: : : The Sid Caesar Collection - Inside the Writer's Room

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From the golden age of live television comes this collection of five vintage sketches from Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour starring that volcanic force of nature Sid Caesar and a dream-team ensemble that included Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris, and later, Nanette Fabray. As a reference for baby boomers or Nick at Nite devotees, these are the Alan Brady sketches on which Rob, Buddy, and Sally toiled so mightily. Except for The German General, which was included in the 1973 compilation film Your Show of Shows, they have been virtually unseen since their original broadcasts. While this volume is not as fall-off-the-chair funny as the others in the Sid Caesar Collection, one still watches in awe at the quality of the writing and the brilliance of the gifted cast. The highlight is Aggravation Blvd., an ambitious and surprisingly poignant sketch in which Sid portrays a silent-movie idol undone by his squeaky voice when talking pictures arrive. Boy at First Dance is a bravura showcase for Caesars's pantomime skills, while Sleep Sketch with Sid and Imogene is a master class in comedic chemistry. What Is Jazz? featuring Chita Rivera makes for a nice musical break. Linking these sketches are newly filmed interviews with the show's creators and performers, including writers Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart, and Woody Allen, who recall the chaotically creative and competitive atmosphere in the writer's room. "I should have been impressed but I wasn't," Brooks jokes. "I was a cocky kid, filled with hubris. I thought I was God's gift to creative writing, and it turned out I was." --Donald Liebenson
  • Genre: TV
  • Director:
  • Producer: Goldhil Home Media
  • Length: 65 min
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 1, 2000
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaOct 9, 2000
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