Groundbreaking and iconic comedian Sid Caesar, who helped launch the careers of Carl Reiner, Woody Allen and Mel Brooks, has died at the age of 91.
Caesar was one of the first comic voices to become a television star, as NBC premiered his variety show Your Show of Shows in 1950. The show, which featured everything from long-form sketches to opera, to pop music to dance, took full advantage of Caesar’s amazingly diverse skillset. It also gave a place for Reiner, Brooks and Larry Gelbart to cut their teeth.
Although he fell out of the spotlight due to addictions to alcohol and barbiturates, the Yonkers, NY native made a comeback in the late 1970s, when he started to appear in films and television. He became a member of the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1985 and earned a lifetime achievement award from the Television Critics Association in 2011.
No cause of death has been revealed. Larry King made the announcement on his Twitter feed. Check out a clip from Your Show of Shows below, which features Caesar as well as Carl Reiner, Howard Morris and Imogene Coca.
In this video from November of 2012, Mel Brooks tells Conan O’Brien what it was like writing for Caeser.