One of the greatest comedians ever, Sid Caesar has been making America laugh since the 1950s, when he ruled airwaves with his Emmy® Award-winning Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour. Now, for the first time ever, 20 of his fans' all-time favorite sketche
When we worked together," reminisces Sid Caesar, "it was magic, and you don't question magic." So just enjoy this essential three-disc collection of vintage sketches from Your Show of Shows
and Caesar's Hour
. To work on these programs was to attend "the Harvard of Comedy," and this "great amalgamation of talents," which included Carl Reiner, Imogene Coca, Howard Morris, Nanette Fabray, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart, and Neil and Danny Simon, were at the head of their class. "We did everything," Caesar notes at one point, and the proof is on these discs: domestic sketches ("Life Begins at 7:45"), game show parodies ("Break Your Brains"), spoofs of foreign films ("U-Bet-U"), opera ("Gallipacci"), and classical music (and a pantomime of "the 1812 Overture"). It is a testament to the knowledge, technique, and taste of those who created the show that these 50-year-old sketches hold up as well as they do. This was the golden age of live television, when anything could happen, and the cast would have to go with it. In "Gallipacci," Caesar's make-up pencil breaks when his character, a heartbroken clown, is applying make-up to his face. Without missing a beat, Caesar rises to the potentially disastrous occasion with one of the most inspired ad-libs in television history.
In between the sketches, the cast members and writers, a virtual Who's Who of comedy, affectionately recall working with each other, and creating these classic sketches. Each DVD includes bonus sketches. Caesar also provides illuminating commentary on selected sketches. More than a television time capsule that vividly re-creates a bygone era, this priceless collection is also a master class for aspiring comedy writers and performers. It is not a coincidence that one of Caesar's signature characters was called "the Professor." --Donald Liebenson