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Sid Caesar And The Golden Age of YouTube

May 5, 2008

Argument to Beethoven’s 5th

Live television — two words that conjure up excitement, suspense, and a good kind of danger — is today mostly defined by sporting events, breaking news from the campaign trail, or yet another chance to watch Paula Abdul steer TV’s most lucrative vehicle into a concrete barrier wall.

Back in the day, however, television was nearly all live — and frequently great, if this five-minute clip gaining new life on the Web is any indication. Watch as Sid Caesar (star of Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour) deftly pantomimes a domestic argument with Nanette Fabray — a sort of battling Bickersons meets Beethoven. Caesar’s legacy has often been overshadowed by the later careers of his writing staff (Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Neil Simon). But as this sketch delightfully demonstrates, Caesar needed very few words — if any — to bring down the house.

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In the same vein of Argument here is the classic Looney Tunes cartoon Rabbit of Seville. Released in 1950, It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese.

In 1994 it was voted #12 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.

Directed by Charles M. Jones
Produced by Eddie Selzer
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Phil Monroe
Ben Washam
Lloyd Vaughan
Ken Harris
Emery Hawkins
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) December 16, 1950 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 min (one reel)
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