Faculty for Comedians. It did not exist, however some did not get the joke. He received 2,000 candidates. “I had a two-page ‘expertise check,’ the silliest check you ever noticed,” Brooks mentioned.

Quickly after got here a brief movie concerning the non-existent faculty, a pioneering instance of the mockumentary:

Albert Brooks Well-known Faculty For Comedians by
Wayne Shellabarger on

Then got here what may need been his huge break. In 1974, Lorne Michaels was getting ready a sketch comedy present for NBC that may turn into “Saturday Evening Stay.” He requested Brooks to be the everlasting host; Brooks turned him down. “Are you able to think about – 50 years, you are doing that?” laughed Reiner.

As a substitute, Brooks made quick movies for “SNL”‘s first season, which led to his true calling: writing, directing and starring in among the funniest – and most intentionally uncomfortable – motion pictures of their time: “Actual Life,” “Fashionable Romance,” “Misplaced in America,” “Defending Your Life,” and the semi-autobiographical “Mom” costarring Debbie Reynolds.

All of this along with his work as an actor, most memorably schvitzing his solution to display immortality in “Broadcast Information.” 

Broadcast Information (2/5) Film CLIP – Aaron Struggles on Air (1987) HD by
Movieclips on

When he’s described as “The Marx Brothers meet Richard Pryor,” Brooks mentioned, “Properly, that is the best factor I ever heard. As a result of that is 4 individuals!

Again at their previous highschool, the 2 previous friends discovered themselves on the Wall of Fame – associates nonetheless making one another snigger.

Although do not anticipate a duet: Reiner went solo serenading us with the college hymn, the place reminiscence allowed: “Oh Beverly, we love you, our loyalty we sing. To thee all religion, all honor, our praises we sing. Our customized, traditions deliver glory to thee … We love you, the, the, Beverly …’ after which there’s the tip.”

“We want assist!” Brooks cried out.

To observe a trailer for “Albert Brooks: Defending My Life” click on on the video participant under:

Albert Brooks: Defending My Life | Official Trailer | HBO by
HBO on

For more information:

Story produced by Gabriel Falcon. Editor: George Pozderec. 

Leave a Comment