Every now and then I just gotta give a history lesson on athletes, artists, comedians and musicians that I feature in video….cuz I feel strongly that these talents that have entertained fans like myself for years….need to not only see a video showcasing these marvelous talents…..but also educates the view on who the person was….as Sid Ceasar, Dick Gregory and Moms Mabley are three of those wonderful entertainers whom I just can’t let the fast pace of 2017 forget….and in this video from Comic Relief USA telethon….our viewers get to watch three (3) of the “all time funny” comedians in Sid Ceasar….plus the viewer gets an extra dose of comedy from TV fame Tony Danza.
Isaac Sidney “Sid” Caesar (September 8, 1922 – February 12, 2014) was an American comic actor and writer….who was best known for two pioneering 1950s live television series….Your Show of Shows, which was a 90-minute weekly show watched by 60 million people,…and then its successor, Caesar’s Hour, both of which influenced later generations of comedians,,,,as Your Show of Shows and its cast received seven Emmy nominations between the years 1953 and 1954 and tallied two wins. He also acted in movies such as Grease (1978)….where he played Coach Calhoun….and its sequel Grease 2 (1982)….plus he appeared in the films It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)….Silent Movie (1976)….History of the World, Part I (1981)….and Cannonball Run II (1984).
Caesar was considered a “sketch comic” and actor, as opposed to a stand-up comedian….for he also relied more on body language, accents, and facial contortions than simply dialogue….which was unlike the slapstick comedy which was standard on TV as his style was considered “avant garde” in the 1950s. He conjured up ideas and scenes while using writers to flesh out the concept and create the dialogue. Among the writers who wrote for Caesar early in their careers were Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner, Michael Stewart, Mel Tolkin, and Woody Allen….which is literally a who’s who of comedic writers….for “Sid’s was the show to which all comedy writers aspired. It was the place to be,” said TV Host Steve Allen. Ceasar’s TV shows’ subjects included satires of real life events and people….with parodies of popular film genres, theater, television shows, and opera….but unlike other comedy shows at the time….the dialogue was considered sharper, funnier, and more adult-oriented. He was known as one of the most intelligent and provocative innovators of television comedy….who some critics called television’s Charlie Chaplin….and The New York Times refers to as the “…comedian of comedians from TV’s early days.”
Richard Claxton “Dick” Gregory (born October 12, 1932) is an American civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, conspiracy theorist, comedian, and occasional actor. Gregory is a member of the prestigious fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha. Gregory performed as a comedian in small, primarily black-patronized nightclubs….while working for the United States Postal Service during the daytime. He was one of the first black comedians to gain widespread acclaim performing for white audiences. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Gregory describes the history of black comics as limited: “Blacks could sing and dance in the white night clubs but weren’t allowed to stand flat-footed and talk to white folks, which is what a comic does.”
In 1961, while working at the black-owned Roberts Show Bar in Chicago….he was spotted by Hugh Hefner performing the following material before a largely white audience:
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I understand there are a good many Southerners in the room tonight. I know the South very well. I spent twenty years there one night.
Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant and this white waitress came up to me and said, “We don’t serve colored people here.” I said, “That’s all right. I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.”
Then these three white boys came up to me and said, “Boy, we’re giving you fair warning. Anything you do to that chicken, we’re gonna do to you.” So I put down my knife and fork, I picked up that chicken and I kissed it. Then I said, “Line up, boys!”