How Jerry Stiller’s First Date With Anne Meara Could’ve Gotten Him Arrested

Comedy legend, Jerry Stiller, died on Monday, May 11 from natural causes. Stiller’s friends and family, including actor/comedian, Ben Stiller, mourn the loss of the Seinfeld star. His wife and comedic partner, Anne Meara, died in 2015. Their marriage lasted nearly 62 years. Here’s how Stiller could’ve landed behind bars after a first-date stint — all for Meara’s approval.

Fans remember Jerry Stiller

Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara
Actors/comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara | Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

The world has lost an entertainment icon. On Monday, May 11, actor, Ben Stiller took to social media to reveal his father, Jerry Stiller, has died from natural causes.

“I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad,” he tweeted.

Stiller was 92 years old and lived a life filled with impressive highlights — such as a resurrected career in his late 60s with his 26-episode stint on Seinfeld and 206 episodes of The King of Queens.

Stiller’s work spans across 60 years and dozens of projects. Fans are feeling the void the star has left in the entertainment world.

“So very sorry to hear this, Ben. He was always a joy to be around, as was your wonderful mother. Sending love and condolences to you and your family,” actress, Morgan Fairchild tweeted.

“Your father’s generosity and support was a vast and almost indescribable honor, Ben. My deepest condolences,” ESPN Sports Center anchor, Keith Olbermann said.

Other celebrities, such as Hank Azaria, Ricky Gervais, and more, also offered their condolences.

However, one fan’s post may sum up what the loss of Stiller means for all fans of the actor.

“And now for the airing of the Grievances,” the fan stated, in reference to the famous Seinfeld episode, “The Strike” which highlighted the Costanza holiday, Festivus (for the rest of us).

How Stiller’s first date with Meara broke the law

Brooklyn, New York native, Stiller, may have served his time in World War II, and also attended Syracuse University where he graduated with a degree in speech and drama, but meeting his future wife, Anne Meara, is likely among the highlights of his life.

In 1953, just as Stiller began his career in entertainment, he found himself sitting in a casting office where fate intervened. Struggling actress, Meara, also sat in the office, awaiting the casting director.

The two must’ve felt immediate sparks because their new relationship started then and there.

“From there we went down to the cafeteria. I bought her a cup of coffee because that’s all I could afford, really,” Stiller told MSNBC in 2012. “I said, ‘Should I pick up the check?'”

Meara’s response set up what would become one of the greatest comedy duos of a generation.

“She said, ‘Forget about the check, pick up some silverware, stick it in your pocket and let’s get the hell out of here.'”

When asked if Stiller actually stole the cutlery, Meara didn’t hesitate in her response.

“Of course he did it, he wanted to sleep with me,” she said.

Good thing no one caught Stiller thieving the silverware or an arrest may have gotten in the way of moving forward in the relationship. The exchange, however, perfectly sums up how well the two would work together, and live together, for decades to come.

A glimpse at the couple’s legacy in life and love

Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara
Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara | Nancy R. Schiff/Getty Images

Stiller and Meara joined Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe in the mid-1950s, soon becoming regulars at local nightclubs and making appearances on TV such as The Ed Sullivan Show.

For years, Stiller and Meara worked together in a slew of projects. The couple often incorporated differences in their backgrounds into their on-stage material — especially after Meara converted to Judaism when the two married.

Before her 2015 death, Meara became an Emmy and Tony-nominated actress, with roles in Eugene O’Neill’s play, Anna Christie, opposite Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson. She was also known for her role as Peggy Moody on the daytime soap, All My Children.

Stiller and Meara worked together in later years, too. During Stiller’s time on King of Queens, Meara guest-starred two separate times as two separate characters.

And, because talent runs in the family, both stars have appeared in multiple projects connected to Ben [Stiller], including Zoolander, and Reality Bites. In 2010, they also hosted their own comedy series, Stiller and Meara, their son [Ben] produced.

The Hollywood love story between Stiller and Meara lasted nearly 62 years until Meara’s death. Stiller did not re-marry and their memories include sharing a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Both are survived by [Ben] Stiller and a daughter, Amy.