Carl Reiner – Keep Laughing Exhibit


The National Comedy Center has opened a new multi-media exhibit entitled “Carl Reiner: Keep Laughing.” The Center became the home of Reiner’s expansive career archives in 2021, with the Reiner family donating creative papers, scripts, and artifacts spanning a seven-decade career as a writer, director, producer, author, and performer.


CBS Sunday Morning explores Carl Reiner’s extraordinary work and legacy and the grand opening of the National Comedy Center’s Carl Reiner exhibit, featuring Carl’s children Rob, Annie and Lucas Reiner.

“Carl Reiner was all heart and pure joy, and one could not have had a better friend. He brought laughter and soul to my world, and likely yours, for over 70 years. It’s fitting that his archives will be shared and preserved at the National Comedy Center. I cherish every memory of him.”

– Norman Lear

“There will never be another Carl Reiner. I’m thrilled that the Comedy Center is preserving his archives and naming their work in his honor – no one deserves it more than my best friend. Carl’s comedy was timeless and now his name will live on for generations with this wonderful tribute.”

– Mel Brooks

“Carl Reiner and his brilliant career was a gift to us all. Having his archives at the National Comedy Center is a yet another gift to the comedy community. His achievements and his legacy can now be studied and appreciated by generations to come.”
– Billy Crystal
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this tremendous honor. Carl Reiner deserves to be celebrated every day, and now he will be, within the halls of this museum dedicated to the art form that Carl loved most – comedy.”

– Dick Van Dyke

“Carl was my greatest mentor – his wisdom, talent, humor, and energy will never be forgotten, all wrapped in his uncommon decency. By naming its archival work after Carl, the National Comedy Center reminds us that it’s these qualities that matter most when creating great work that touches us, makes us laugh and stands the test of time.”
– Steve Martin
Carl Reiner Collage Image

The “Carl Reiner: Keep Laughing” exhibit allows visitors to explore interactive portals featuring rare audiovisual clips, creative papers, photographs, and dimensional artifacts that intimately chronicle a lifetime of creative output: from Reiner’s early years as a performer on Sid Caesar’s legendary Your Show of Shows to his creation of the seminal The Dick Van Dyke Show, from his collaboration with Mel Brooks on the Grammy-winning 2000 Year Old Man to his acclaimed cinematic partnership with Steve Martin (The Jerk, All of Me and more), and across his far-reaching contributions to the comedic art form.


Reiner’s archive includes unpublished comedy material, rare photographs, audiovisual recordings, industry awards, and thousands of pages of creative papers. Other highlights include Reiner’s typewriter case and original manuscript for Head of the Family (which would become The Dick Van Dyke Show), all 12 of his Emmy awards, and the chairs and TV trays used for years by Reiner and Brooks as they spent evenings together eating dinner and watching television.


 Reiner, who passed away in June of 2020, was an instrumental supporter of the National Comedy Center. In 2021, the Center formally named its ongoing work to preserve comedy’s heritage in his honor. The Carl Reiner Department of Archives and Preservation is an incubator for the study and dissemination of comedy history, and a resource for educating artists, students, scholars and the public about comedy’s great minds and unique voices. The Department leads research, conservation and exhibition activities throughout the organization, including the acquisition of artifacts, documents and audiovisual materials that chronicle the story of comedy across all genres and eras of the art form.