Ben Stiller Recalls the 'Amazing Memories' He Has of Growing Up Around His Famous Parents

The star shared stories from his surprisingly down-to-earth childhood on his wife's 'Hey Dude...The 90s Called!' podcast

<p>Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty</p> Ben Stiller with his parents Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara in 1996

Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty

Ben Stiller with his parents Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara in 1996

Ben Stiller shared some of his “amazing memories” of accompanying his famous parents to the sets of iconic shows like The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family as a kid.

The Zoolander star was on the most recent episode of wife Christine Taylor and David Lascher’s podcast Hey Dude…The 90s Called!, where he talked about growing up the son of comic duo Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.

According to Stiller, 58, his parents’ careers and frequent trips from New York City, where their family lived, to L.A. for work left little time for helping him and his sister Amy out with school projects and the like.

“My parents were, like, out doing, like, playing nightclubs and stuff,” he recalled. “My parents were out there having to make a living, you know, in show business … They did a live act, Stiller and Meara, they were a comedy team. And then did a lot of, you know, television shows and guest appearances and game shows and, you know, variety shows. And then live performing and Broadway plays, and eventually my dad, you know, they both did television.”

Related: Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor Have Family Outing with Daughter Ella at Broadway's Cabaret (Exclusive)

<p>Joe Dombroski/Newsday RM via Getty </p> A young Ben Stiller with parents Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara in 1972

Joe Dombroski/Newsday RM via Getty

A young Ben Stiller with parents Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara in 1972

Stiller said he’s been thinking a lot about his childhood recently, as he’s working on a documentary about his parents. He and his sister were aware that their parents had unusual jobs, but, he explained, “When you're a kid, you don't think about it as much that, you know, I’m different than other kids because it's your reality. That's all you have.”

“It wasn't sort of like, a thing where it's like, ‘Oh, we're special’ or ‘We have, like, these privileges that other kids [don’t].’ It was a very rooted in, like, a day-to-day New York existence,” he added.

At the same time, his parents’ frequent guest roles on TV shows provided the opportunity for a young Stiller to get a peek behind the scenes of the entertainment business at an early age.

Related: Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor Have Rare Outing with Son Quinlin: ‘We Enjoy Hanging as a Family' (Exclusive)

“You said you loved going and taking the trips to L.A. and going on the set of The Brady Bunch and The Love Boat and things,” Taylor prompted. “You know, getting access to those things. You loved going to their game show appearances. Right? Like, you really loved kind of being on the set.”

“For me, it was like everything,” Stiller said. “I loved it so much. I loved just to see the behind the scenes of what they were doing. I realized pretty young that I loved directing and movie making and was fascinated by that and wanted to learn about that.”

<p>Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> A young Ben Stiller with dad Jerry Stiller

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

A young Ben Stiller with dad Jerry Stiller

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The Emmy-nominated director of TV series Escape from Dannemora and Severance shared memories of The Brady Bunch’s Mike Lookinland waving to him from atop a stagecoach while filming the show, Danny Bonaduce goofing around on the set of The Partridge Family and of a young Brandon Cruz knocking a candy bar out of his hand on the set of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.

“I have amazing memories of going on sets, loved it, and going with my parents whenever they would go out and do, you know, do nightclubs or go to see them in the theater,” Stiller said. “It was just sort of the fabric of our lives.”

Stiller’s father, Jerry, is perhaps best known for his roles on Seinfeld and The King of Queens. Sex and the City fans will remember Stiller’s mother, Anne Maera, as Miranda Hobbes’s mother-in-law. Maera died in 2015 at the age of 85. Jerry Stiller died in 2020, at the age of 92.

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