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Reiner’s archive includes unpublished comedy material, rare photographs, audiovisual recordings, industry awards, and thousands of pages of creative papers.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.