Classic Television: Sid Caesar Remembered
Sid Caesar passed away on February 12th. He was 91 years old.
His passing was little noticed and that’s too bad. Sid Caesar was not an entertainer. Wait, let me be clear on this. Of course Sid Caesar was an entertainer. Beyond that, he was an entertainer’s entertainer!
But what i mean is, Sid Caesar was so much more than that. Sid Caesar was, you see, a pioneer.
Sid Caesar invented live television. That’s right, he was at the head of the class when it came to live television. You think you know reality TV? No, reality TV today isn’t real…what Sid did was real and it was live in front of, well, however many people had television in ‘those days’.
From 1950 to 1954 Sid hosted ‘Your Show Of Shows’, a legendary television variety show that aired live for 90 minutes, a total of nearly 160 shows.
Now, there’s two incredible things about that compared to today’s television shows:
1) They were 90 minutes. Not many shows on a regular basis are 90 minutes anymore.
and 2) They were live! Not taped, not video, not delayed for broadcast…what they did is what you got, right there in your living room as it happened.
Oh, and by the way, the team that helped Sid write and perform this ‘Show of Shows’? Well, there was Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, and of course his ever present partner in comedy Imogene Coca…plus many more.
We lost a legend, an innovator, a pioneer of his industry.