Sid Caesar: Mel Brooks and Woody Allen pay tribute

Mel Brooks and Woody Allen are among those who have paid tribute to veteran US comedian Sid Caesar, who died on Wednesday aged 91.

"Sid Caesar was a giant," tweeted Brooks. "Maybe the best comedian who ever practiced the trade."

"He was one of the truly great comedians of my time," echoed Allen.

Caesar, who has been credited with inventing TV sketch comedy, was a major influence on Brooks, Allen and Carl Reiner, who all worked with him.

"I was privileged to be one of his writers and one of his friends," wrote Blazing Saddles director Brooks, who got his break creating sketches for the classic TV series Your Show of Shows.

The live 90-minute show, which combined improvised and scripted comedy, dominated the Saturday night viewing habits of millions of Americans from 1950-54.

It also brought together Caesar and Reiner, who worked as a writer on the show.

"Inarguably he was the greatest single monologist and skit comedian we ever had," Reiner said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Television owes him a debt of gratitude for his pioneering work and the great shows he gave us all.

"Render onto Caesar what is his due. He deserves real applause from the American people."


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