I didn't think anything could depress me more than Shirley Temple's death; but losing Sid Caesar the very next day was the proverbial "double whammy." The Golden Age is slipping away from us, and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it.
This one really hurt because, as with Jonathan Winters' death last year, there doesn't seem to be anyone who can replace him. A selection of tributes from the Entertainment community follow -- including some heavy-hitter colleagues from his YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS "Dream Team," who loved and respected Caesar:
WOODY ALLEN -- "He was one of the truly great comedians of my time and one of the finest privileges I've had in my entire career was that I was able to work for him."
NEIL SIMON -- "The first time I saw Caesar it was like seeing a new country. All other comics were basically doing situations with farcical characters. Caesar was doing life."
MEL BROOKS -- "Sid Caesar was a giant, maybe the best comedian who ever practiced the trade. I was privileged to be one of his writers and one of his friends."
CARL REINER -- "Inarguably he was the greatest single monologist and skit comedian we ever had. Television owes him a debt of gratitude for his pioneering work and the great shows he gave us all."
In 1983, Caesar hosted an episode of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, where he received a standing ovation at the start of the show and was awarded a plaque that declared him an honorary cast member. Caesar's work was a major influence on SNL, of course. (He would also receive a spontaneous standing ovation from the cast and audience of WHO'S LINE IS IT ANYWAY?, yet another program he influenced, when he guested in 2001.) I haven't watched SNL for years, but I'll try to catch it this weekend in case they do a tribute.
RIP to a comic genius, and thanks for a lifetime of laughs.