Although he’s well remembered by the comedy cognoscenti, comedian Sid Caesar—who died last week at 91 after a long illness—was one of those performers who should’ve been a bigger star, on par with someone like his acolyte, Mel Brooks. Brooks got his start on Caesar’s genre-defining series Your Show Of Shows, and the two remained friends and collaborators throughout the rest of Caesar’s life. Last night on Conan, Brooks offered a fond, and typically funny, remembrance of his friend, beginning with how he tried to convince him to give up TV for movies.
Brooks’ assertion that those old episodes of Your Show Of Shows are gone is no joke—very little remains of a series that did nearly 40 90-minute episodes every year for four seasons. (Its first season ran 13 episodes.) Conan O’Brien showed one of the sketches that survived—and a personal favorite—after Brooks talked about Caesar’s comic sensibility.
You should probably pick up that Criterion of It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, too.