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Sid Caesar Coll

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

Price: CDN$ 129.89
Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sid Caesar
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: May 31 2005
  • Run Time: 215 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B0002TVWZG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88,737 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

A Collection of comedian Sid Caesars great shows.

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Top Customer Reviews

By P on Aug. 26 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I never saw the original series, but this dvd included some brilliant highlights.

In a time of live t.v. it was pure gold.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa597fd38) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3b3490c) out of 5 stars Classic live comedy from TV's Golden Age Jan. 21 2006
By Paul T. Fitzpatrick - Published on
Format: DVD
Sid Caesar's live, uproarious variety shows were staples of 1950s television. Unfortunately, he's not as familiar to today's TV viewers as Lucille Ball and Jackie Gleason, because his shows have not been widely seen in syndication. I hope this and other DVD releases can remedy that just a bit.

One great thing about these comedy sketches is that, unlike today, these writers and performers created wonderfully inventive comedy that all ages could enjoy, without resorting to off-color material. That is why some of the modern material on this DVD set is uncalled for. One of the extras on Disc 1 consists of part of a Friar's Club roast for Sid Caesar. In his speech, writer Hal Kanter uses a few four-letter words that have absolutely no place in this collection, and this is the reason I'm giving the set 4 stars rather than 5. During the interview segments, when they talk about the sketch that spoofs FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (called "From Here to Obscurity"), they refer to the original movie's passionate beach scene in less-than-modest ways. (The sketch itself is non-offensive and funny.) When watching this collection with your kids, use discretion.

As for the interviews as a whole, they are entertaining and informative. Performers Sid Caesar, Nanette Fabray, Howard Morris and Carl Reiner offer their reminiscences of working on the programs, and so do several of the writers, including Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and others. (Woody Allen didn't write for Sid until 1958, which means he wrote none of the material in this collection.)

The main attraction here is the sketches themselves, taken from ADMIRAL BROADWAY REVUE (1949), YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS (1950-1954), and CAESAR'S HOUR (1954-1957). In the earliest clip, from 1949, Sid does a great monologue ("Five-Dollar Date") comparing how it was to go out on the town in 1939 versus 1949. Sid could be entertaining all by himself -- other clips have him doing a one-man pantomime bit about a boy at his first dance, and also parodying airplane movies.

Then there are the sketches with the stock company, which include Imogene Coca in the YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS clips, and Nanette Fabray on CAESAR'S HOUR. Carl Reiner and Howard Morris round out the regular stock company. This is classic comedy at its finest. Sid Caesar's talent for foreign accent "double-talk" is shown in such skits as "The German General" and "The Cobbler's Daughter." (The other players are pretty good at it, too!) Movie skits include "From Here to Obscurity" and "Aggravation Boulevard," the latter with Caesar as a silent-movie star whose voice, to say the LEAST, is not quite appropriate for the transition to talkies! (According to the writers, this was based on a not-really-true legend that claims that John Gilbert had the same trouble.) Also: Caesar, Reiner and Morris portray "The Haircuts" -- a wacky singing group parody.

There is a wonderful bit about a Bavarian clock, whose miniature figures begin to malfunction -- with delightful results. "The Hickenloopers" were recurring characters, and in the example shown here, Sid tries to get to sleep with the help of Imogene. On CAESAR'S HOUR, a recurring skit was called "The Commuters," of which there are 3 examples here. Sid and Nanette play married couple Bob and Nan, and Reiner and Morris play their married friends. This is described as an upscale version of Gleason's "The Honeymooners." Two of the skits even have some Gleason-esque pathos to them. Singer Judy Tyler (Princess Summerfall Winterspring from HOWDY DOODY) and comedian Henny Youngman are seen in one of the "Commuters" sketches, a bonus on disc 2.

Probably the funniest sketch in this collection is "This Is Your Story," a takeoff on THIS IS YOUR LIFE in which Sid plays the befuddled honored guest. Host Carl Reiner introduces him to various people from his past, who overdo the affection to a side-splitting extent -- including Howard Morris (as "Uncle Goopy") and Louis Nye (as kindly fireman "Mr. Torch").

Also included are some musical numbers -- Chita Rivera and Jack Cole perform a number, and Sid gets to play saxophone with Benny Goodman! A nice bonus on one of the discs is an original printed program that the audience received when they went to see a CAESAR'S HOUR broadcast in person. It would have been nice if they included a hard copy of this as part of the set.

There are only two things that are wanting in this collection. One, it is too short. A 3-DVD set could hold more material than is available here. The programs are each approximately 65 to 75 minutes, with bonus sketches and bonus interviews, and writer and cast biographies. Also, I would have liked to have seen more of the rubber-faced Imogene Coca, who was one of the top TV comediennes of the day. She is a delight to watch.

Thanks to kinescopes -- filmed records of these skits shot from in front of a TV monitor -- these live TV moments were preserved for posterity, and happily are now available to be seen again.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3b36918) out of 5 stars Disappointing July 12 2010
By Pam - Published on
Format: DVD
Make no mistake, the output of Caesar & Co belongs in the pantheon of comedy with Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Fields, Marx Bros, and Sturges. Fellow TV pioneers Kovacs and Gleason are the only ones that approach him in that medium. And he can lay claim to being the godfather of the next generation of film and TV comedy as mentor to Allen, Reiner and Brooks.

Unfortunately, the ultimate Caesar collection, the 1973 theatrical release TEN FROM YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, has never been released on DVD. For sheer uninterrupted brilliance, no other collection can compare. While Caesar certainly produced outstanding output for many years, it was during the 4+ years of YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS that the confluence of writing and cast created television comedy that is unsurpassed by any other - though Gleason's "classic 39" HONEYMOONERS episodes can be considered a parallel example.

New Video apparently has hundreds of hours of Caesar that it is spreading across several DVD collections. It is no surprise that the superior segments in this collection - "The Clock," "From Here to Obscurity," and "This Is Your Story" -- are all SHOW OF SHOW bits. I have not seen the other New Video collections, but I presume they all follow the same formula: a few outstanding SHOW OF SHOWS segments surrounded by lesser Caesar work, with fawning but uninteresting interviews added as obvious filler.

Bottom line: with the brilliant TEN FROM YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS unavailable, this is not a completely worthless consolation prize. Of all the New Video collections, choose this one for no other reason than this: it includes "This Is Your Story" -- without exception the funniest 10 min in the history of recorded comedy.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa493d4a8) out of 5 stars Re-issue of out-of-print collection ASIN: B00004WMGQ July 4 2005
By Paul J. Mular - Published on
Format: DVD
This looks like a re-issue of the original, now out-of-print, classic "Sid Caesar Collection" from another distributor, ASIN: B00004WMGQ .

If you don't already have that great collection, then this is a MUST HAVE.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3ca85c4) out of 5 stars Wanted more of Caesar May 6 2014
By patricia major - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The comedy was wonderful to see again. What we did not expect was tiresome discussions before each skit. We will not order more discs because of this.
HASH(0xa40617ec) out of 5 stars With Memories of Sid, Imogene, and Carl Sept. 17 2014
By Jack Katz - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For anyone who came of age in the '50s, this is vintage champagne. I consider Sid Caesar to be probably the most brilliant comic actor of the mid-20th century. And his cohorts on the show and in the Writers' Room were equally brilliant! What trenchant satire!

For anyone who came of age in the '50s, this is vintage champagne. Sid Caesar was probably the most brilliant and fearless comic actor of the mid-20th century, and his cohorts and Writers' Room associates were equally brilliant. The satire was incredibly trenchant and timely!

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