Sybil Adelman Sage remembers working as Carl Reiner’s secretary five decades ago:
On my first day he came in late because he was taping “The Carol Burnett Show.” When he saw what I’d placed on his desk, he called out, “Don’t you think typing up my phone messages is a waste of time?”
Rushing in, I explained I’d done it out of habit because my last boss demanded it: “That’s what Jerry Lewis wanted.” Carl was peeling off his toupee. I wondered if I should be watching, not yet aware that he treated it like an accessory and didn’t pretend it was his hair. I told him that people hearing I was going to work for him all called him a genius.
“That’s only because I’ve been associated with some great shows,” he said. Among the many things he was known for at the time were, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The 2000 Year Old Man” album with Mel Brooks and his work as Sid Caesar’s sidekick. I pointed out that other men of his status at the studio all had two secretaries. “One is for typing, the other is for shtupping,” he joked. “When you decide which you want to be, we’ll hire the other.”
Read the full piece by Sage — who went on to a career as a sitcom writer — here. Thanks to Bill Sobel for the link.