Rob Reiner on His Infamous ‘All in the Family’ Nickname – ‘I Could Win the Nobel Prize, They’ll Say, ‘Meathead Wins Nobel’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Rob Reiner (second from left) in a scene from

If you’re a fan of All within the Family, you already know that Carroll O’Connor’s foremost character, Archie Bunker, had a not-so-endearing nickname for everybody in his life.

“Dingbat” for his spouse Edith, performed by Jean Stapleton; “Little girl,” for his daughter, Gloria, portrayed by Sally Struthers; and “Meathead,” for his son-in-law, performed by Rob Reiner, whom he reluctantly welcomed into his residence.

For higher or worse, the famend actor, director, and producer has said that, within the 4 many years because the basic comedy ended, his explicit “handle” of Meathead has caught – on an nearly day by day foundation.

Rob Reiner (second from left) in a scene from 'All in the Family', 1978
Rob Reiner (second from left) in a scene from ‘All in the Family’, 1978 | Bettman, Getty Images

How Rob Reiner bought solid as Michael Stivic

Reiner began out within the business doing what he liked most: writing for tv. He defined to the Television Academy Foundation in 2004 the way it took place that All within the Family creator Norman Lear selected him to play Mike Stivic, the position that might primarily put Reiner on the map.

His story begins after he and frequent writing associate Phil Mishkin in 1970 “have been employed as a writing staff for a collection known as Headmaster, which Andy Griffith starred in as headmaster of a personal college, a personal highschool.”

Rob Reiner and Carroll O'Connor on the set of 'All in the Family', 1971Rob Reiner and Carroll O'Connor on the set of 'All in the Family', 1971
Rob Reiner and Carroll O’Connor on the set of ‘All in the Family’, 1971 | CBS through Getty Images

“I believe we wrote six episodes of Headmaster,” Reiner defined. “One of the episodes was about a teacher who has an affair with one of his students. I played that teacher. I was 23 at the time and falling in love with a 17-year-old student.”

The When Harry Met Sally director shared that Lear favored what he noticed in that episode.

“And that episode was one of many causes I bought All within the Family…,” he stated. “I believe Norman Lear noticed my work in [Headmaster]…he felt that I had matured as an actor, and he gave me the half.”

Rob Reiner feels Mike Stivic was really a ‘bit of a chauvinist’

Rob Reiner (left) and Carroll O'Connor in a scene from 'All in the Family', 1972Rob Reiner (left) and Carroll O'Connor in a scene from 'All in the Family', 1972
Rob Reiner (left) and Carroll O’Connor in a scene from ‘All in the Family’, 1972 | CBS through Getty Images

RELATED: ‘All in the Family’: Sally Struthers’ Net Worth and Why She Really Hated ABC’s Live Reboot of the Series

The A Few Good Men and The Princess Bride director opened up about how he seen the character he performed for eight seasons, till 1979.

“He was a wide-eyed liberal,” Reiner stated of Mike Stivic. “Kind of a long-haired product of his time. Archie would call him a ‘bleeding heart liberal.’ He was also, oddly enough, a bit of a chauvinist.”

“Even though he was liberal-minded in his stance against the war, civil rights, and so on,” Reiner continued, “when it came to the women’s movement, he was probably like all men…to push back against feminism.”

Reiner will all the time be ‘Meathead’[embedded content material]

The Emmy-Award winner defined that the nickname “Meathead” was used as a result of present creator Norman Lear’s father known as him by that identify. Meathead, which means useless from the neck up.

The former husband to Laverne & Shirley star Penny Marshall, it appears, accepted way back that the moniker shouldn’t be going wherever.

“I thank [Lear] for it! Because, you know, nobody calls me that now,” Reiner deadpanned. “I’m kidding. I get that daily of my life. Literally daily of my life, someone will say, ‘Hey Meathead.’”

“No matter what I do with my life, I could win the Nobel Prize, they’ll say, ‘Meathead Wins Nobel,’ it doesn’t matter. I have Norman Lear to thank for that.”

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