Carl Reiner, the son of Jewish immigrants, was drafted in 1943. He trained in the Signal Corps as a radio and teleprinter operator. But the night before he was to ship out for “parts unknown,” a friend arranged for him to audition for the Special Services entertainment unit, and he was transferred. For two years, he traveled around the Pacific theater, performing for troops in Hawaii, Guam, Saipan and Iwo Jima.
After the war, Reiner performed in Broadway musicals and television comedy, eventually teaming up with Mel Brooks. The duo became famous for their skit, 2000 Year Old Man, with Reiner as the straight man. He went on to a decades-long career as a television and film director, including The Dick Van Dyke Show and four movies starring comedian Steve Martin. Later in life, he also wrote novels and a memoir. At 95, he is one of the oldest celebrities active on Twitter.