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The 2000 Year Old Man: The Complete Historyby Steve Labinski
The 2000 Year Old Man gets his birthday cake from Shout Factory
When Carl Reiner met Mel Brooks back when they were working for Sid Caesar in the 1950s, he was knocked away by his hysterical and unique sense of humor. The two subsequently developed special comedy routines to play at parties. (Can you imagine being at some of these parties?) Their most popular routine had Reiner taking the role of the audience, asking seemingly endless, curious questions to a guy who claims to have been born before Jesus Christ. The result: The 2000 Year Old Man, which was never designed to last more than a year, much less sixty.
Much of their comedy was improvised on the spot, and clearly jazzed over their electricity. Reiner plays the cool questioned, while Brooks, as the focus of all inquiries is a crusty, sandpaper voiced codger, who is very Jewish. How did people really live in ancient times? What was William Shakespeare like personally?
Steve Allen persuaded the two to take their routine to vinyl (comedy albums were very popular back in those days), which is what Shout Factory has collected into the four disc complete history.
The set also includes 1961 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and the New Steve Allen Show. There is a 1975 animated television special, as well as a contemporary thirty minute conversation between Reiner and Brooks recorded in August, 2009. The set also includes a nifty 32-page book with essays from Dick Cavett and comedy historian Gerald Nachman.
The 2000 Year Old Man: A Complete History proves that Reiner and Brooks are just as classic and funny a comedy team as Abbott and Costello or Burns and Allen.
Another great product from Shout Factory.
Audio CD (November 23, 2009)