1967: Reiner tries ‘Something Different’

Writer-director takes turn on stage

From the Army Archerd Archive

July 18, 1967: GOOD MORNING: Carl Reiner cast himself in the lead of his new play, “Something Different” — but only for the two weeks when a yet-to-be-chosen star of the B’way show goes on vacation. “I promised myself,” said the author-director Reiner, who departed yesterday to cast the show in N.Y., “that whoever gets the role, I’d give myself a contract to play those two weeks” …Reiner admits he would have played it full time (“Although the leading character is not me — it’s crazy!”), except for commitments such as an August NBC spec, “The Fabulous Funnies.” Reiner’s also prepping “Baggy Pants” to film with Dick Van Dyke this winter. .(2007 update: Reiner admits, “I never did ‘Something Different’ — Bob Dishy did it — with Gabe Dell and Linda Lavin. The N.Y. Times’ Clive Barnes gave it a ‘non-review’, and it lasted only 100 performances — even though Walter Kerr followed with a rave. At one curtain call a man rushed from the audience to the stage — Gabe thought he was going to attack the actors — but he started yelling back to the audience, ‘You’ve just seen the funniest show on Broadway — you have to go and tell everyone to go see it’.” It was Groucho Marx! … This week, Carl completed his novel, “Just Desserts” and sent it off to Simon & Schuster. “It’s the craziest — and best — thing I’ve ever written — and the most difficult,” he admits. “I’ve done so many rewrites and used up so much paper I felt like I was taking down a forest.”

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