The comedy world, and SlumberPartiers everywhere, have lost a great today: Sid Caesar, who went on to meet his final pratfall at the ripe age of 91.
Before he hammed his way into Slumber Party history as Coach Calhoun of the Rydell Rangers, he was a go-to guy for hilarity all around. He was in The Club–the Shecky Greenes, the Mel Brookses, the Eve Ardens, the Carl Reiners, the Imogene Cocas–they were all stupendously funny in that slapstick-meets-one-liner-meets-subversive way. (If you don’t believe me, get “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” on your Netflix.)
But back to the Party. I had a ridiculously difficult time find the infamous “rip’em” speech from Grease, and this is as close as I got.
But the real gem in Grease is, of course, the scene in which he introduces the sweetly vulnerable Danny Zuko to all the sports possibilities available to him, starting with the great advice of cutting smoking “down to two packs a day.” After ticking through every spring sport available (with Danny adorably not knowing basketball requires dribbling, which is an indication of how little ESPN they had in 1957) Coach Calhoun recognizes he needs to be alone. Like really alone. Like looooong-distance-running alone.
Yeah. That could be cool.
Ring that victory bell, Coach! Just like you always wanted to.