Sid Caesar

Program 108 • 29 mins


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Sid Caesar was one of American television’s first real superstars, a sensational comedian who delighted sixty million viewers in the nineteen-fifties with his live weekly programs “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour.” And he assembled a stable of zany writers and performers including future stars Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner and Larry Gelbart. A master of slapstick, funny faces, doubletalk and pseudo-languages, Sid Caesar was inventing modern comedy. Those hilarious and heady days on primetime network television eventually faded, leaving the brilliant Sid Ceasar trapped in a crisis of self-doubt, depression, and addiction to pills and alcohol. He fought his way back to sobriety and emotional health, as described in his moving memoir, “Where Have I Been?” Since then, Caesar has battled a series of physical ailments: a fractured hip, a prostate condition, and an inoperable hernia. Even when the chips are down he has always returned to the wellspring of humor—for energy and hope.

Laughter is the release of pain. It’ll take your mind off of it. It’s like a pain pill, only better. Cause you forget about the pain and you start to laugh.”

—Sid Caesar


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