Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ave, Cæsar! Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Television -- especially television comedy -- would not be what it is today without Sid Caesar, the mastermind behind Your Show of Shows who died today at 91. Everything from John Stewart to Saturday Night Live is still walking the same path Caesar and his prolific staff sketched out from 1950 to 1954.

Caesar's success led him to a number of personal problems, including addiction, that he managed to overcome with the help of therapy, his family and friends. In later life, he tried to use those experiences when he would offer advice or talk about his career and what he learned. One of his best ideas is in the quote with which the New York Times closes his obituary:
“Everybody wants to have a goal: I gotta get to that goal, I gotta get to that goal, I gotta get to that goal,” he said. “Then you get to that goal, and then you gotta get to another goal. But in between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed — and if you don’t, you’re a fool.”

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