Carl Reiner
Books and TV

Carl Reiner: If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast

Flipping through the channel guide the other day on my TV, I came across the title, If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast. How could anyone resist that?

Carl Reiner, (forever Alan Brady from the Dick Van Dyke Show to me), has made a documentary featuring fellow nonagenarians and a few centenarians, which seeks to discover the secret to a long, happy and active life.

I wanted to share this with you, as it reaffirms so many of the philosophies we at Prime Women believe to be true. Reiner and friends Norman Lear, Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke, Betty White and others speak candidly about aging in a society that unashamedly dismisses those who have “aged out” of the most desirable demographic. Instead of being depressing or maudlin, the hour and a half documentary is life affirming and inspiring. Though many of the participants are in show business, which no doubt contributes to their positive outlook, (since money and power never hurts) a few “non-celebrity” individuals are also included.

Among those are Tao Porchon-Lynch, a 98-year-old yoga teacher who was featured in a New York Times article in 2016, and Ida Keeling, a 102-year-old runner who took up the sport at the age of 67, after both her sons were murdered. Iris Apfel, 95-year-old businesswoman, interior designer and fashion icon is shown on one of her customary shopping excursions. She says, “People are so worried about getting old. I never think about [it]. I think people should just take advantage of being alive.”

Watching the long time friends, Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, Norman Lear and Mel Brooks laugh, reminisce and go through their extremely active and productive daily lives is a treat. It’s like having a reunion with your favorite, eccentric uncles. Ninety-one year old Dick Van Dyke appears as spry as ever. Indeed, his 44-year-old wife can barely keep up. His advice for aging well? “Keep moving.”

Although the documentary steers clear of scientific evidence regarding longevity, the message is loud and clear. Do what you love, stay active, exercise, use your brain, laugh and try new things. Who can argue with that?

If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast is airing on HBO through July 7, 2017. You can also find it on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

For other TV viewing recommendations, check out our list here.

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