Saturday, February 5, 2011
HAIL THE REIGN OF CAESAR - SCENES OF COMIC GENIUS - NBC-TV & DuMONT NETWORK - CIRCA 1949 TO 1957
Even in this age of 52 inch, flat panel televisions, there still may not be a screen big enough to display the full range of Sid Caesar's manifold, magnificent, manic comedic talents.
An acclaimed and beloved video virtuoso, Caesar's earliest work in the infant medium was brilliant, visionary and innovative. In fact, it was so good that his first series, 1949's ADMIRAL BROADWAY REVUE, was so successful that it was shut down after just one season on the air.
Caesar's smart and antic comedy motivated so many people to purchase television sets, that his first sponsor, Admiral electronics, cancelled that DuMont Network show, rather than investing in expanding it's manufacturing plant.
Here are three examples of his incomparable comedy and the brilliant ensemble cast that supported him on his three,landmark series, THE ADMIRAL BROADWAY REVUE (1949 DuMont Network & NBC-TV), YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS (1950-1954 NBC-TV ) and CAESAR'S HOUR(1954-1957 NBC-TV)..
On stage, Carl Reiner and Howard Morris, plus leading ladies Imogene Coca and Nanette Fabray, were the nucleus of Television's most explosive , and funniest chain reaction.
In the writer's room, Caesar commanded the most astonishing legion of superlative scribes, all of whom went on to change the architecture of American comedy. Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart , Woody Allen , Lucille Kallen, Joe Stein and Mike Stewart.
The result was a vibrant ,LIVE, entertaining tapestry woven each Saturday night at Sid Caesar's skilled hand. American television viewers could not have been happier.
First, from the ROLKO 52 You Tube site, Caesar is the reluctant and rebellious honoree in a stinging parody of the hit biographical program, THIS IS YOUR LIFE.
Please, enjoy Caesar, Carl Reiner and Howard Morris in THIS IS YOUR STORY, from YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS.
Next, from CAESAR'S HOUR and displayed on the 94 LEE You Tube site, Reiner, Morris and Caesar send-up mid-1950's rock and roll stars as they portray THE THREE HAIRCUTS, singing their hit on the lipstick label,SO RARE.
From the second episode of ADMIRAL BROADWAY REVIEW, and posted on the JSTEEBER You Tube site, here is a televised tour de force. Caesar performs a high velocity, high voltage rendition of a five dollar date in Manhattan. Enjoy!!!!