Carl Reiner calculated that the bravest performance of his career came one morning in 1954, at the height of the McCarthyite witch hunt, when a couple of FBI agents showed up at his door without warning.
He had joined their radar as a member of the American Labor Party, and for his role on a charity evening at Carnegie Hall in New York for anti-fascist veterans of the Spanish civil war.
“Do you know any Communists?” they asked. “I’m sure yes,” he replied and invited them to have a coffee.
“Would you tell us who I am?”
“I’m afraid I can’t do it,” he replied, smiling with his most sincere smile.
“And why can’t you?”
“Because I don’t know who they are,” he explained. “The communists don’t tell you