Albert Brooks On Defending His Life With The Help Of Rob Reiner, Belief In Theatrical & Trusting Comedy Instincts – Crew Call Podcast

“Rob (Reiner) always wanted to do from the moment My Dinner With Andre came out — ‘My Lunch With Albert,” Albert Brooks shares about his best friend’s vision for a movie about himself.

“I never wanted to do that,” Brooks adds.

More from Deadline

But when a documentary about the stand-up comic turned Oscar nominated Best Supporting Broadcast News actor fell apart, Brooks reached out to Reiner for help. What if they combined the documentary with the whole ‘My Lunch With Albert’ concept?”

“Then everything lit up,” emphasizes Brooks on today’s Crew Call with Reiner.

And that’s how the Max documentary, directed by Reiner, Albert Brooks: Defending My Life came to be.

Walk down memory lane with us below:

“Because I’ve known Rob forever, it seemed ideal. We could do our lunch, we could branch out, he could talk to people he chose to talk to,” said Brooks.

We chat with the duo about their friendship, how Rob’s father Carl Reiner was an “adopted father” to Brooks (who lost his own father three years before meeting Rob) as well as the former stand-up’s talent for workshopping his own late night appearance material before a mirror (not an audience) prior to stepping on camera.

“He didn’t go to clubs to work it out, he had his own instinct,” Reiner says about Brooks.

“To this day, I’ve never tried out anything in front of an audience before the real audience,” adds Brooks.

Brooks shares the time he tried out his material to Carl Reiner for Dean Martin’s Golddiggers show moments before broadcast.

“He said ‘I don’t think that’s going to work. I think you’re going to have to find something else,” remembers Brooks. “I had an hour and 20 minutes — there’s nothing else.”

“I did the bit (on air) and I killed. I had that moment where I said, ‘Wow, I think you might know what you’re doing.”

The duo also converse why Brooks didn’t star in more Reiner movies (the director did offer Brooks Harry Met Sally), and hanging out with comedy legends at the Reiner household.

“If you would go to the Reiner’s and Mel Brooks was there and Norman Lear was there, the coolest thing that happened is even though I was 16, I felt like one of the comedy people,” says Brooks.

“Albert was thought of as a peer to people who had been very accomplished,” said Reiner, “They looked at him as one of them because he could make them laugh.”

Brooks shares if he’ll direct in, his preference for cinema over streaming (“I’m stuck in the fact: Aren’t movies in theaters? Can I never drive by The Bruin again? Will I never see my movie there?”), while Reiner teases Spinal Tap II (“You’ll see it in the first quarter, spring or summer next year”) and how it’s grown from being a cult movie that was about a parallel universe in the music industry to becoming part of the actual music industry culture with performers such as Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks and Elton John co-starring.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.