TV Guide (February 19, 1955)

Record Details:

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As producer, Sid checks a routine with choreographer Boris Runanin and dancers. At regular intervals, the star of Cae¬ sar’s Hour —^a 60-nunute flight into the dream world of Sid Caesar and comic cohorts—^is plagued with an overwhelming desire to become an ant, a whitewall tire, a dial telephone or Napoleon. Such impulses are most frequently experienced by candidates for padded living quarters. In Sid’s business, however, a little lunacy is a most reliable crutch. Being so endowed, Caesar never worries about trivia, like how a 6- foot, 1-inch, 200-pound comedian can make people believe he’s an ant. Cae¬ sar becomes an ant. This eases a script writer’s problems considerably. Much of his material is built out of ordinary situations by the come¬ dian himself, whose ability to manu¬ facture absuirdity comes from being a genius, a child or both. For ex¬ ample, Sid got the idea for his ant routine by watching a group of them which had set up residence on Fifth Avenue. “Here they were, right near everything,” he mused, “Tiffany’s, Bergdorf’s, the Plaza. You’d think they’d be happy. But no, one instiga¬ tor—^there’s one in every crowd—^he thinks they should move to the coun¬ try, so the kids will have fresh air and a green leaf to call their own.” Ordinarily sparing with words, Sid relies heavily on grunts and gestures to cohvey ideas. This eliminates the need for most props. “If we needed a club, we couldn’t build one big enough,” he says. “But if I groan and stagger under the weight of an im¬ aginary one, the audience figures it’s the biggest club in the whole world.” Off stage, Caesar is no back-slap¬ ping jester. He’s a big, sad-looking young man of just 32 who owns 100 custom-tailored suits and, in his finery, appears younger and handsomer than on TV. This season, despite added re¬ sponsibilities as producer of his own show, he strikes friends as “more re- ◄ Sid rehearses jazz skit with his 'second bananas/ Howie Morris, I.; Carl Reiner.