Even though this blog is reserved for all things Lee Marvin or Lee Marvin Point Blank related, the news of Sid Caesar’s passing compels me to break my own rule. I was privileged to interview Caesar for Filmfax magazine back in 2001 to promote the video release of his classic variety show(s). It remains one of the highlights of my career.
It was fascinating from the start as I waited in his living room for him to finish up his interview with an NPR reporter. While waiting, I couldn’t help but hear an eruption of obscenities bursting forth from the next room. The NPR reporter was leaving, escorted out by the video producer. The exchange as they walked was of the reporter asking what was wrong with Caesar and the producer apologetically stating Caesar just felt bad for breaking his leg, recently. Now it should be said, Caesar’s temper in show business is the stuff of legend so when the prodocer smiled at me and said I was next, I had just to ask, “What the hell was that really all about?” The producer smiled sheepishly and said, “Well, Sid doesn’t like it when media people are unprepared.” I gulped loudly.
The result of the next several hours, can be read below. It’s lengthy, but I think worth it, and it’s the best way I can think of to pay my respects to one of the most talented and influential individuals I ever met. Enjoy.