As first reported in Variety this week, Rob Reiner is planning to make a yet-untitled documentary about comedian and close friend Albert Brooks that will feature an all-star list of comedians. Among the laughmeisters he hopes to include are (in alphabetical order) Judd Apatow, James L. Brooks, Larry David, Jonah Hill, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Ben Stiller, and Wanda Sykes. He also wants to include Sharon Stone, who appeared with Brooks in The Muse (1999).
Born as Albert Lawrence Einstein in Los Angeles in 1947, the comedian changed his name to “Albert Brooks” because, as he said, “the real Albert Einstein changed his name to sound more intelligent.” Early in his career, he appeared on television on The Tonight Show and directed six short films for the first season of Saturday Night Live in 1975.
Brooks also made his mark in the film sphere over the years. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Broadcast News (1987) and was lauded for his role as a Jewish mobster in Drive (2011). He also appeared in such classics as Taxi Driver (1976), Private Benjamin (1980), and Unfaithfully Yours (1984). Brooks also did voiceovers for The Simpsons as well as for the films Finding Nemo (2003) and Finding Dory (2016).
Reiner has been around the comedic block himself, having first came to prominence in the 1970s when he played Michael Stivic, Archie Bunker’s “Meathead” son-in-law on the iconic TV sitcom All in the Family. He’s going to be screening This Spinal Tap at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and recently reconstituted his Castle Rock Entertainment venture. Reiner is planning a sequel to Wind River (2017) and has also penned the script for a new biopic about songwriter Bert Berns, whose hits included “Here Comes the Night” and “Hang on Sloopy.”