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 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 2:07 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Sid Caesar, beloved comic actor who blazed TV's early days with Your Show of Shows, has died at 91.

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 2:18 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

Oh no! I just watched the Criterion "Mad...World" three days ago and once again marveled at his performance.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 2:28 PM   
 By:   cody1949   (Member)

A comic genius has left this world after giving us SO MUCH LAUGHTER on television and then film. Thank you, Sid.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 2:52 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

R.I.P. Sid. You were great in "Your Show Of Shows" and "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World". You have given us so much laughter in the past seven decades. first Shirley Temple, then Sid Caesar. What's the world coming to?

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 2:58 PM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

I never really knew too much about Sid Caesar. However, it strikes me as something of a catastrophic waste that the man could live to his great age, and be such an acknowledged influence on American comedy, while remaining essentially inactive for the best part of 50 years! Something similar happened to Spike Milligan here in England.

Sometimes the "industry" finds a genius and then simply doesn't know what to do with them.

 
 Posted:   Feb 12, 2014 - 5:50 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

He's up there with Uncle Goopy, leglocked for eternity.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2014 - 7:32 AM   
 By:   cody1949   (Member)

HOW COULD THE KENNEDY CENTER OMIT SUCH A COMIC GENIUS FROM ITS HONOREES OVER THE YEARS ? SHAMEFUL !

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2014 - 8:39 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Classic comedian from my youth. RIP.

 
 Posted:   Feb 13, 2014 - 2:07 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I never really knew too much about Sid Caesar. However, it strikes me as something of a catastrophic waste that the man could live to his great age, and be such an acknowledged influence on American comedy, while remaining essentially inactive for the best part of 50 years! Something similar happened to Spike Milligan here in England.

Sometimes the "industry" finds a genius and then simply doesn't know what to do with them.


Indeed!

 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2014 - 9:48 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Cody: Re: HOW COULD THE KENNEDY CENTER OMIT SUCH A COMIC GENIUS FROM ITS HONOREES OVER THE YEARS ? SHAMEFUL !

Yes, he was unquestionably wonderful in what he accomplished during his heyday, but I have to say that I agree with his exclusion from the Kennedys. I'm sure he was, quite justifiably, honored by the Television Hall of Fame, but unfortunately (and not to denigrate his importance in both comedy and TV) he simply didn't have the breadth of career that would warrant Kennedy Center Honors. What did he do in the 1980s? The 1990s? The 2000s? My last memory of him was his hilarious bit in Mel Brooks' "High Anxiety" (remember those rolling eyes?), but that was 1977, but too little followed that (which, yes, was a crime). Don't mean to be a wet blanket, because I loved him, but just don't agree.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2014 - 11:16 AM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

"He's up there with Uncle Goopy, leglocked for eternity."

Thank you, Ray. That is a scene I will have embedded in my memory to the grave.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2014 - 11:02 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Arguably an authentic comic genius, Sid Caesar re-defined sketch comedy in his two Emmy-winning TV series, "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour". His satire, physical comedy and mime were done live before millions - with daring, wit and impeccable timing - oftentimes improvised. Broadway theatre producers petitioned his network to move Caesar to a weeknight--too many people were staying at home Saturday nights. Two awards probably best define his career, both awarded by the Television Critics Association: "The TV Pioneer Award" and "The Lifetime Achievement Award". Caesar transitioned from being a highly respected musician (Benny Goodman Orchestra) to comedy at the Vacationland Hotel in Swan Lake and at Kutsher's in Monticello, both in the Catskills.

Although, Sid Caesar spent most of his career in television, he did have some feature films to his credit. Caesar made his feature debut in 1946's TARS AND SPARS. In the film, he is credited as "Sid Caesar of Yonkers, U.S.A."

The title of the film was derived from an actual touring musical Coast Guard show, which was written by Howard Dietz and Lt. Vernon Duke and starred Victor Mature. The term "spar" was used for a member of the U.S. Coast Guard's Women's Reserve during World War II, and "tar" was a name used for seamen and sailors.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2014 - 11:11 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

It would be 17 years before Sid Caesar appeared on the big screen again--when he joined nearly every other comedian in Hollywood in IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2014 - 11:26 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Caesar's second hiatus from the big screen only lasted four years. And 1967 was a big year for Caesar in features. In January, he had the lead in his first film, William Castle's THE BUSY BODY. The comedic gangster film was based on a novel by Donald E. Westlake. The film was filled with a fine cast of comic supporting actors, including Kay Medford, Jan Murray, Dom DeLuise, Bill Dana, Marty Ingels, and George Jessel. It also marked the feature film debut of Richard Pryor. Vic Mizzy provided the score.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2014 - 11:43 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In May 1967, Caesar appeared, along with more than a dozen other guest stars, in A GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN. This Gene Kelly-directed comedy featured the stars in various vignettes wherein Robert Morse told stories of friends who had had both successful and unsuccessful marital affairs. Caesar was in good company, with the likes of Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Polly Bergen, Joey Bishop, Art Carney, Wally Cox, Jayne Mansfield, Louis Nye, Carl Reiner, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas, Jeffrey Hunter, Marty Ingels, and Sam Jaffe also doing cameos. Each of the celebrities was paid $10,000 for two days work.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 14, 2014 - 11:59 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE BUSY BODY wasn't a big critical hit, but it did well enough at the box office that William Castle and Caesar did a second film together. Released in July 1967, THE SPIRIT IS WILLING was a comedic ghost story that found Caesar and family finding the spirits at a New England seaside house that they've rented for their summer vacation. This go-around was neither critically nor financially succesful, and the collaboration ended there.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2014 - 12:17 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Following THE SPIRIT IS WILLING, Caesar was out of feature films for 6 years. But in 1973, he began appearing on the big screen again.

Producer-director Max Liebman (1902-1981) had worked on Broadway, but is best known for having created the TV variety show "Your Show of Shows" (1950) that made Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca stars, and helped launch the careers of actors Carl Reiner, Howard Morris, Nanette Fabray and the writers Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, and Mel Tolkin. In 1973, Liebman selected 10 of the best comedy skits from "Your Show of Shows" and put them together into a feature film entitled, appropriately enough, TEN FROM YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS. The compilation, although little seen outside of major cities, was roundly applauded by the critics, and brought Caesar back into the public eye once again.




The next year, Caesar appeared in AIRPORT 1975, in which he played a semi-dramatic part, as one of the passengers on the ill-fated flight.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2014 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1976, Caesar played a studio chief in Mel Brooks' SILENT MOVIE.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2014 - 12:39 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Caesar co-starred in the 1977 film FIRE SALE, directed by star Alan Arkin. The film had an aborted release and didn't play in New York until 1979.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 15, 2014 - 12:52 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 1978, Caesar was in Neil Simon's all-star mystery spoof THE CHEAP DETECTIVE. He played a Romanian who owns the Brooklyn Bridge. Patrick Williams scored the film.




At the same time that THE CHEAP DETECTIVE was in the theaters, Caesar also played a supporting role in the massive hit GREASE. He appeared as Coach Calhoun. Harry Reems was originally signed to play the part. But the producers got cold feet (for fear of his adult movie notoriety) weeks before filming and replaced him with Caesar. Prosecuted by the Federal government in 1976 on charges of conspiracy to distribute obscenity across state lines, Reems was convicted, but the conviction was overturned on appeal one year later.

 
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