45 Facts About Sid Caesar


Isaac Sidney Caesar was an American comic actor, comedian and writer.


Sid Caesar acted in films; he played Coach Calhoun in Grease and its sequel Grease 2 and appeared in the films It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Silent Movie, History of the World, Part I, Cannonball Run II, and Vegas Vacation.


Sid Caesar relied more on body language, accents, and facial contortions than simply dialogue.


Sid Caesar conjured up ideas and scene and used writers to flesh out the concept and create the dialogue.


Sid Caesar was a saxophonist and author of several books, including two autobiographies in which he described his career and later struggle to overcome years of alcoholism and addiction to barbiturates.


Sid Caesar was the youngest of three sons; his family was Jewish.


Sid Caesar's father was Max Ziser and his mother was Ida.


Reports state that the surname "Sid Caesar" was given to Max, as a child, by an immigration official at Ellis Island.


Max and Ida Sid Caesar ran a restaurant, a 24-hour luncheonette.


Sid Caesar first tried double-talk with a group of Italians, his head barely reaching above the table.


At 14, Sid Caesar went to the Catskill Mountains as a saxophonist in the Swingtime Six band with Mike Cifichello and Andrew Galos and occasionally performed in sketches in the Borscht Belt.


Sid Caesar arrived in Manhattan and worked as an usher and then a doorman at the Capitol Theater there.


Sid Caesar was ineligible to join the musicians' union in New York City until he established residency, but he found work as a saxophonist at the Vacationland Hotel, a resort located in the Catskill Mountains of Sullivan County, New York.


Sid Caesar audited classes in clarinet and saxophone at the Juilliard School of Music.


Still in the military, Sid Caesar was ordered to Palm Beach, Florida, where Vernon Duke and Howard Dietz were putting together a service revue called Tars and Spars.


When Sid Caesar's comedy got bigger applause than the musical numbers, Liebman asked him to do stand-up bits between the songs.


In 1946, Columbia Pictures produced a film version of Tars and Spars in which Sid Caesar reprised his role.


Sid Caesar turned down the lead of The Jolson Story as he did not want to be known as an impersonator, and turned down several other offers to play sidekick roles.


Sid Caesar soon returned to New York, where he became the opening act for Joe E Lewis at the Copacabana nightclub.


Sid Caesar reunited with Liebman, who guided his stage material and presentation.


Sid Caesar won a 1948 Donaldson Award for his contributions to the musical.


Ultimate creative and technical control was now in Sid Caesar's hands, originating from the Center Theater and the weekly budget doubled to $125,000.


Caesar's Hour was followed by ABC's short-lived Sid Caesar Invites You from January 26 to May 25,1958.


In 1963, Sid Caesar appeared on television, on stage, and in films.


Sid Caesar starred with Virginia Martin in the Broadway musical Little Me, with book by Simon, choreography by Bob Fosse, and music by Cy Coleman.


Sid Caesar was not a stand-up comedian but a "sketch comic, and actor," wrote one historian.


Sid Caesar was skilled at pantomime, dialects, monologues, foreign language double-talk and general comic acting.


Sid Caesar's sketches were often long, sometimes 10 or 15 minutes, with numerous close-ups showing the expressions on the faces of Caesar and other actors.


Sid Caesar relied more on body language, accents, and facial contortions than simply spoken dialogue.


Sid Caesar was able to pantomime a wide variety of things: a tire, a gumball machine, a lion, a dog, a punching bag, a telephone, an infant, an elevator, a railroad train, a herd of horses, a piano, a rattlesnake and a bottle of seltzer.


Sid Caesar acted everything out, so the sketches we did were like little plays.


Some of his writers, like Woody Allen, initially didn't like being among the large team of writers coming up with routines for Sid Caesar, feeling it was too competitive and contributed to hostility among writers.


Sid Caesar fans preferred to stay home on Saturday nights to watch his show instead of seeing live plays.


Sid Caesar was one of the greatest artists ever born.


In 1977, after blacking out during a stage performance of Neil Simon's The Last of the Red Hot Lovers in Regina, Saskatchewan, Sid Caesar gave up alcohol "cold turkey".


In 1973, Sid Caesar reunited with Imogene Coca for the stage play, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, written in 1971 by Neil Simon.


In 1974, Sid Caesar said, "I'd like to be back every week" on TV and appeared in the NBC skit-based comedy television pilot called Hamburgers.


In 1983, Sid Caesar hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, where he received a standing ovation at the start of the show and was awarded a plaque at the conclusion of the show declaring him an honorary cast member.


In 1987, Sid Caesar starred in the David Irving film The Emperor's New Clothes with Robert Morse as the Tailor.


Sid Caesar remained active by appearing in movies, television and award shows, including the movie The Great Mom Swap in 1995.


Also that year, Sid Caesar joined fellow television icons Bob Hope and Milton Berle at the 50th anniversary of the Primetime Emmy Awards.


Sid Caesar was married to Florence Levy for 67 years until her death in 2010.


Sid Caesar died on February 12,2014, at his home in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 91, after a short illness.


Sid Caesar's interment was at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery.


Sid Caesar was predeceased by his wife, Florence and survived by his children Karen, Michelle, and Rick, and two grandsons.