Sid Caesar Obituary

OBITUARY

Sid Caesar dies at 91; comedy giant of the small screen

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Sid Caesar, hailed as a genius of live TV sketch comedy, won two Emmys for ‘Your Show of Shows’ in the ’50s. He ‘always took comedy to a stratospheric level,’ said Mel Brooks.

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By Dennis McLellan
Los Angeles Times
February 12, 2014

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In a day before comedy was laced with irony and studded with mean-spirited barbs, Sid Caesar was more than funny. He was hilariously, outrageously, tear-inducingly, gather-up-the-whole-family-for-this funny. A veteran of the Catskills with an elastic face, a knack for gibberish and a mind that could find comedy gold in the workings of a Bavarian cuckoo clock, Caesar was the king of live television sketch comedy in the 1950s.

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Some of the best writers — Carl Reiner, Neil Simon and Mel Brooks — vied to work for him. No slouches at comedy themselves, they were dazzled by his genius and, at times, horrified by his temper; he once tore the sink from a hotel bathroom and threatened to throw Brooks out an 18th-story window.

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Caesar went public with some of his emotional problems in 1956, long before it was common for celebrities to do so. He is best known, though, not for his tormented inner life but for the inspired zaniness of the sketches on his trademark programs, “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour.”

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A two-time Emmy Award-winning performer, Caesar died Wednesday at his home in Beverly Hills after a brief illness, according to his biographer Eddy Friedfeld. He was 91.

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Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Sid Caesar

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