Rob Reiner helped write weddings on television and in real life

Rob Reiner was the son of the iconic Carl Reiner, who was known for The Dick Van Dyke Show. Reiner followed in his father’s footsteps when he decided to pursue a career in acting. The father-son duo was known for being funny both on-screen and off.

Reiner made a name for himself when he played the role of Michael “Meathead” Stivic from the hit ’70s sitcom, All in the Family.

Not many people write scripts for their own weddings, but Reiner went ahead and did it twice. The first time was for his real-life wedding to actress Penny Marshall in 1971, while the second time was a television marriage between Gloria Bunker and Michael on All in the Family.

Reiner and his writing partner, Philip Mishkin, wrote the two-part flashback story, in which Gloria and Michael get married. The episode titled “Flashback: Mike and Gloria’s Wedding” was in season three.

In a 1973 interview with The Herald, Reiner talked about the emotions behind writing the script for each wedding.

“Writing my real-life wedding was easier than writing for the number one series on television,” he said. “Penny and I could just say what we felt, without being concerned with time limitations or getting laughs. Getting married as Rob Reiner however, was much scarier than getting married as Mike Stivic.”

According to the interview, Reiner and Marshall planned their entire wedding ceremony and reception, right down to insisting on serving Chinese food, which is an affinity Reiner carried over from his fictional character. It was one of the few similarities between his real wedding and his fictional one.

In a 1972 interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer, Reiner said that he and Marshall lived across the street from each other in New York City as young children but never met until they were at a party in California.

“We lived together a year and a half before we got married,” he said. 

At the time of this interview, Marshall played the role of Myrna on The Odd Couple. Both Reiner and Marshall would have successful careers in Hollywood. According to Reiner, he was along for the ride. 

“I can tell you why we’re top-rated, but I can’t tell you why we are number one,” he said. “I think it will go on as long as it is good, not a minute longer. There’s nothing worse than a losing show trying to stay on. But who wants to watch a show eight years?”

If it’s All in the Family, we do.

Despite the love birds romantic, scripted wedding, Reiner and Marshall divorced in 1981.

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