1812 Productions is the country's only regional theater devoted entirely to comedy, with a history of over 50 shows. Seventeen of the company's world premieres have been created by Artistic Director Jennifer Childs. For It's My Party: The Women and Comedy Project, Childs conducted nearly 100 interviews to discover what women of various ages find funny. Center funding has also supported Our Show of Shows, an original script created in the style of—and with the blessing of—Sid Caesar, and This Is the Week That Is, a show that changes nightly in response to current events, described as a combination of The Daily Show and The Carol Burnett Show. In 2010, 1812 Productions was recognized by the American Theatre Wing with a National Theatre Company Grant, awarded to select companies demonstrating the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theater.
1812 Productions produced two shows in repertory, a first for the all-comedy theater company: the world premiere of Our Show of Shows, which celebrates television legend Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca's 1950s TV variety show, Your Show of Shows; and a production of Laughter on the 23rd Floor, written by one of the program's scriptwriters, Neil Simon.
Work on the productions was enhanced by a connection to Sid Caesar through his biographer, Eddy Friedfeld, who dramaturged the new work and kept Caesar abreast of progress. Neil Simon offered insights on writing for Caesar's TV program in the 1950s along with his views on comedy. "Because both gentlemen are icons, their presence was always felt in the room," the 1812 staff reflected afterward. "It felt vital that we get it right for them. That we honor them. It allowed us to approach both pieces with sincerity and to embrace the optimistic and hopeful humor without commenting on it. What we found is that our audience surrendered to it, loved it and needed it. It is tiring to be ironic all the time."
"Hail Caesar!" wrote the Philadelphia Inquirer. "[This] old-fashioned comedy worthy of Sid...gleams with comic gold."