Sid Caesar: Maestro of TV Sketch Comedy

Without Sid Caesar, we might not have had Saturday Night Live. In the early days of TV, some comedians simply got on camera and performed the same slapstick routines that had been a hit for them on Vaudeville, while others tried to replicate the situation comedy of radio shows. But Caesar, who passed away on Feb. 12 at age 91 in Beverly Hills, Calif., pioneered a new way to make us laugh in the age of television. >> Sign up for the …

Mel Brooks Part 2: Sid Caesar and Your Show of Shows

  I was expecting just eight minutes or so on the phone talking with Mel Brooks about his new DVD/CD/Book Collection “The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy.” But as you’ll hear in my You Tube video above, when Mel Brooks wants to talk, you don’t try to stop him (not that I wanted to!). I had to toil mightily to cut our 45-minute chat down to three short segments. In this part, Mel remembers Sid Caesar, the …

When TV Tried Something New: Ernie Kovacs and Sid Caesar

For years, I reckoned that those who longed for the so-called Golden Age of Television were really just yearning for a less complicated time, when there were two or three broadcast networks, everybody watched the same shows, and life was, well, as simple as black and white. I’ve since changed my mind, especially after sampling three recent DVD sets of 1950s TV icon Ernie Kovaks and an upcoming collection of TV work by Mel Brooks. In the ’50s, TV was …