We are told that the character Sid Caesar plays here is based on a real life performer in the San Francisco area. I thought it might have been based on Jean Shepherd whom I listened to as a lad in New York City. But Shepherd at his iconoclastic best had nothing on Caesar and the demons he's dealing with.
I was really taken with what Caesar did with this role. He's popping pills like a madman and has taken residence in the radio studio. He's afraid to leave because he's getting threatening phone calls so he stays there surrounded with only those he knows.
It's Caesar's wife Dianne Foster who calls in Checkmate because she's seriously concerned about his mental health. Let's say she's got every reason to be.
For those who only know Sid Caesar as one of the pioneer funny men of television this Checkmate episode is an eye opener.
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