Damn. Another legend gone. The name “Sid Caesar” probably doesn’t mean much to anyone under 50 years of age, but this man was a titan of comedy. His most famous television program, “Your Show of Shows”, was a 90 minutes of live comedy, and they did a live show 39 weeks a year. That’s a lot of comedy. As a comparison, “Saturday Night Live” only does about 22 episodes a year, and often not very well.
His writer’s rooms were a launching pad for many of the most successful comedy careers. Who wrote for him? People like Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart and more who owe their careers to Sid Caesar. They’d be the first to tell you that.
While he didn’t have a very big film career, most modern audiences may know him for his work in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” or “Grease” or “History of the World, Part I” or maybe even “Vegas Vacation”. Film never did do him justice. However, the character of “King Kaiser” from the film “My Favorite Year” was based on Caesar, as was a lot of that film’s script.
Live performance was what he did best, as evidenced by the clip below. It’s one of the most famous sketches from his show. It’s a spoof of “This is Your Life”. Enjoy…
So long, Sid…