R.I.P. Sid Caesar

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sid caesar, carl reiner, imogene cocaSid Caesar with Carl Reiner, Imogene Coca

 

Damn. I had a few personal connections to Mr. Sid Caesar, someone I was lucky enough to meet once upon a time. I even taught about him and his amazingly talented cohorts in my comedy class.

He was a pioneer, a brilliant man. What a loss. Via Variety:

Sid Caesar, one of the first stars created by television via his weekly live comedy program “Your Show of Shows,” has died at 91. TV host Larry King announced the news on Twitter.

Caesar, partnered with Imogene Coca, is credited with breaking ripe comedic ground with the 90-minute live program: It didn’t rely on vaudeville or standup-inspired material but rather on long skits and sketches written by an impressive roster of comedy writers including Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Lucille Kallen and Mel Tolkin.

They omitted Tony Webster, another of his amazing writers who was a dear friend of ours.

But his addiction took its toll, and until he came out of it in the late ’70s, Caesar gradually disappeared from the scene. In the early ’80s, he hosted “Saturday Night Live” and toured with Coca in a stage show recalling some of the better “Show of Shows” material.

He also did a considerable amount of work in supporting and guest turns on film and TV. He was in “Grease” and “The Cheap Detective” in 1978, in Brooks’ “History of the World: Part I” in 1981 and he made two appearances on “Love Boat,” to name just a few of his credits from the period... In 1985 he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. In 2011 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Television Critics Assn.

Mr. Laffy worked on "Love Boat" for years, and many of our writer friends (some mentioned in this article) worked with Sid Caesar and would share some great stories with us. He will be missed.

More on his life and career at the link.

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  • Jack Hertz

    Sid Caesar ranks among the funniest people ever. As a child, I begged my mom & dad to please let me stay up and watch Your Show of Shows.. His sketches were and are brilliant & still elicit belly laughs. He paved the way for generations of comics. RIP Sid

  • Kevin P

    Sid was one of the great ones.