The Sid Caesar Collection - 50th Anniversary
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Top Customer Reviews
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).Read more ›
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.
If you don't already have that great collection, then this is a MUST HAVE.
For anyone who came of age in the '50s, this is vintage champagne. Sid Caesar was probably the most brilliant and fearless comic actor of the mid-20th century, and his cohorts and Writers' Room associates were equally brilliant. The satire was incredibly trenchant and timely!
One reason I suspect is that they don't have writers like that anymore. Because, in my estimation, Most of the shows on today is mostly CRAP! Too bad. They just aren't funny. Frank
Most Recent Customer Reviews
needed more material. what was there was good but there should be more variety. I lke the whole show on discPublished on December 25, 2013 by jay warner
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!!Published on December 9, 2013 by Vicki
This is a fantastic collection than any lover of comedy should own. Sid Ceasar was a genius and way ahead of his time. Many laughs to be shared and enjoyed over and over.Published on March 18, 2013 by LGM
These were certainly not my favorites. I hardly had a smile from it. These episodes are among the worse. Phew!Published on December 7, 2012 by L. Creveling
This brought back some great memories for my dad. He's watched it numerous times. I haven't seen yet, but it's on my list!Published on October 31, 2012 by Amazon Customer