Larry Gelbart

Appreciating Sid Caesar, the real father of TV sketch comedy

By now you probably know that comedian Sid Caesar died today at the age of 91.

But judging by the paper-thin pieces I have been seeing on the web this afternoon, I am guessing many readers might not understand how seminal he was to the history of television and sketch comedy.

Caesar deserves some cultural context and honor for the fearless and pioneering figure he was.

Live television burned him up within a decade, leaving behind a guy addicted to amphetamines, downers and alcohol. But, oh my, did he burn bright with the energy of post-World-War-II American life in the early 1950s, when not even the founders of American television knew what the medium was, let alone...