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Father Of TV Sketch Comedy Sid Caesar Dead At 91

Sid Caesar's "The Show Of Shows" launched the careers of many top comics.
Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 12, 2014

Comedy icon Sid Caesar has died at the age of 91.

Entertainment publications Wednesday regarded him as the "master of TV comedy," a "comedy titan" and a "king of comedy." (Via Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, People)

Caesar was more or less the father of TV sketch comedy. His firstborn, the 1950s-era "Your Show Of Shows," proved to be a springboard for the talents of Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and good friend Carl Reiner, among others. (Via NBC / "Your Show Of Shows")

Gossip Cop described the groundbreaking series as one that "revolved around sketches rather than vaudeville, ushering in a new broadcast era."

Media and pop-culture blogger Greg Mitchell tweeted: "If it has any class, SNL will do a Sid Caesar tribute this Saturday. Where it all began."

When news of the comic's death broke Wednesday, Sid Caesar immediately began trending on Twitter.

TV critic Ken Tucker said of Caesar: ​"Boisterous when in-character, he once admitted that the most difficult part of doing his variety shows was the opening moment, when he had to appear as himself and wish the audience a good evening. Once past that awkwardness, however, Caesar rarely failed to give people a rollicking good time."

Variety notes Caesar followed his comic heyday with "a precipitous decline into alcoholism and barbiturates, a self-described '20 year blackout'" and ultimately a recovery, which spawned his autobiography in 1982.

Caesar is survived by his wife of nearly 71 years and their three children. No details on his cause of death have been made public.