Caesar, Sid 1922-

views updated May 17 2018

Caesar, Sid 1922-


Full name, Isaac Sidney Caesar; born September 8, 1922, in Yonkers, NY; son of Max (a restaurant owner) and Ida (maiden name, Raffel) Caesar; married Florence Levy, June 17, 1943; children: Michele, Richard, Karen. Education: Graduated from Yonkers High School, 1939; studied saxophone and clarinet at The Juilliard School of Music. Avocational Interests: Collecting guns.


Agent—Cunningham, Escott, Slevin and Doherty Talent Agency, 10635 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 140, Los Angeles, CA 90025.


Actor, writer, producer, comedian, and song performer. Performed as a saxophonist in big bands of Charlie Spivak, Shep Fields, and Claude Thornhill, c. late 1930s; appeared in cabaret, including Caribe Hilton Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1973, and Rainbow Grill, New York City, 1974. Previously worked as a movie usher and doorman. Military service: United States Coast Guard Orchestra, 1942-45; performed with Tars and Spars serviceman comedy troupe during World War II.


American Society of Composers and Publishers, Old Falls Rod and Gun Club.

Awards, Honors:

Donaldson Award, 1949, for Make Mine Manhattan; named best television comedian by TV Guide, 1950; named man of the year by Radio Daily, 1950; best comedian on television award, Look Magazine, 1951; voted United States' best comedian by Motion Picture Daily television poll, 1951-52, and Emmy Award nomination, best male star of regular series, 1954, both for Your Show of Shows; voted best comedy team (with Imogene Coca) by Motion Picture Daily television poll, 1953; Emmy Award nominations, best actor and most outstanding personality, 1951, best comedian or comedienne, 1952, and best comedian, 1953; Emmy Award, best actor, 1952; Emmy Award, best continuing performance by a comedian in a series, 1957, Emmy Award nomination, best continuing performance by a comedian in a series, 1958, and award for best television comedian, Look Magazine, 1956, all for Caesar's Hour; Sylvania Award, best comedy or variety show, 1958, for Sid Caesar Invites You; Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best actor, 1963, for Little Me; inductee, United States Hall of Fame, 1967; Emmy Award, outstanding variety special, 1967, for The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special; Television Hall of Fame, inductee, 1985; Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy, American Comedy Awards, 1987; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actor in a comedy series, 1995, for Love & War; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actor in a comedy series, 1997, for Mad About You; Career Achievement Award, Television Critics Association, 2001; DVDX Award, best supporting actor, DVD Exclusive Awards, 2005, for Comic Book: The Movie; Pioneer Award, TV Land Awards, 2006; Awarded Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Film Appearances:

Himself, Screen Snapshots: The Skolsky Party, 1946.

Chuck Enders, Tars and Spars, Columbia, 1946.

Sammy Weaver, The Guilt of Janet Ames, Columbia, 1947.

Melville Crump, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (also known as It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World), Casey/United Artists, 1963.

Technical advisor, A Guide for the Married Man, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1967.

Ben Powell, The Spirit Is Willing, Paramount, 1967.

George Norton, The Busy Body, Paramount, 1967.

10 from Your Show of Shows, 1973.

Barney, Airport 1975 (also known as Airport '75), Universal, 1974.

Studio chief, Silent Movie, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1976.

Sherman, Fire Sale, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1977.

Coach Calhoun, Grease, Paramount, 1978.

Ezra Dezire, The Cheap Detective (also known as Neil Simon's "The Cheap Detective"), Columbia, 1978.

Joe Capone, The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu, Orion, 1980.

Voice of Wizard and Mince Pie, Oz (also known as Christmas in Oz, Christmas in the Land of Oz, Dorothy in the Land of Oz, In the Land of Oz, Thanksgiving in Oz, and Thanksgiving in the Land of Oz), 1980.

Chief Caveman, History of the World: Part I (also known as Mel Brooks' "History of the World: Part 1"), Brooksfilm/Fox, 1981.

Coach Calhoun, Grease 2, Paramount, 1982.

Fisherman, Cannonball Run II, Warner Bros., 1984.

Uncle Benjamin, Over the Brooklyn Bridge (also known as Across the Brooklyn Bridge and My Darling Shiksa), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1984.

Dr. Fixyer Minder, Stoogemania (also known as Party Stooge), Tromas Coleman-Michael Rosenblatt/Atlantic, 1985.

The emperor, The Emperor's New Clothes (also known as Cannon Movie Tales: "The Emperor's New Clothes"), Golan-Globus/Cannon, 1987.

The Life and Times of Charlie Putz, 1991.

Mr. Ellis (old guy), Vegas Vacation (also known as National Lampoon's "Vegas Vacation"), Warner Bros., 1997.

Sid Zellman, The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, Buena Vista, 1998.

Jacob, Globehunters, 2000.

Old Army buddy, Comic Book: The Movie, Miramax Home Entertainment, 2004.

Television Appearances; Series:

Regular performer, The Admiral Broadway Revue, 1949.

Cavalcade of Stars, Dumont, 1949-52.

The Jack Carter Show, 1950-51.

Regular performer, Your Show of Shows (also known as Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows"), NBC, 1951-54.

Host and Bob Victor, Caesar's Hour, NBC, 1954-57.

Sid Caesar Invites You, 1958.

As Caesar Sees It, 1962-63.

The Sid Caesar Show, ABC, 1963-64.

The Hollywood Palace, NBC, 1964-70.

Host, Love, American Style, 1969-74.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Gryphon, Alice in Wonderland (also known as Alice through the Looking Glass), CBS, 1985.

Television Appearances; Movies:

George Beam, Flight to Holocaust, NBC, 1977.

Laszlo Cozart, Curse of the Black Widow (also known as Love Trap), ABC, 1977.

Leo Fisk, Barnaby and Me, 1977.

Dr. Diablo, The Munsters' Revenge, NBC, 1981.

Sam Green, Found Money (also known as My Secret Angel), NBC, 1983.

Mr. Petrakis, Love Is Never Silent (also known as Hallmark Hall of Fame: "Love Is Never Silent"), NBC, 1985.

Max Wilke, Freedom Fighter (also known as Wall of Tyranny), NBC, 1988.

Louie Hammerstein, Side by Side, CBS, 1988.

Nothing's Impossible, 1988.

Papa Tognetti, The Great Mom Swap, ABC, 1995.

Television Appearances; Specials:

The Bob Hope Show, NBC, 1951.

Dateline, NBC, 1954.

Host, The Sid Caesar Show, NBC, 1958.

Host, The Sid Caesar Special, CBS, 1959.

Host, Marriage—Handle with Care, CBS, 1959.

Host, Variety! The World of Showbiz, CBS, 1960.

Host, Tip Toe through TV, CBS, 1960.

Host, As Caesar Sees It, NBC, 1962.

The Edie Adams Show (also known as Here's Edie), NBC, 1963, 1964.

The Bob Hope Show, NBC, 1969.

A Salute to Television's 25th Anniversary, ABC, 1972.

10 from Your Show of Shows, 1973.

Ed Sullivan Presents: The TV Comedy Years, 1973.

The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Jackie Gleason, 1975.

Ann-Margaret Smith, NBC, 1975.

Perry Como's Christmas in Austria, NBC, 1976.

Joys (also known as Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope in "Joys"), 1976.

Host, Your Show of Shows, NBC, 1976.

Gabriel Kaplan Presents the Small Event, ABC, 1977.

Presenter, The 29th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, 1977.

A Tribute to Neil Simon, 1978.

A Salute to the American Imagination, 1978.

Voice of MAX, American 2100, 1979.

Voice of King Goochi, Intergalactic Thanksgiving (also known as Please Don't Eat the Planet), 1979.

Voice of Wizard and Mince Pie, Oz (also known as Christmas in Oz, Christmas in the Land of Oz, Dorothy in the Land of Oz, In the Land of Oz, Thanksgiving in Oz, and Thanksgiving in the Land of Oz), NBC, 1980.

A Gift of Music (also known as A Gift of Music: The 200th Anniversary of Los Angeles), 1981.

(Archive footage) The Great Standups (also known as The Great Standups: Sixty Years of Laughter), 1984.

All-Star Party for Lucille Ball, 1984.

Mr. Reginald Snyder, Christmas Snow, 1986.

Professor Ludwig von Knowitall, Comic Relief, 1986.

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration, 1986.

The 38th Annual Emmy Awards, 1986.

The Television Academy Hall of Fame, 1986.

Happy Birthday, Hollywood! (also known as Happy 100th Birthday, Hollywood), 1987.

JFK—That Day in November, 1988.

Improv Tonight, 1988.

The Second Annual American Comedy Awards, 1988.

Neil Simon: Not Just for Laughs, 1989.

Ooh-La-La—It's Bob Hope's Fun Birthday Spectacular from Paris' Bicentennial, 1989.

George Burns' 95th Birthday Party, 1991.

Himself and Melville Crump, DDS, Something a Little Less Serious: A Tribute to "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," 1991.

The Fifth Annual American Comedy Awards, 1991.

More of the Best of the Hollywood Palace, ABC, 1993.

The Ninth Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame, 1993.

Comic Relief VI, HBO, 1994.

Sid Caesar: Television's Comedy Genius, Arts and Entertainment, 1994.

(Video clips) The Second Annual Comedy Hall of Fame, 1994.

Presenter, The 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, 1995.

Buster Keaton: Genius in Slapshoes, Arts and Entertainment, 1995.

Carl Reiner: Still Laughing, Arts and Entertainment, 1995.

Presenter, Ninth Annual Genesis Awards, 1995.

The Human Language, PBS, 1995.

The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, CBS, 1995.

Caesar's Writers, PBS, 1996.

Danny Thomas: Make Room for Danny, Arts and Entertainment, 1996.

50 Years of Television: A Celebration of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Golden Anniversary, 1997.

Jonathan Winters: Without a Net, Arts and Entertainment, 1998.

NYTV: By the People Who Made It, PBS, 1998.

To Life! America Celebrates Israel's 50th, CBS, 1998.

The 50th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, NBC, 1998.

Let Me In, I Hear Laughter: A Salute to the Friars, Comedy Central, 1999.

Comedy Central Presents the Second Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize Celebrating the Humor of Jonathan Winters, Comedy Central, 2000.

Hail Sid Caesar!: The Golden Age of Comedy, Showtime, 2001.

(Uncredited) Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story, TCM, 2002.

NBC 75th Anniversary Special (also known as NBC 75th Anniversary Celebration), NBC, 2002.

The Desilu Story: The Rags to Riches Success of the Desilu Empire, Bravo, 2003.

Funny Already: A History of Jewish Comedy, Channel 4, 2004.

The Comedians' Comedian, Channel 4, 2005.

Britain's 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches, Channel 4, 2005.

The Fourth Annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV, TV Land, 2006.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Voice of MAX, America 2100, ABC, 1979.

Regular, It Only Hurts When You Laugh, NBC, 1983.

Also appeared in The Mouse That Roared.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

The Colgate Comedy Hour (also known as Colgate Summer Comedy Hour, Colgate Variety Hour, and Michael Todd Revue), 1951.

The Perry Como Show (also known as Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall and The Chesterfield Supper Club), 1955.

Toast of the Town (also known as The Ed Sullivan Show), 1956, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1971.

The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (also known as The Dinah Shore Show), 1958.

"Holiday on Wheels," The United States Steel Hour (also known as The U.S. Steel Hour), 1959.

"Marriage: Handle with Care," The United States Steel Hour (also known as The U.S. Steel Hour), 1959.

"Tiptoe Through TV," The Revlon Revue (also known as Revlon Presents and Revlon Spring Music Festival), 1960.

"Variety: The World of Show Biz," The Revlon Revue (also known as Revlon Presents and Revlon Spring Music Festival), 1960.

Nick Lucifer, "The Devil You Say," General Electric Theater (also known as G.E. Theater), 1961.

Johnny Wilder, "Kill the Sound," Checkmate, 1961.

Mystery guest, What's My Line?, 1963.

The Jerry Lewis Show, 1963.

The Andy Williams Show, 1965, 1966.

The Dean Martin Show (also known as The Dean Martin Comedy Hour), 1966, 1967, 1969.

The Hollywood Palace, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970.

Gregory, "Instant Money," The Danny Thomas Hour, 1967.

The Jackie Gleason Show (also known as The Color Honeymooners), 1967, 1968, 1969.

The Carol Burnett Show (also known as Carol Burnett and Friends), 1967, 1968.

Personality, 1968.

Marty, "The Drunkard," That Girl, 1968.

"Lucy and Sid Caesar," The Lucy Show (also known as The Lucille Ball Show), 1968.

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (also known as Laugh-In), 1969.

John Smith, "Love and Who?," Love, American Style, 1969.

Playboy After Dark, 1969, 1970.

The Flip Wilson Show, 1970, 1971.

Bert, "Love and the Bowling Ball," Love, American Style, 1971.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1984, 1989.

Marqui de la Salle, "The French Disconnection," When Things Were Rotten, 1975.

Tony Orlando and Dawn (also known as The Tony Orlando and Dawn Rainbow Hour), 1976.

Dinah! (also known as Dinah! & Friends), 1976.

"The Great Clowns," W.E.B., 1978.

Michael, "The Ventriloquists," The Love Boat, 1978.

The general, "Mother Mishkin," Vega$, 1978.

Pink Lady (also known as Pink Lady and Jeff), NBC, 1980.

The Big Show, 1980.

"Another Day, Another Bomb," The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo (also known as Lobo), 1981.

Prince Sergei Polansky, "Recipe for Murder," Matt Houston, 1982.

The Bob Monkhouse Show, 1983.

Host, Saturday Night Live (also known as SNL), NBC, 1983.

On Stage America, 1984.

"Aunt Emma I Love You/First Romance/Hoopla," The Love Boat, 1984.

Lon Bundles, "Mr. Magic," Amazing Stories (also known as Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories"), NBC, 1985.

Life's Most Embarrassing Moments, 1986.

The Class of the 20th Century, 1992.

Mr. Stein, "At the Pantheon—Part II," Love & War, CBS, 1995.

Uncle Harold, "Citizen Buchman," Mad About You, NBC, 1997.

The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 2000.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? (also known as Who's Line?), ABC, 2001.

"Mickey Rooney," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2005.

Also appeared as voice of Wally Kazoo, "Kazoo's Coming to Dinner," Life with Louie (animated).

Television Producer; Series:

As Caesar Sees It, 1962-63.

Stage Appearances:

(Stage debut) Tars and Spars (revue), U.S. Coast Guard, then Strand Theatre, New York City, 1945.

Various, Make Mine Manhattan, Broadhurst Theatre, New York City, 1948-49.

Admiral Broadway Revue, Broadway production, 1948.

Fred Poitrine, Mr. Pinchley, Noble Eggleston, Noble Junior, Otto Schnitzler, Prince Cherney, and Val du Val, Little Me, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York City, 1962.

Max, "House of Dunkelmayer," Bob, "Betty," the painter, "Toreader," and Mr. Lewis, "Swinger," Four on a Garden, Broadhurst Theatre, 1971.

Barnev Cashman, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, 1972.

Mel Edison, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Arlington Park Theatre, Arlington Park, IL, 1973.

Double Take, Arlington Park Theatre, 1974.

Barney Cashman, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Crystal Palace Theatre, Dallas, TX 1975.

Night of 100 Stars, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1982, 1985.

Frosch, Die Fledermaus (an opera), Metropolitan Opera, New York City, 1988.

The Legend of Comedy, Rivera Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, 1988.

An Evening with Sid CaesarThe Legendary Genius of Comedy, Village Gate Theatre, New York City, 1989.

Sid Caesar and Company: Does Anybody Know What I'm Talking About?, Village Gate Theatre, 1989.

Together Again, Michael's Pub, New York City, 1990.

Major Tours:

Little Me, U.S. cities, 1964.

Cast member, Moonface, Anything Goes, U.S. cities, 1980.

Ensemble, A Touch of Burlesque (revue), U.S. cities, 1981.


Videos (As himself and executive in charge of production):

The Sid Caesar Collection: Creating the Comedy, Creative Light Entertainment, 2000.

The Sid Caesar Collection: Inside the Writer's Room, Creative Light Entertainment, 2000.

The Sid Caesar Collection: The Magic of Live TV, Creative Light Entertainment, 2000.

The Sid Caesar Collection: The Fan Favorites—The Dream Team of Comedy, Creative Light Entertainment, 2001.

The Sid Caesar Collection: The Fan Favorites—Love & Laughter, Creative Light Entertainment, 2001.

The Sid Caesar Collection: The Fan Favorites—The Professor and Other Clowns, Creative Light Entertainment, 2001.

The Sid Caesar Collection: Buried Treasures—Shining Stars, Creative Light Entertainment, 2003.

The Sid Caesar Collection: Buried Treasures—The Impact of Sid Caesar, Creative Light Entertainment, 2003.

The Sid Caesar Collection: Buried Treasures—The Legend of Sid Caesar, Creative Light Entertainment, 2003.


Stage Revue:

Six On, Twelve Off, 1942-44.


10 from Your Show of Shows, 1973.

Television Specials:

Your Show of Shows, 1976.

Television Songs; Episodic:

Wrote songs for Caesar's Hour; The Dean Martin Show (also known as The Dean Martin Comedy Hour).


Wrote songs including "I Wrote This Song for Your Birthday" and "Was That You?"


(With Bill Davidson) Where Have I Been?, Crown, 1982.

(With Eddy Friedfeld) Caesar's Hours: My Life in Comedy, With Love and Laughter, PublicAffairs, 2003.



Who's Who in the Theatre, 17th edition, Gale Research, 1981.


Variety, January 17, 2000, p. N10.


Sid Caesar Website,, October 25, 2007.

Caesar, Sid

views updated May 08 2018


CAESAR, SID (1922– ), U.S. stage and television comedian. Born in New York, Caesar was the son of a Yonkers restaurant owner. In his formative years he was exposed to a variety of dialects and accents, which would serve him well as a mimic and comedian. Caesar first wanted to be a musician. He studied saxophone at Julliard, and later played with well-known bandleaders such as Charlie Spivak, Claude Thornhill, Shep Fields, and Art Mooney. During World War ii, as a musician in the Coast Guard, he took part in the service show Tars and Spars. When the show's producer, Max Liebman, overheard Caesar improvising comedy routines among the band members, he switched him over to comedy. Caesar performed his routine in the stage and movie versions of the review, and continued to work with Liebman after the war, appearing in theatrical revues in the Catskills and Florida.

Liebman cast Caesar in the Broadway revue Make Mine Manhattan in 1948, and in 1949 brought him to star on television in the variety show the Admiral Broadway Revue. Caesar became a great success, starring with comedienne Imogene Coca. Lasting, however, only 17 weeks, it was followed by Caesar's Your Show of Shows. A 90-minute showcase for Caesar's unbridled talent, it became the viewing audience's Saturday night favorite for four years (1950–54). Caesar and Coca teamed up with Carl *Reiner and Howard Morris, performing material by them and their team of soon-to-be famous writers, such as Mel Tolkin, Mel *Brooks, Neil *Simon, and Larry Gelbart. Performing some 160 live, original comedy skits, the foursome combined revue and sketch comedy with satire and parody. The irrepressible Caesar, often deviating from the script, was a master at mime, dialects, monologues, foreign language double-talk, and all-round comedic acting. In 1954, Caesar launched Caesar's Hour (1954–57), with Nanette Fabray replacing Coca.

In 1972 Liebman compiled routines of several programs from the 1950–54 shows into a feature film entitled Ten from Your Show of Shows (1973). nbc had thrown away its copies of the program, but Caesar and Liebman had retained their kinescopes made during the original run. A series of 90-minute tv specials anthologized from the original shows were syndicated in 1976.

Not confining his multi-talents to television, Caesar appeared in a number of films as well, including The Guilt of Janet Ames (1947); It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963); The Busy Body (1966); The Spirit Is Willing (1966); A Guide for the Married Man (1967); Airport (1975); Silent Movie (1976); Fire Sale (1977); Barnaby and Me (1977); Grease (1978); The Cheap Detective (1978); The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980); History of the World, Part i (1981); Grease 2 (1982); Over the Brooklyn Bridge (1983); Cannonball Run ii (1983); Stooge-mania (1985); The Emperor's New Clothes (1987); The SouthPacific Story (1991); Vegas Vacation (1997); and The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (1998).

In addition to his stage debut in Make Mine Manhattan in 1948, Caesar also took to the stage in the Broadway musical comedy Little Me (1962–63), in which he played seven leading parts; Four on a Garden (1971), a set of four original oneact plays; the opera Die Fledermaus (1987); and Does Anybody Know What I'm Talking About? (1989).

Caesar has won an Emmy for Best Actor (1952); a Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy from the American Comedy Awards (1987); and a Career Achievement Award from the Television Critics Association (2001). He wrote an autobiography called Where Have I Been? (1983).


T. Sennett, Your Show of Shows (1977); K. Adir, The Great Clowns of American Television (1988)

[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]


views updated May 29 2018

Caesar a title of Roman emperors, especially those from Augustus to Hadrian. Recorded from the Middle English, the word comes from Latin Caesar, family name of the Roman statesman Gaius Julius Caesar.
Caesar's wife must be above suspicion those in public life should not put themselves in the position of having their behaviour questioned. Recorded from the late 18th century, the saying alludes to a story in Plutarch's Caesar of how Caesar divorced his wife Pompeia after the scandal surrounding the affair in which Clodius, who was in love with Pompeia, smuggled himself into the house in which the women of Caesar's household were celebrating the festival of the Bona Dea (the Good Goddess). Caesar refused to bring charges against Clodius, but divorced Pompeia; when questioned, he replied ‘I thought my wife ought not even to be under suspicion’.


views updated May 29 2018

Caesar Name of a powerful family of ancient Rome. The most illustrious representative was Julius Caesar. The name became the title for the Roman emperor in 27 bc on the accession of Octavian (later Augustus), adopted son of Julius Caesar. Tsar and kaiser are derived from it.


views updated May 29 2018

Cae·sar • n. a title used by Roman emperors, esp. those from Augustus to Hadrian. ∎  an autocrat.