Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 14, 2014 / 14 Adar I, 5774

So Long, Sid

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sid Caesar was a television pioneer, a comedy genius, and an icon. That's how he has been described in his obits and it's all true, he was all those things. But what many don't realize is Sid Caesar was also a remarkably intelligent and deep-thinking man. An incredibly intuitive student of human nature, Sid Caesar, more than anyone I can think of, understood the human condition and was a master of what is now called "observational comedy." His wasn't the comedy of broad slapstick or one-liners, Sid combined the laughs with pathos and real life. He made you laugh because you recognized yourself or your uncle or your boss in his humor. His humor came out of everyday living and everyday people, not jokes.

His early 1950's television shows, "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour" set the bar high for every comedy show since, and very few of them if any, have even come close to the pure humor and creativity of those shows. His shows literally defined television sketch comedy and sit coms. Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris and Nanette Fabray added the perfect chemistry in their supporting roles. And much has been said also of that tremendous stable of comedy writers, many of whom got their start with those shows, like Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart, Neil Simon, and Woody Allen. But when all is said and done, it was Sin Caesar who made the magic happen.

I had the privilege to meet and interview Sid Caesar back in early 2009, something I will never forget. I received a call from actor Lee Delano, who worked with Sid for many years. Lee was a reader of my column and particularly enjoyed the show biz profiles I would do from time to time. He asked if I would be interested in interviewing Sid and I jumped at it. Sid Caesar was one of my idols and favorite comedians. Just tell me when and I'll be there I told him.

The day I interviewed him we spoke for over an hour and a half, during which time he related his thoughts on comedy, life, human nature, how he grew up, and how he met Florence, his wife. He was born in 1922, the son of Jewish immigrants, in Yonkers, New York. His father owned a restaurant and it was there, waiting tables, that Sid first observed the various European dialects and cadences of the immigrant clientele. Sid, a quick study, was soon able to imitate the sound of their languages. This would become one of the hallmarks of Sid's comedy.

At first he wanted to make a career as a musician and he played saxophone in bands in his teens. It was while playing in a band at a resort in the Catskills that Caesar met Florence, the girl who was to be his future wife. Their marriage produced three children and lasted over 60 years, until her death. Sid often said it was Florence who gave him the courage to go on during the tough times.

Since that initial interview I was invited back to Sid's house several times socially and on one occasion I even did a one-on-one interview with Florence, something of a first, I think. Both Sid and Florence were very sweet and gracious people. Sid in particular had no pretense at all, none of the huge narcissistic ego that you might expect from a star at his level.

For over 35 years Lee Delano toured with Sid and Imogene performing in the classic sketches that Sid made famous from his television programs. I asked Lee what he will remember most from those years. "Sid taught me to always respect the audience, never play down to them. Sid mirrored life so that people could identify," Lee said. Then he paused, "I've lost a great friend," he continued. "He was always very kind to me. I will miss him"

We all will miss him. Rest in peace, Sid. You deserve it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

Greg Crosby Archives

© 2008, Greg Crosby

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast