Rob Reiner uses Yiddish word ‘kochleffel’ in Emmys tribute to Jewish comedy legend Norman Lear


((JR)) — To fete the creator of the TV series that made him famous, Jewish actor and director Rob Reiner turned to Yiddish during the Emmys on Monday night.

Reiner was paying tribute to Norman Lear, the Jewish creator of pioneering TV comedies who died last month at 101. Reiner came to prominence for his role as Michael Stivic on “All in the Family,” one of the shows that Lear created.

“There’s a Yiddish word that describes Norman’s genius: It’s kochleffel,” Reiner said. “For all you non-Jews out there, kochleffel is a ladle, a ladle that stirs the pot. And when Norman the kochleffel stirred that pot, he wound up changing American culture.”

Reiner, 76, is the son of Carl Reiner, a comedy legend who died in 2020. He is a producer on a forthcoming documentary about the rise of Christian nationalism, which he has denounced.

The Emmys were delayed by last year’s Hollywood strikes, so some shows that finished airing more than a year ago were up for prizes. Two shows about Jewish families, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Fleishman is in Trouble,” had been nominated for multiple awards but were shut out.