A Priceless Gift
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When my son asked what I wanted for Father's Day, I told him that I had just learned about a collection of videos featuring selections from Sid Ceasar's TV programs from the 1950s. He could buy any of the videos and dad would be thrilled. Well, "Inside The Writer's Room" is one of the videos he bought for me. It includes fascinating comments and reminiscing by the incredibly talented writers who worked on Caesar's TV programs. The writers include Mel Brooks, Neil & Danny Simon, Carl Reiner, and Woody Allen among others. Listening to these gifted people discuss the job of writing for live TV and working with Ceasar, Coca, & the rest of the remarkable casts is enlightening and entertaining. Just the comments of the writers would have made the video a must have. In addition there are a number of skits and numbers from the classic "Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour" that will leave you awed and laughing. I remember seeing the "German General" sketch in the 1950s when I was a kid in the midwest. It was hilarious then, and it was hilarious nearly 50 years later. Most of Caesar's comedy is timeless. It will always be funny. For young people who have never seen Sid do one of his foreign language sketches, this would be a great introduction. Sid is a master of foreign "doubletalk", and so was his aide in the sketch, Howard Morris, who was priceless. Also priceless is the "punchline" visual last scene of this sketch. This video also contains one of Sid's movie parodies, "Aggravation Boulevard", a tribute to Billy Wilder's "Sunset Boulevard." but a very funny tribute. For those of us that remember "Your Show of Shows," the 1 1/2 hour program wasn't all comedy. There were also excellent performances by singers, musicians and dancers. This video gives one a taste of that with a segment featuring a dance by Chita Rivera and another segment featuring Sid playing the saxaphone in Benny Goodman's band. Note to younger viewers, Sid was an accomplished reed player. "Inside The Writer's Room" is the next best thing to actually being a writer for live TV in the 1950s."
More great comedy sketches starring Caesar, Coco, et al.
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 09/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is great that we are finally able to see some of the classic comedy moments from the two greatest sketch comedies of television's golden age, "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour." Both of these 1950s shows starred Sid Caesar and his great ensemble cast of the late, great Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris, and many others. This second volume in "The Sid Caesar Collection" makes a point of focusing on the talented writing staff Caesar put together, which included Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. Sketches on this DVD include "The German General," "Boy at First Dance," "The Sleep Sketch," "Aggravation Boulevard," "Chita Rivera and Jack Cole in 'What Is Jazz?" and "The Hickenloopers." These sketches, selected by Caesar personally, are digitally remastered from the original kinescopes. To add to the fun, interviews with the cast members are writers serve as the introductions. The main thing is that these sketches are as hilarious as you always heard they were."
A little bit of this, a little bit of that...
M. Miller | TN | 01/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Inside the Writer's Room gives the writers themselves a little chance to talk about what life was like behind the show. Now mind you when I say a little time, it's only a little because the whole movie is just around an hour in length.
However, you still get the benefit of hearing Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, and the rest including Caesar himself. Also, a few of the sketches were thrown in as well, but only about three or four of them.
I have nothing against Sid Caesar or his comedy. My only problem is that if I were an avid fan of Caesar's comedy then I would want a longer film with more information about the process, instead of just a few tidbits.
Still for the dedicated fan I'm sure they'd be pleased, otherwise this probably isn't that good of an introduction to Caesar."