Saturday, June 5, 2010


Sid Caesar was a video visionary and a pretend polyglot.As a linguistic acrobat,he could double-talk in almost any ersatz dialect of any known language. He proved it, repeatedly in military camp shows, in Borscht-belt hotel ballrooms, on the Broadway stage, and on the hundreds of times he stood before NBC television cameras starring in his two landmark comedy/variety series,YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS(1950-1954) and CAESAR'S HOUR (1954-1957).

Both series were imbued with Caesar's comic sensibilities and propelled by the erudite observations of a legendary, writing team that included Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart and Mel Brooks.Any member of that comic crew could have served as the laugh-maker laureate of the United States.

The incomparable Caesar, his protean writers, plus versatile, vibrant performers Carl Reiner, Howard Morris and Imogene Coca brought stylish satire to Saturday night,at a time when television comedy was largely a reflection of vaudevillian values.

Their work was multi-dimensional in it's comedic context.Sophisticated sketches about foreign films, suburban sprawl and the ancient battle of the sexes brought a post-modern perspective to post WWII America.

A gifted musician, Caesar explored the emergence of Jazz and Be-Bop from smokey , urban nightclubs and spartan, campus coffee houses into mainstream media and onto the global stage. Caesar and his team created the character of Progress Hornsby,a jazz master and a hapless hipster who blew a hot sax, but whose thinking process was a bit lax.

Here , from the MONKEY PEAS YOU TUBE site,is an excerpt of a sketch from CAESAR'S HOUR, featuring Sid Caesar as Progress Hornsby and Carl Reiner as an Edward R. Murrow "knock-off" interviewing the sultan of sax.Enjoy!!!!!

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