Do Betty White + Carl Reiner = Emmy gold for 'Hot in Cleveland'?
When considering whom to cast as a date for four-time Emmy champ Betty White on "Hot in Cleveland," it was only natural for producers to turn to another Emmy favorite -- Carl Reiner. The all-around talent has taken home nine of these awards: two supporting-actor Emmys for "Caesar's Hour" (1957, 1958); three for his writing on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1962-1964); two for producing that best comedy series (1965, 1966); one for writing the "Your Show of Show" reunion variety special (1967); and a guest comedy actor award for an appearance on "Mad About You" (1995).
That last Emmy Award was for reprising his role as Alan Brady, the manic boss who ruled the roost on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." (Michelle Obama cites that classic sitcom as one of her favorite TV shows.) Reiner had based the character, in part, on Sid Caesar, the lead player on "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour."
With nine Emmys on his mantle, Reiner has won an impressive 60% of his 15 Emmy bids. His six losses were for supporting actor ("Your Show of Shows," 1954; "Caesar's Hour," 1956); writing ("The Dick Van Dyke Show," 1965); individual achievement ("Linus the Lionhearted," 1966); guest comedy actor ("Beggars & Choosers," 2000); and special class ("The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited," 2004).
The guest-acting categories are dominated by TV vets like Reiner and White, who are both 88 years old. White -- who is nine weeks older -- won the last of her four prime-time Emmys in 1996 for playing an exaggerated version of herself on "The John Larroquette Show." She also contended in the category of guest comedy actress for appearances on "Suddenly Susan" in 1997 (Carol Burnett won Emmy No. 7 for "Mad About You"), "Yes, Dear" in 2003 (Christina Applegate won for "Friends") and "My Name Is Earl" in 2009 (Tina Fey won for "Saturday Night Live"). White was also a guest-drama-actress nominee in 2004 for "The Practice" (Sharon Stone won for that show).
Both Betty White and Carl Reiner have been interviewed by the Archive of American Television, an offshoot of the foundation of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. They are just two of the many TV legends to have granted this invaluable resource in-depth video interviews. Other subjects include two of the other "Golden Girls" -- Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan -- as well as three of the stars of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" -- Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore and Rose Marie.
The archive has released the embed codes so that many of these compelling conversations, such as this one with Reiner, can be shared with the blogosphere. In Part 6 of this eight-part interview from 1994, he discusses "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in great detail. Watch the other parts at the archive website.
Photo: Carl Reiner and Betty White in "Hot in Cleveland." Credit: TV Land