In 1961, the great team of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner made a comedy
album about the 2000 year old man. Probably the funniest recording ever done, and still
available (along with its sequels) on CD from Rhino records. Dick Peabody, who played
Littlejohn, and I, whose senses of humor meshed completely, memorized the 2000 year old
While we would all be waiting on the back lot, way off in the tulles,
for the camera to roll and the sound of "action," someone would say "Do
2000 years." One day Id do Mel Brooks and hed do the interviewer, Carl
Reiner. Another day wed switch parts. Mostly, I did Brooks because my Jewish accent
is better. As our show continued, the two geniuses, Brooks and Reiner, did 2001, then
another album, and Dick and I learned all the cuts, including the Two-Hour-Old Baby That
Talks. He and I did that for years on the phone with each other, and it always broke us
About year three of the show, I started putting on weight and found
myself almost on a constant diet. I got in the habit of brown bagging. Millies
lunches could break down anyones resolve, and I mostly had a couple of hard cooked
eggs and a few tomatoes and celery. Practical jokes were a common practice with all of us.
One day, as I was beginning to enjoy my meal in my trailer on the back lot, there was a
knock at the door, and Peabody entered. I offered him a seat across from me at the table.
"How was lunch?" I asked as I cracked the shell on my first
"Great, as usual."
There was a window at the table with a Venetian blind, partly closed,
and I had slid the window open a bit for a fresh breeze. I finished the first egg and
reached in the bag for the second one as Peabody, fumbling with a few scraps of paper,
lost one and it fell to the floor. It was nearer me so I said, "Ill get
it," and I leaned over and picked it up. I then cracked the egg and the craziest
thing happened. Raw egg spread all over the table top.
"Thats odd," I said, "I put both of them in the
boiling water at the same time, and this one didnt cook!"
Later, Peabody said he had to almost shoot out of the trailer to keep
from laughing hysterically, and about a dozen of the guys had been watching what little
they could see through the blinds, but they all had to run like hell to get away far
enough before they broke up, too. Millie, of course was in on the gag; shed supplied
the raw egg.
Dick Peabody retired to a small town in Northern California, where for
some years he wrote a weekly column for the local paper. In one, he recounted the story of
the hard boiled egg that didnt cook, and the paper got swamped with phone calls and
mail lauding his writing and humor.
Peabody died in December of 1999 of prostate cancer.
(Also see Dick Peabody in Combat! at CombatFan.com)