Precious little footage remains of Sid Caesar’s comic greatness from television because in the early days of TV, they somehow didn’t think to record it in a lasting way, or even if they did record it, they’d record over it because they thought they needed the tape for something newer.

On Tuesday’s Conan, Mel Brooks — who got his start writing for Sid Caesar — remembers his mentor.

The beauty of live TV meant having to be a king of improvisation, and Brooks hailed Caesar for his abilities in this regard.

Sid Caesar was strong, too?

He talks in this clip about trying to convince Caesar to go to Hollywood and make movies precisely so he could be remembered and memorialized on film forever.

For a lengthier discussion between Conan O’Brien and Mel Brooks about the history of comedy, sit down with them for some Serious Jibber-Jabber from last year:

Related: Even more Mel Brooks stories!