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The Sid Caesar Collection - 50th Anniversary (2005)

Sid Caesar  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sid Caesar
  • Format: Box set, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: New Video Group
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2005
  • Run Time: 215 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002TVWZG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,130 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Exclusive footage from Sid's 1999 Friar's Club Roast
  • Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Larry Gelbart
  • Bonus sketches: "Four Englishmen", "Airplane Movies", and The Silent Movie "A Rich Man's Joke" (with Charlton Heston)
  • Bonus musical sketches: Performances by Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa, "Nan's Birthday," and The Haircuts Sing "Going Crazy"
  • Side-by-side comparison of the restoration process
  • Original playbill
  • Original script of "Progress Hornsby" with handwritten notes
  • Cast and writer biographies

Editorial Reviews

Television comedy began with Sid Caesar. Before there was Leno, before there was Carson, Sid ruled the airwaves with the Emmy® Award-winning Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour. Now, return to the hilarity and outrageous sketches that had America bursting with laughter throughout the 1950s. With more than three and a half hours of classic sketches from this comedy virtuoso, this three-DVD set is jam-packed with extras that include bonus sketches, interviews with one of television’s foremost comedy-writer lineups, and footage from Sid's 1999 Friar's Club Roast. Travel back to the golden age of comedy and join Sid for 18 of his most remarkable sketches - now digitally restored and better than ever. DVD Features: Exclusive Footage From Sid's 1999 Friar's Club Roast; Interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Larry Gelbart; Bonus Sketches: "Four Englishmen", "Airplane Movies", and The Silent Movie "A Rich Man's Joke" (with Charlton Heston); Bonus Musical Sketches: Performances By Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa, "Nan's Birthday," and The Haircuts Sing "Going Crazy"; Side-by-side Comparison of the Restoration Process; Original Playbill; Original Script of "Progress Hornsby" With Handwritten Notes; Cast and Writer Biographies; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic live comedy from TV's Golden Age January 21, 2006
Sid Caesar's live, uproarious variety shows were staples of 1950s television. Unfortunately, he's not as familiar to today's TV viewers as Lucille Ball and Jackie Gleason, because his shows have not been widely seen in syndication. I hope this and other DVD releases can remedy that just a bit.

One great thing about these comedy sketches is that, unlike today, these writers and performers created wonderfully inventive comedy that all ages could enjoy, without resorting to off-color material. That is why some of the modern material on this DVD set is uncalled for. One of the extras on Disc 1 consists of part of a Friar's Club roast for Sid Caesar. In his speech, writer Hal Kanter uses a few four-letter words that have absolutely no place in this collection, and this is the reason I'm giving the set 4 stars rather than 5. During the interview segments, when they talk about the sketch that spoofs FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (called "From Here to Obscurity"), they refer to the original movie's passionate beach scene in less-than-modest ways. (The sketch itself is non-offensive and funny.) When watching this collection with your kids, use discretion.

As for the interviews as a whole, they are entertaining and informative. Performers Sid Caesar, Nanette Fabray, Howard Morris and Carl Reiner offer their reminiscences of working on the programs, and so do several of the writers, including Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and others. (Woody Allen didn't write for Sid until 1958, which means he wrote none of the material in this collection.)

The main attraction here is the sketches themselves, taken from ADMIRAL BROADWAY REVUE (1949), YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS (1950-1954), and CAESAR'S HOUR (1954-1957).
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing July 12, 2010
By Steve
Make no mistake, the output of Caesar & Co belongs in the pantheon of comedy with Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Fields, Marx Bros, and Sturges. Fellow TV pioneers Kovacs and Gleason are the only ones that approach him in that medium. And he can lay claim to being the godfather of the next generation of film and TV comedy as mentor to Allen, Reiner and Brooks.

Unfortunately, the ultimate Caesar collection, the 1973 theatrical release TEN FROM YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, has never been released on DVD. For sheer uninterrupted brilliance, no other collection can compare. While Caesar certainly produced outstanding output for many years, it was during the 4+ years of YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS that the confluence of writing and cast created television comedy that is unsurpassed by any other - though Gleason's "classic 39" HONEYMOONERS episodes can be considered a parallel example.

New Video apparently has hundreds of hours of Caesar that it is spreading across several DVD collections. It is no surprise that the superior segments in this collection - "The Clock," "From Here to Obscurity," and "This Is Your Story" -- are all SHOW OF SHOW bits. I have not seen the other New Video collections, but I presume they all follow the same formula: a few outstanding SHOW OF SHOWS segments surrounded by lesser Caesar work, with fawning but uninteresting interviews added as obvious filler.

Bottom line: with the brilliant TEN FROM YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS unavailable, this is not a completely worthless consolation prize. Of all the New Video collections, choose this one for no other reason than this: it includes "This Is Your Story" -- without exception the funniest 10 min in the history of recorded comedy.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This looks like a re-issue of the original, now out-of-print, classic "Sid Caesar Collection" from another distributor, ASIN: B00004WMGQ .

If you don't already have that great collection, then this is a MUST HAVE.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Customer October 31, 2013
By maria
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Receive the DVD in a timely way and it was in perfect condition. I was very happy and have viewed the complete set twice. The price was great and I would order from you again. I recommend this site and the quality of the products. Any age group would love this DVD, but I remember it from way back when when it was televised on TV. Happy customer.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wanted more of Caesar May 6, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The comedy was wonderful to see again. What we did not expect was tiresome discussions before each skit. We will not order more discs because of this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars needed more material December 25, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
needed more material. what was there was good but there should be more variety. I lke the whole show on disc
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Laughs for a great price! December 9, 2013
By Vicki
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great gift for my mother for Christmas...came early...packaged great....dont' see any reason it won't work just wonderfully!! How can you go wrong with laughter!!
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