Mel Brooks called him “the funniest man to ever live.”
Sid Caesar was discovered as a writer and performer while serving in the Coast Guard in the 1940s.
From there he became one of television’s first big names with his groundbreaking 90 minute long “Your show of Shows.” Among those working on the show were Brooks, Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, Woody Allen, and Larry Gelbart.
Brooks tried to get Caesar to transition to films. Brooks told Conan O’Brien, fear of losing their star led NBC to pay Caesar as much as $25,000 per week during the 1950’s
After his show went off the air, Caesar struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for years. He worked to became sober and wrote his first of two autobiograpies in 1982. Titled “Where Have I Been,” Caesar owned up to his troubles in the book.
In his later years, Caesar appeared in several movies like The Cheap Detective, History of the World Part I, and Vegas Vacation.
He and fellow giants Bob Hope and Milton Berle were celebrated with a huge ovation at the 50th anniversary Primetime Emmy Awards.
Sid Caesar was 91 years old.