Editorial Review of The Sid Caesar Collection – The Fan Favorites – 50th Anniversary Edition, courtesy of Amazon.com
“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
Product Description of The Sid Caesar Collection – The Fan Favorites – 50th Anniversary Edition
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 sketches have been brought together in one hilarious DVD collection. Selected through an Internet poll, these skits represent some of the most beloved, admired, and side-splittingly funny moments of Sid s career. From his lunchtime gymnastics in “Big Business” to one of television’s most famous ad-libs in “Gallipacci,” this collection proves why generations of fans have come to love Sid Caesar, the original king of comedy. Turn back the clock to the golden age of comedy and join Sid for 20 of his fans favorite sketches as voted on by you, the fans.
Special Features on The Sid Caesar Collection – The Fan Favorites – 50th Anniversary Edition
Bonus Sketches: “Pantomine at Coney Island,” “Continental Express,” and “The Beauty Contest;” Interview Extras with Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, and Nanette Fabray; Sid Caesar Audio Commentary on “Auto Smash Up,” “Gallipacci,” and “Break Your Brains;” Original Scripts of “Auto Smash Up,” “Newspaper Movie,” and “The Professor;” Photo Gallery; Cast and Writer Biographies; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection