Mel Brooks Sings Praises of Late Sid Caesar on “Conan”

Posted Wednesday February 19, 2014 3:30 PM GMT

He’s seen plenty of stars come and go during his 87 years on the earth and Mel Brooks was especially impressed with Sid Caesar.

During his interview on “ Conan” last night (February 18) the “Blazing Saddles” mastermind paid tribute to his late friend in a heartfelt memorial.

Recalling a meeting he’d had with Sid just three months before he passed, Mel explained, "He looked at me and said, 'Mel Brooks, Mel Brooks, what a career, what a career -- you went from me to Hitler!' Still funny, still glorious. He was such an incredible guy."

“He could double-talk in any language -- he didn't know the language, but he could pretend.[One time at a restaurant] the waiter knew there was some French there, but he couldn't make any sense out of it. Sid never stopped, he was relentless!"

However, Brooks had a hard time getting Caesar to branch out from television. "I said, you're a legitimate comic genius, and no one will ever remember what the hell you did, seriously, unless we go -- let's make movies. I said, quit. You've done two years, you got another two-year contract coming up, just tell them, 'Thank you, it's been wonderful,' and just have the guts and quit. Let's go to Hollywood and make movies and be remembered, and have your stuff literally immortalized. Be on the big screen forever. He said, 'Yes, you're right.'"

But when Sid tried to quit, the network gave him a massive pay raise to keep him on board. "Unfortunately, he was so good, the show ran for ten years and by then, the ship had sailed. He had given everything that he possibly could."

Finally, Mel declared that he wouldn’t have been so successful without ‘Sydney.’ "I said, 'No Sid Caesar, No Mel Brooks.' And I meant it. I sincerely meant it."

Photo Credit: TBS