R.I.P Jerry Stiller; 1927-2020.
Death is inherently sad, but in some instances you can't help but sit back and reflect on the life someone lived think "damnit, they did it right". This is one of those instances. What a life Jerry Stiller lived. He certainly got all he could out of his 92 years.
After serving his country during World War II, Stiller graduated from Syracuse in 1950. A few years after that he met his future wife and comedy partner Anne Meara at an agent's office in '53. As they say, the rest is history.
The two performed together as "Stiller and Meara" on the TV Variety Show circuit (TV variety shows were one of the few things people had to look forward to in the 60's and 70's) for decades. According to my wikipedia research they were HUGE back in the days of TV Variety Shows. The team also made appearances together in TV, movies and commercials.
It was in the 90s when Jerry Stiller was back in the spotlight as George Costanza's father, Frank on a little show called Seinfeld. That role was so beloved that Stiller's death got Jay Buhner trending on twitter from people sharing this scene. All sport fans have wanted to do this to a big wig at some point.
His passion in this scene, and many others throughout the show's run made Frank one of the most popular "minor" roles on TV. When Seinfeld ended in 1998, Stiller was going to retire, but he was convinced by Kevin James to be a part of his new show "King of Queens". His character's name was Athur Spooner and he was Kevin's live-in father-in-law for the show's entire nine season run.
Peppered in between all of this was multiple film roles with both his wife, Anne and son, Ben. During blog prep, I was thinking that Zoolander was likely my first exposure to Jerry Stiller, but it was actually here at camp!
From everything I've read and heard in my life prior to today it's pretty easy to see Jerry Stiller was both revered and beloved. He was a good man, husband and father. His career spanned over six decades; most of it right beside his wife and/or son. Of course there's the tough side to fame/ the spotlight that us common plebs can't comprehend, but I'd imagine it's gotta be pretty, pretty, pretty cool to experience all this fame, success and admiration with two people you love; a lot (21 savage voice). Jerry's daughter, Amy has also been involved behind the scenes! Family Affair like Mary J. The Stillers are one of the First Class Families of Comedy and one of Second Cities first success stories. May Jerry Stiller rest in peace, hopefully he's finding serenity now with Anne somewhere together.
R.I.P. Jerry Stiller