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Caesar's Writers (1996)

Sid Caesar , Mel Brooks , Michael Hirsh  |  Unrated |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Price: $29.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Caesar's Writers + David Susskind Show: How to Be a Jewish Son + The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection Of Unhinged Comedy
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner
  • Directors: Michael Hirsh
  • Producers: Michael Hirsh, Marker Karahadian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Caesar's Writers
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006LOLQ5W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,942 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

On January 24, 1996 at the Writers Guild Theater in Los Angeles, CA, legendary comic Sid Caesar was reunited with nine of his writers from Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour. The event was taped, and later broadcast on PBS in the United States, and the BBC in the UK as a 1 hour special, with only select portions of the full two-hour event. The full event was previously available only as a VHS, offered as a pledge premium by local PBS stations. Now, the full two-hour special CAESAR'S WRITERS is available on DVD for the first time! Be prepared to laugh non-stop as the panel, made up of head writer Mel Tolkin, Caesar, Carl Reiner, Aaron Ruben, Larry Gelbart, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Danny Simon, Sheldon Keller, and Gary Belkin share stories about their time working on Caesar's shows and offer their insights about writing comedy.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nazis Put Scotch Tape on my Face!!! May 9, 2012
Stop reading and buy this DVD. You will laugh, guaranteed. Not one profanity, no special effects, just the secret ingredient: Talent.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't get funnier than this! December 29, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you don't laugh yourself out of your chair while you're watching this video, you're dead. This is Sid Caesar, folks, with some of his legendary "dream team" of writers -- some of the best comic brains in the business - reminiscing about the days when they created comedy that, sixty years later, is still funnier than any of today's so called comedy.

Here are the Simon Brothers --- Neil and Danny plus Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Mel Tolkin, Aaron Ruben, Gary Belzer, Sheldon Keller, with a cameo appearance by Howard Morris -- telling stories about working with Caesar, reviving bits and sketches, and talking about creating comedy under incredible time deadlines. Remember --- "Your Show of Shows" was ninety minutes, live. No retakes, no video. If a mistake happened, it went out on the air. Of course, many times, thanks to Sid Caesar's genius for ad libbing, that wasn't always necessarily bad. There's the Pagliacci spoof when Caesar's make up pen broke unexpectedly -- and Caesar ad libbed the mistake into comedic legend. (Don't believe me? Get hold of the separate DVDs of Caesar's sketches and you can see the Pagliacci spoof, the pen break, and Caesar's response to it for yourself.)

The best part of this video is that, as Reiner puts it, it gives you a sense of what the Writer's Room was really like, with each of these comic minds talking over each other, trying to top each other's ideas, and arguing about what constitutes funny. For instance, why is "twenty-three" funnier than "thirty-three?" Neil Simon, Carl Reiner, and Mel Brooks tell you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold Plated April 21, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When this first appeared on PBS many years ago, it was described by a critic as "gold plated". It is.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That's it, you're out of the skit! November 30, 2012
Back in the day, Sid Caesar was the funniest man in the world. His TV show was truly "must see TV" before that phrase was invented or even dreamed about. As funny as Sid Caesar was, the reason his show was so great was because he had a crew of the greatest comedy writers in the history. If you can believe it, he had Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, Mel Tolkin, among others. This video captures a stage full of the brightest, most innovative comic minds in history telling stories, reminiscing about what it was like to be in the room with the funniest people in the world making the world's funniest comedy. And, not hard to believe, these guys are still funny and have great memories.

If you have a funny bone, you need this DVD. It's a time capsule and a rare peek inside the high pressure comedy writer's room of a top TV show. Years from now, I'm sure there will be a Daily Show or Colbert Report writer's DVD. Until then, grab this and get ready to laugh.

PS - don't take your eyes off Mel Brooks...
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