Sid Caesar is another one of these old-timey hosts that I loved as a child despite the fact that he was utterly unknown to a majority of my peers. I mainly liked him because of all of his work with Mel Brooks, who I was also introduced to around this time, but I have to admit that another part of my fandom stemmed from the fact that he was so obscure which made me feel like I fit in with the big kids.
This was an interesting episode because if it were any other host, I would have hated this episode. Not only did this episode have, what seemed to be, the fewest sketches to date but there was a silent film sketch that seemed to take up at least a quarter of the show. That said, for whatever reason, I felt that Sid Caesar totally pulled it off and I don't think that I'm just cutting him slack because I am a fan.
Not only did the cast seem to have an extra bit of energy from working with the comedic legend but the audience was also fully on board which I felt added to the positive vibe of the show even during the slow moments.
Alright, that's all that I have for this episode, it's now time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show starts with the cast trying to figure out a way to prove that the show is really live and have nothing but bad ideas until Sid Caesar enters the scene and talks about how there is no such thing as the present being that "now" is a constantly fleeting concept. This week there was also no announcement of, "Live from New York..." as the discussion kind of just trails off.
Sid Caesar then officially opens the show with a monolog/routine where he talks about his frame of mind while touching on his career.
We then get a follow up from the last visit from The Whiners where Piscopo was shot as a hostage, and he annoys the hell out of Sid who is his hospital room neighbor, to the point where he tries to strangle the couple with hospital equipment.
Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warens then took to the stage to perform Up Where We Belong.
We then went to a man on the street segment where New Yorkers were asked "Who Do You Hate?" and they give some pretty funny answers.
Sid Caesar and Mary Gross then find themselves in a hotel together with connecting rooms for a business trip. In one room, Mary is the aggressor and wants to start an affair, but the moment that Sid passes through the connecting door he's transplanted to a world that is black and white. It’s as if it's the past and he's the one that's up for shenanigans as if he's stuck in some sort of bizarro time warp.
Once again, Brad Hall gives us the news. This week, Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a segment where she discusses her mother's denial that she is sexually active when all she wants is birth control, Mary Gross rants, and raves about the latest national budget while listing agencies that should be cut, and Sweetchuck drops buy as his doctor character with a list of funny new words for suicide. It's fun but it goes on forever, and my modern mind doesn't really have the patience for such a long silent film in less I am in the mood and have actively sought it out because I do actually like the silent genre when I actually am in the right mood. (Clip 2)
Crime And Self-Punishment is a silent film parody of Crime and Punishment where Sid really gets to shine with his very expressive acting.
We then get a News Extra where Sid Caesar's hobo professor character gives us a lecture about how America may be losing ground when it comes to manufacturing jobs, but we still make the world's best soap operas.
Joe Cocker then takes to the stage alone to sing Seven Days.
Finally, Sid Caesar closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Though there wasn't all that much to choose from, these were my favorite moments from the night. First, I loved the Time Warp Hotel sketch because it felt like something that I would write. Next, I really liked the opening sketch because again, Sid Caesar rambling logic totally matches my stoner thoughts. Finally, I was a fan of the Crime And Self-Punishment sketch despite the fact that I would have hated the silent aspect if it were to have been done by any other host.