Sunday, February 16, 2014


I'm not sure what there is for me to say about the passing of Sid Caesar that hasn't been said far more eloquently and definitely in a far funnier fashion than I could possibly muster.  

And when it comes to his involvement with the main Toobworld, he is recognized for his sketch comedy series in the 1950s as it was referenced in an episode of 'Moonlighting': Agnes DiPesto's mother Clara suggested using a trick she picked up from 'Your Show Of Shows' - pulling the rug out from under two of the bad guys.  ("Los Dos DiPestos")

The joke of course is that Clara DiPesto was played by Imogene Coca, who worked with Caesar on that show.....

Otherwise, all of his contributions to Earth Prime-Time consisted of guest appearances and cameos in other TV shows, mostly trading in on his linguistic schtick, as a genius in faking foreign languages.  For instance, his role as an exiled Russian Prince on 'Matt Houston' and probably "The General" in 'Vega$'.  

As for the Gryphon in yet another variation on the Wonderland mythos, I wonder if his casting was influenced by the way he looked when he injured himself at the end of "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".  There was always something "beaky" about the faces he made.....

But he put a lof of himself into those roles.  In fact, with two of them - as Uncle Harold on 'Mad About You' and as Mr. Stein in 'Love And War', Caesar was nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Guest Actor.

My favorite of these characters was Lou Bundles, the washed-up magician whose career was revitalized by a magic pack of playing cards.  ('Amazing Stories' - "Mr. Magic")

The Gryphon wasn't his only non-human character.  He was also one of the many manifestations of the Devil, going by the name Nick Lucifer.  

All of his other characters may have already died in Toobworld, but Nick Lucifer - like Sid's legend as a comedy genius - will be immortal.....  

Here's a list of his TV roles that helped expand the main Toobworld.....

Mad About You
Uncle Harold
- Citizen Buchman (1997)

Life with Louie
Marty Kazoo
- Kazoo's Coming to Dinner (1997)
The Great Mom Swap
Papa Tognetti

Love & War
Mr. Stein
- At the Pantheon: Part 2 (1995)
- At the Pantheon: Part 1 (1995)

Side by Side
Louis Hammerstein

Love Is Never Silent
Mr. Petrakis

Alice in Wonderland
The Gryphon

Amazing Stories
Lou Bundles
- Mr. Magic (1985)
The Love Boat
Bert Multon / Michael Harmon
- Aunt Emma, I Love You/Hoopla/The First Romance (1984) ... Bert Multon
- Julie Falls Hard/Double Wedding/The Dummies (1978) ... Michael Harmon

Found Money
Sam Green

Matt Houston
Prince Sergei Polansky
- Recipe for Murder (1982)

The Munsters' Revenge
Dr. Dustin Diablo

The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo
The Bomber
- Another Day, Another Bomb (1981)

Having Babies
- Captive (1979)

America 2100
MAX (voice)

The General
- Mother Mishkin (1978)

- The Great Clowns (1978)
[He may have played himself in this.]

Barnaby and Me
Leo Fisk

Curse of the Black Widow
Lazlo Cozart

Flight to Holocaust
George Beam
Good Heavens
Herman Meltzer
- The Queen's Rook Club (1976)

When Things Were Rotten
Marqui de la Salle
- The French Dis-connection (1975)


Love, American Style
Bert  / John Smith
- Love and the Bowling Ball/Love and the Check/Love and the Hiccups/Love and the Liberated Lady Boss (1971) ... Bert (segment "Love and the Bowling Ball")
- Love and the Legal Agreement/Love and the Militant/Love and Who? (1969) ... John Smith (segment "Love and Who?")

Make Room for Granddaddy
- Tonoose, the Exile (1970)
[Considering Danny Williams was in show business, Sid may have been playing himself.  But knowing his skill at playing foreigners, maybe he was a Lebanese elder from Toledo.....]

That's Life
- You Never Take Me Anyplace (1969)
- Bringing Baby Home (1968)
- Buying a House (1968)

That Girl
Marty Nickels
- The Drunkard (1968)

The Danny Thomas Hour
- Instant Money (1967)

The Mouse That Roared
Duchess / Mountjoy / Tully

Johnny Wilder
- Kill the Sound (1961)

General Electric Theater
Nick Lucifer
- The Devil You Say (1961) 

Good night and may God bless.....

Hail, Caesar!

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