With his flair for verbal and physical comedy honed while performing during his World War II service in the Coast Guard and in nightclubs and theaters after the war, Caesar burst on the national scene in 1949 as the star of the “Admiral Broadway Revue,” a live, hourlong show from New York that aired Friday nights simultaneously on NBC and the DuMont network.
The Max Liebman-produced show, which was built around Caesar and teamed him with comedic actress Imogene Coca for the first time, featured guest stars, comedy sketches and large production numbers.
The “Admiral Broadway Revue” was a hit — so much so that it was canceled after less than five months when the Admiral Corp. withdrew its sole sponsorship: It reportedly needed to use the money it had been putting into the program to build a new factory to keep up with the skyrocketing number of orders for its TV sets generated by the show.
With one punch, he knocked out a horse that had thrown his wife off its back, a scene that Mr. Brooks replayed in his movie “Blazing Saddles.”
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