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RIP Sid Caesar

SID CAESAR, comedy legend, died today at his home in Beverly Hills; he was 91. Even if you've never heard his name, the pioneer of TV sketch comedy has influenced your funny bone—the writers' room for his trailblazing, Emmy-winning Your Show of Shows included Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Woody Allen, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart, among other comedic masterminds, and they all developed their chops working for the very demanding Caesar. With partner Imogene Coca and his brilliant repertory cast, Caesar created the template without which SNL and other sketch-comedy shows would have been unthinkable. But as Brooks told Variety, the relentless demands of live TV "ground him into sausages," and Caesar descended into two decades of alcoholism and drug abuse. By the time he resurfaced he was lauded as a visionary by the generation of writers, performers and fans who'd been shaped by his work. We take a moment, therefore, to say farewell to a comedy god. Take a look at some of his work here. (2/12p)

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