ivery that sneaks in punch lines as she blitzes her way through a monologue, like in the joke above, feels arrestingly contemporary, and might remind you of Amy Schumer or the way Jim Gaffigan delivers his punch lines in falsetto under his breath. She moved so quickly and was so ahead of her time, she literally tells the audience to catch up. Ed Sullivan got it, though, asking her to appear on the show over 20 times. Watching those appearances was a young Lily Tomlin
Blanche: Well, when I left the plantation, I went to New Orleans. And there I met a very wealthy gentleman who wants to marry me … [Stanley eats chicken as she continues to speak.]
Sid Caesar’s first TV show was so successful that its sponsor couldn’t produce enough to meet audience demand and had to cancel the show
His second show was so popular that it was cancelled so the network could break it into two different shows.
Milton Berle figured out how to do comedy on TV; Sid Caesar perfected it.
Your Show of Shows was basically SNL before there was SNL: A guest host would perform sketches with Sid, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, and the rest of the players, and a song or two would be performed. There had been parodies on television before YSoS, but this program was among the first to write parodies that capitalized on the specific strengths of its performers.
Now in “A Streetcar Named” Sid, one of the greatest physical comedians who has ever lived, is given a number of physical jokes to perform, which don’t necessarily have anything to do with the original film.
Yet he is able to boil down all of Marlon Brando’s legendary performance into 30 seconds of eating sloppily. Without Sid, there’s probably no Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Carol Burnett, Mad magazine, or SNL
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