Listen: Sid Caesar on the Importance of Comic Timing
Listen: Caesar on Presenting Comedy in TV's Early Days
Listen: Caesar Answers a Basic Question About His Show
Sid Caesar says his early days as a musician helped his comic timing.
Believe it or not, Sid Caesar got his first laughs trying to avoid the spotlight. When he took the stage to play the saxophone in junior high school, the audience snickered as he repeatedly shifted positions to escape the light's glare. That was the first time Caesar realized he could make people laugh.
Nearly two decades later, Caesar went on to pioneer television comedy, starring in Your Show of Shows, Caesar's Hour and other programs from the late 1940s to the 1960s. NPR's Susan Stamberg talks to the 81-year-old comedic legend about some of his famous sketches — and cajoles Caesar into performing her mother-in-law's cranberry relish recipe.