We come to praise Caesar, Rufus, and Rollins. Off-Ramp for Feb. 15, 2014

We do come to praise Caesar - a television pioneer and genius

Sid Caesar With Writers On TV Set

NBC Television/Getty Images

American comedian Sid Caesar with his writers during rehearsal on the set of his live television sketch comedy series, "Your Show of Shows." Caesar died February 12 at the age of 91.

It certainly helped that he had Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, and Woody Allen in the writers room; and Imogene Coca and Carl Reiner on stage with him. But still, to do an hour-and-a-half of live television for 39 weeks a year, to carry the whole show? This is what Sid Caesar did in the 1950s.

Caesar died Wednesday at the age of 91. This is part of an interview I did with him in 2000 at his home in Beverly Hills, which was never broadcast. In it, he wants to make clear that live television was hard, and gave the audience much more than today's shows.


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