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Sid Caesar dies at 91


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*Sid Caesar*, one of the first stars created by television via his weekly live comedy program *Your Show of Shows*, died Wednesday in his home. He was 91.

 

It's really rather astonishing to think of how many brilliant comedy writers and performers started out working for Sid Caesar -- *Mel Brooks*, *Carl Reiner*, *Woody Allen*, *Larry Gelbart*, and *Neil Simon* are a few that come to mind.

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Makes sense.

 

Sid, as Mel said there, WAS quite the physical specimen.

 

(..though if his son was ALSO anywhere as good as his dad was at faking foreign languages, I'll bet the kid breezed RIGHT through his French, German OR Italian classes at that Ivy League school TOO!) ;)

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Are any of the performers from that show still alive? Is Imogene Coca? I cant remember if she died or not.........

 

The show was before my time (or I was too little to watch) I'm sure my parents did........

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Altho his movie credits were quite sparse, he was quite good in the ones he did. Showed versatility.

 

 

Very much in agreement with this. I loved his brief, but hilarious sequence in "The Cheap Detective' as Ann-Margaret's aged husband.

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Sid Caesar was truly a giant in the early days of television (he helped define TV as much as TV created him). And its hard to measure just how much of an inspiration he was to that incredible staff of writers and fellow actors who worked with him. Looking at his list of credits on the IMDb it seems rather sparse, I wish he would have stayed more active in tv and doing film work. But when he did perform he always excelled, several previous posts hit on some of those highlights. Lets not forget the great parody that Joseph Bologna did of Sid in the film *My Favorite Year* , Sid should have done a brief cameo, that would have been great.

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Dargo, thanks for that YouTube clip of Mel Brooks talking about his former boss. Not only does he give a couple of great Sid Caesar anecdotes, but Brooks, in telling those tales,' gives further evidence that he, Mel, is simply one of the funniest men that ever lived.

 

I wish I had greater access to the best of Sid Caesar's '50 television work to more fully appreciate his comic genius. RIP, Sid.

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I wish I had greater access to the best of Sid Caesar's '50 television work to more fully appreciate his comic genius. RIP, Sid.

 

Tom, there are quite a few of his best skits available on YouTube. Two in particular you shouldn't miss are "Gallipacci" and "At the Movies". The first is from "Caesar's Hour" with Nanette Fabray, and the latter is from "Your Show of Shows" with Imogene Coca. Both of them also feature Carl Reiner and Howard Morris, and they're both pure classics.

 

"Gallipacci":

 

"At the Movies":

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Thanks for the word, Andy. I watched "At the Movies" and it made me appreciate just how wonderful all the Your Show of Shows players were.

 

I remember their "This Is Your Life" satire, of course, possibly their most famous, with a crying Howard Morris, almost looking like an hysterical little monkey, as he clings to a weeping Sid Caesar's leg. Great, classic, hilarious stuff!

 

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!

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I remember their "This Is Your Life" satire, of course, possibly their most famous, with a crying Howard Morris, almost looking like an hysterical little monkey, as he clings to a weeping Sid Caesar's leg.

 

Which in turn may have been a sendoff of what Morris did in "Gallipacci".

 

Of course the problem with Caesar is that once you begin watching those old episodes, it's impossible to stop. I've just turned off my phone and put a big *"DO NOT DISTURB"* sign on the door, and I'm off to watch "Auto Smashup".

 

 

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You're right, Andy. That's the problem with watching Sid Caesar and those wonderful inspired maniacs in their television sketch comedy bits. It's the comedy equivalent of salted peanuts.

 

I felt much the same years later when viewing SCTV on TV. I bet that Caesar and company (including Mel Brooks and Woody Allen), probably loved those antics, so often satiric, of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Catharine O'Hara, Joe Flaherty, etc., etc., as well.

 

In my various Toronto trips I met three of those SCTV performers in unexpected places (two together in a record store, one in a bar), telling each of them how much I loved their stuff.

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>Dargo, thanks for that YouTube clip of Mel Brooks talking about his former boss. Not only does he give a couple of great Sid Caesar anecdotes, but Brooks, in telling those tales,' gives further evidence that he, Mel, is simply one of the funniest men that ever lived.

 

You're welcome, Tom.

 

I remember Mel telling this story about Sid years ago on I think the "Tonight Show" to Johnny Carson, and the idea of how Sid could become so instantaneously "intense"(not to mention the idea of so instantaneously funny and with the whole idea of telling that Chicago cabbie he was "about to re-live birth", LOL) must have made a big enough impression upon me that I've remembered it after all these years. It was just luck that I found Mel retelling it on Conan O'Brien's show here.

 

(...btw, I would assume another of Sid's writing/acting crew, Carl Reiner, must have also been inspired by Sid's antics to create his "Alan Brady" character for the classic "Dick Van Dyke Show")

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I don't wish to distract from a thread created for the great Sid Caesar, but I can't recall if Mel Brooks is one of the guests shown by TCM in any of their Johnny Carson segments. It's too much, of course, to hope that those particular Brooks anecdotes to which you referred, Dargo, might be included.

 

However, anything Mel said on Johnny's show was bound to be hilarious. Brooks and Carson, talk about a pair of comic geniuses!

 

In my fantasy world I bump into Mel and try to give him the old cross examination, "Okay, Mel, now fess up. What's the real story about you and Errol Flynn?"

 

(To which Mel, drinking at the time, sprays his drink on the floor, stomps around on his ankles and goes into a 2000 Year Old Man shtick).

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