Tiffany Woolf captures last major Carl Reiner interview
By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN
A former Tulane University student, Tiffany Woolf snagged the last major interview with comedian Carl Reiner before the comic master and TV producer died this week at the age of 98.
Woolf, who attended Tulane University form 1989-91 before transferring, is a resident these days of Pacifica, CA., a small coastal city 15 miles north of San Francisco.
The perky and enthusiastic brunette was interviewed by telephone just a few days before Reiner died, as she was promoting her new interview show “Dispatches from Quarantine,” which features Woolf interviewing celebrities of advanced age to mine them for their wisdom and insights.
Reiner was the coveted interview subject she had recorded only a few weeks ago. She found out that he and his former comic partner Mel Brooks had been enjoying watching TV and having dinner together at night, going all in for “Jeopardy” with their TV tray tables in front of them.
In addition to Reiner, she also has also conducted interviews with nonagenerians Norman Lear and Marion Ross of TV’s “Happy Days” fame. Ross has been like a great-aunt to her, so that interview as “an easy ask,” according to Woolf. Lear’s interview was conducted two years ago.
Woolf and her business partner had been interviewing subjects across the country when the pandemic hit.
“We were traveling around the country interviewing these wonderful seniors and capturing their stories and then COVID hit and we thought: ‘This is more important than ever because elders are more isolated than ever and they show the resiliency and the history we need to show us how to get through this,'” Woolf considered.
They came through with the idea to ramp up more of these interviews while they are sequestered, sheltering in place. In addition to Ross, Lear and Reiner, she also had sit-downs with TV interviewer Larry King and funnyman and marijuana pitchman Tommy Chong.
The project has been funded by Reboot, a Jewish non-profit dealing with arts and culture “that reimagines and reinforces Jewish thought and traditions.”
Of the 50 interviews conducted, most of the subjects have been seniors with Jewish backgrounds, most in the public eye. “Dispatches from Quarantine” follows the two previous shows, “The Last Act” and “Coming of Age,” which was just released.
“Dispatches from Quarantine” is about celebrities who are shut-ins. It can be viewed by going to their website.