Monday, February 22, 2010
IN PRAISE OF CAESAR !!! - RARE CLIP OF HIS TELEVISION SERIES DEBUT - NBC-TV & DUMONT NETWORK - CIRCA JANUARY 26, 1949
As a performer and comedian, Sid Caesar was made for television, even if the tiny screens of first generation receivers could barely contain his vivid talent and vibrant energy.
On January 26, 1949, Caesar proved himself to be the brightest light visible at the dawn of network television. His first TV series, THE ADMIRAL BROADWAY REVUE, was simulcast on NBC-TV and the DUMONT NETWORK for maximum, audience reach.
It was one of television's first success stories.
Caesar, a Yonkers, New York native and a skilled saxophonist,came to television as a veteran of camp shows in the Catskill Mountains, ,military musicals during his time serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, and as a lead player in the hit, Broadway show, MAKE MINE MANHATTAN.In that energetic revue, Caesar won critical acclaim for his star turn, performing a musical spoof of date night in Little Old New York.
Legendary TV impresario Max Liebman produced that musical and was recruited, with his young star (Caesar) by NBC's resident video visionary, Pat Weaver to launch a sophisticated , topical, 90 minute, LIVE, Saturday night,comedy/variety show.
So, in the final months of the 1940's, the small handful of network television viewers were treated to the debut of the nascent mediums first, true comic virtuoso.
Sid Caesar would achieve Olympian heights in a long and storied career in television comedy. He went on to star with Imogene Coca and Carl Reiner in YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS and with Nanette Fabray in CAESAR'S HOUR. He gathered a legendary writing team (see below) that included icons of comedy such as Mel Brooks,Larry Gelbart and Neil Simon.
Below, from the JSTEEBER, YOU TUBE site, is a primitive clip of Sid Caesar performing his high energy, high velocity number, FIVE DOLLAR DATE, on the debut of THE ADMIRAL BROADWAY REVUE. Enjoy!!!!!!