Watch a gem of “classic” TV that really is

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.

WATCH Argument to Beethoven’s 5th

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Watch a gem of “classic” TV that really is