Frequently Asked Questions
Actor, musician, and comedian Yonkers, New York born, Sid Caesar studied saxophone at the Julliard School of Music. He played in a number of prominent Big Bands, including those led by Charlie Spivak, and Claude Thornhill. In 1939 he joined the Coast Guard. Assigned to play in military shows, he showed his forte to show producer Max Liebman, by his ability to make other musicians laugh. Liebman took him out of the orchestra and cast him as a comedian, jump-starting his career upon release from the Coast Guard in 1945.
Caesar made his television debut in a variety show named "Admiral Broadway Review’ and later renamed "Your Show of Shows", costarring comedian Imogene Coca.
The Coast Guard recently presented Mr. Caesar with a public service award during a celebration of his 80th birthday. The citation read as follows:
"The Commandant of the United Stated Coast Guard takes great pleasure in wishing a joyous 80th birthday to Coast Guard veteran Sid Caesar and presenting to him this Coast Guard Certificate of Appreciation, in recognition of his public support of the Coast Guard, most notably in the early days of his career as an actor, musician and comedian and more recently as public spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard. Mr. Caesar joined the Coast Guard in 1939, after studying saxophone at the Julliard School of Music and playing in a number of prominent big bands. In the Coast Guard, he was assigned to play in military revues and shows, such as "Tars and Spars," but he showed a natural penchant for comedy by entertaining other band members with his improvised routines, prompting show producer Max Liebman to move him from the orchestra and cast him as a stand-up comedian to entertain troops, jump-starting his career upon his release from the Coast Guard in 1945. After leaving the Coast Guard, Mr. Caesar went on to perform his "war routine" in both the stage and movie versions of the revue, and continued under Liebman's guidance after the war, in theatrical performances in the Catskills and Florida, but he never forgot the service that launched his career. Mr. Caesar's performance distinguished the Coast Guard as an honorable and valuable service. Friends and acquaintances say he always kept the Coast Guard close to his heart, especially its hardworking enlisted members. Each and every time the Coast Guard asked Mr. Caesar for a favor, he came through for us, whether it was speaking before the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association or recording audio public service announcements for Coast Guard recruiting campaigns. His respect, admiration and fondness for our service shines bright. Mr. Caesar's years of generosity, concern and dedication to the Coast Guard family are deeply appreciated and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard and public service."