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February 12, 2014 AT 3:22 PM
Sid Caesar, who pioneered TV sketch comedy during the 1950s as the star and creative force of "Your Show of Shows," a launch pad for the likes of Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen and an inspiration to generations of comedians, died on Wednesday. He was 91. Caesar, in failing health for at least a year, died at his home in Beverly Hills, where he had continued to receive visitors, reminisce and tell jokes, according to friends and collaborators, including Reiner. Although most of today's television audience is too young to remember him from the height of his popularity, Caesar's work and imprint live on in pop culture touchstones as diverse as "The Dick Van Dyke Show," the box-office hit "Grease" and "Saturday Night Live."