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Mel Brooks to head a televised tribute to the late Sid Caesar

Brooks worked with Caesar, the legendary TV comedian who passed away earlier this week as a writer on his  Your Show of Shows during the nineteen fifties.

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Sid Caesar and Mel Brooks / Getty

Conan O’Brien  will be handing the limelight to Mel Brooks on his talk show “CONAN” on the TBS channel on Tuesday evening.

Brooks, the veteran comedian, screenwriter and film director will be recalling the life of the late Sid Caesar , who passed away last week at the age of 91. During the course of the hour-long show, a number of guests are expected to appear recalling their  memories of Ceasar, both as a colleague as well as a friend.

The friendship between Mel Brooks and Sid Caesar goes back to the early 1950s, when Brooks was given his first chance as a screenwriter and Caesar’s revolutionary TV comedy “Your Show of Shows, “regarded in the entertainment industry as the forerunner to many of today’s comedy classics.

Apart from Mel Brooks, Sid Ceasar was a mentor and friend to some of today’s leading comic talents such as Woody Allen, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin and Carl Reiner as well as being an inspiration to generations of comedians who came later.

Sid Caesar became an icon in the entertainment industry and one of the pioneers of live television for his television series “Your Show of Shows” which ran for 90-minutes every week, and averaged a television audience of more than 60 million a remarkable achievement for those days.

“Your Show of Shows” made its television debut in 1950 and run for a total of four seasons covering 139 shows.

After Your Show of Shows”  when off the air  in 1954, it was almost immediately followed by ” Caesar’s Hour”, which was aired on  NBC for four seasons until 1957.

Whilst retaining his presence as a television star Sid Caesar also made a successful transition to movies, with his best-known part probably being that of Coach Calhoun in the highly popular John Travolta musical  Grease and its follow-up Grease 2.

Sid also appeared with his good friend  Mel Brooks on a number of his classic movies including  Silent Movie and  History of the World, Part I, as well as slapstick comedy classics such as ” It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” , and “Cannonball Run II.”

During his career spanning well over sixty years, the late Sid Caesar was a  nominee for no less than 11 Emmy Awards, winning two of them  Apart from being a gifted comedian, Sid was also a talented musician, an accomplished saxophonist and talented author, publishing several novels including two autobiographies.  .

Mel Brooks began his career first as a stand-up comedian, before joining the writing crew Your Show of Shows, later teaming up with Carl Reiner to form a comic duo, particularly well known for being the originators of the famous TV  sketch  “The 2000 Year Old Man, ” with Brooks playing the leading role.

When he was already in his mid-40s, Brooks began to enjoy remarkable success as a film director, peaking during the early 1970s,  with some remarkable comedy films, including films include The Producers,  Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

Mel Brooks holds the distinction of being one of a few members of the entertainment industry who have been awarded an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award during their careers. Three of the  films that Mel Brooks produced have gone on to be regarded by the American Film Institute’s top 100 comedy films of all-time, with his classic cowboy spiff Blazing Saddles making it to number 6, The Producers reaching number 11, and Young Frankenstein two places lower at number 13.



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