"Sid Caesar invented sketch," said comedy legend Carl Reiner in an interview with Phil Rosenthal (creator of "Everybody Loves Raymond") at the opening night of the L.A. Jewish Film Festival on May 1, which was in honor of Reiner and in memory of Caesar, who died in February. "Sid performed it in such a way that it was never the same after."
As the evening stretched on, the 92-year-old Reiner used his memories of time served on "Your Show of Shows," "The Dick Van Dyck Show" and others to bring the crowd to laughter and applause. Of course, we were there to laugh, and had been warmed up considerably by the film that preceded the conversation: "Ten From 'Your Show of Shows'," a 1973 compilation film by Max Liebman of ten sketches from the show's 1950-1954 run. Although the sketches were first performed 60 years ago, the actors' commitments to character and relationship made the bits are relatable today as they were when first they aired.
Ten seems like a good round number. A one and a zero to please the mathematicians. Passover's plagues. Sinai's commandments. So I understand why "Ten From 'Your Show of Shows'" focused on the number 10.
In that spirit, here are 10 things I learned from Carl Reiner at tonight's event: