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January 5th, 2009
My Comedian Hero
Sid Caesar
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Sid Caesar: Well, you take a picture like, with Chaplin, ‘City Lights’. There was a part in that picture where he’s running away from the cops, he’s always running away from the cops and he sees a traffic light, and he sees the traffic light and he goes “ah!” He gets an idea. And all the cars are stopped for the traffic light, so he walks through the back of all the cars, and the last car he gets out of is a limousine. Of course, that’s how he got the idea of a blind girl seeing – thinking that he is a millionaire. I mean, how do you do that? How do you do it? It’s a blind girl, in a silent movie, and she falls in love – I mean, she knows that this guy is a millionaire. And Chaplin gets out of the car, slams the door, and he sees that she turns around because she heard the door, and she offers him the lilacs that she’s selling. And he looks at her, and it’s immediate love. Immediate! He falls in love – aah! (laughs) And then he takes his last dime, and he takes it and he gives it to her. And she takes the dime and she gives him the flowers. And he takes the flowers and she takes this cup, and she’s going to walk down to the fountain in the park and rinse it out. So he follows her, and she gets the cup and she rinses it, and then she throws the water in his face! And the whole audience went “ah!” because they were in a serious situation, and all of a sudden there’s something that’s funny. Right there. No introduction or nothing, boom. Bang. A switch. And the audience went “ah!”, they drew in because they were in a serious situation and you get a thing like this, they didn’t know whether to laugh or not, because they would – in those days, they were afraid to laugh because they thought that they’d embarrass somebody on the screen.

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