Mel Brooks remembered his close friend Sid Caesar in an extended “Conan” appearance on Tuesday, where he called the late sketch comedy legend “a legitimate comic genius,” and shared stories of their personal friendship and professional collaborations.
A legend in his own right, Brooks, who worked with Caesar on “Your Show of Shows” among other projects, recalled his old partner saving broken sketches through improv, conversing (nearly) fluently in fake languages, and even picking up cars when his favorite parking spot was taken.
On both the comedic and physical power of the large funnyman, Brooks said: “He was not even a Jew or a person — he was a force.”
Brooks also revealed to Conan’s studio audience, whose members were hanging on his every word, why Caesar never really made the transition to Hollywood that may have increased the lore surrounding his career.
A jump from TV into movies almost happened, but Caesar was given an offer he couldn’t refuse at his TV show: “Unfortunately, he was so good the show ran for 10 years and by then, the ship had sailed,” Brooks said.
The man behind “Blazing Saddles” and “The Producers” regrets that his friend Caesar’s performances are not better documented for future viewers, like movie stars of their era.
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At the end of the long tribute, summed up Caesar’s influence simply: “No Sid Caesar, no Mel Brooks.”
Caesar died last week. He was 91-years-old.
Watch Brooks’ full appearance: