Sid Caesar, 1922-2014

“If television is a cool medium, it’s only since Sid Caesar left it. An immense, bear-like monster who generated more energy than any three TVA projects, Caesar did the best comedy on television, ever…. His endless energy was a war on the static, the complacent and the passively stupid. When Sid Caesar was stupid, he was actively stupid. Usually when someone makes a movie about The Creation, they cast an august presence like John Gielgud or someone to play the voice of God. But there is no doubt that there was one person born to play Him, and it was Sid Caesar. He hurled and slapped his little universe into its own special order. There was nothing cool about it.
— “Sid Caesar, a comedic force of nature who became one of television’s first stars in the early 1950s and influenced generations of comedians and comedy writers, died on Wednesday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 91.” It is impossible to overstate his legacy, and maybe the greatest tribute to him is just how difficult it is to express how groundbreaking his work was since so much of it became the established comedic vernacular that still informs funny today. There are a ton of clips of “Your Show of Shows” out there, so instead I’ll put up this one, from a terrific panel discussion called Caesar’s Writers

that came out a few years back and is absolutely worth tracking down.