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Sid Caesar, 91; TV shows inspired generations

Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca during a rehearsal for the Boston Opera Company’s production of “Orpheus” in 1982.
Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca during a rehearsal for the Boston Opera Company’s production of “Orpheus” in 1982.Marvin Lewiton/Associated Press

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Sid Caesar, whose inspired clowning lit up television screens during the 1950s and helped shape American comedy for decades to come, died on Wednesday at his Beverly Hills home. He was 91.

He was in poor health the past year, according to Carl Reiner, who was among several sources to confirm the death of his friend and former colleague.

“Inarguably he was the greatest single monologist and skit comedian we ever had,” Reiner told The Hollywood Reporter. “Television owes him a debt of gratitude for his pioneering work and the great shows he gave us all.”

Mr. Caesar’s three NBC series — “The Admiral Broadway Revue,” “Your Show of Shows,” and “Caesar’s Hour” — delivered something new to the medium, sketch comedy, and made it a staple.

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