Sid Caesar was a genius, an originator, a pioneer. He was one of the three or four most important people in the development of television comedy and perhaps the most important person in the development of television sketch comedy.
The simplest way to honor him is to note how different comedy would have been without him.
No Sid Caesar means no Saturday Night Live which copied much of YOUR SHOW OF SHOW’S format.
Also no Carol Burnett Show, no Chapelle, no Fridays.
The careers of Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen, Larry Gelbart and all the other TV and movie comedy writing titans who started out as Ceasar writers would have been very different. Consider everything they did in movies and TV and imagine what it would be like without them.
Watching a few of his sketches today “Happy Birthday” “The Clock” The German General” and one thing I notice is how well written they are with brilliant set-ups and enough space left for Caesar and his often equally brilliant co-stars Imogene Coca and Howard Morris among others to let it fly, to improvise. Caesar himself always seemed on the verge of total lunacy, one foot in crazytown, with a face that told the whole story as an epic battle.
I also think of IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD “I fell in yellow”.
RIP Sid Caesar....A Giant! (And in this case it’s not hyperbole)