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The Ernie Kovacs Collection
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In the infancy of any medium, there will be some who realize its potential well before anyone else. Ernie Kovacs was such a visionary, and between 1951 and 1962 he broke rules that hadnt even been made yet and created a language that is now taken for granted.
The Ernie Kovacs Collection includes six DVDs and over 15 hours of programs that span the all-too-brief but brilliant television career of this hugely influential comic artist, from his earliest local morning shows in Philadelphia through his NBC prime-time shows and the ABC specials that represented the peak of his offbeat humor and creative experimentation with the medium. The Ernie Kovacs Collection is a treasure trove of comedy from televisions original genius, most of it unseen for over 50 years.
* Episodes From His Local and National Morning Shows
* Episodes From His NBC Prime-Time Show
* Kovacs On Music
* Five ABC TV Specials
* The Color Version of His Legendary Silent Show, Eugene
* His Award-Winning Commercials for Dutch Masters Cigars
* Short Films, Tributes, Rarities
* 44-Page Booklet Featuring Rare Photos, Program Notes and an Essay by Jonathan Lethem ( Motherless Brooklyn)
The material compiled on the six-disc Ernie Kovacs Collection, much of which comprises the only surviving masters of his work (wife and costar Edie Adams spent the four decades following his death attempting to save his shows from the networks, which were all too ready to destroy the tapes), provides an overview of Kovacs's television career, with full discs devoted to his local and national morning shows as well as his prime-time efforts, including the legendary silent special, Eugene, which finds Kovacs's titular innocent abroad in a world driven by visual puns. An episode of his truly offbeat game show, Take a Good Look, is also featured, as well as a sampling of his brilliant commercials for Dutch Masters cigars, and a full disc is given over to his best-loved skits and characters, including the wiggy poet Percy Dovetonsils, proto-horror host Uncle Gruesome, grumpy Hungarian TV host Miklos Molnar (who tangles with Howdy Doody), and the legendary Nairobi Trio, which is still capable of generating gales of laughter, despite its simple premise, after five decades. A treasure trove of supplemental material, from 8mm home movies and short films to a collection of Edie Adams's sultry spots for Muriel Cigars, rounds out this set that cements Kovacs's status as one of television's most extraordinary personalities. --Paul Gaita
Top Customer Reviews
For the last four decades Kovacs was an "underground" celebrity. He was often overlooked in the history of TV and comedy. With this DVD release - and all the press it should garner - the rest of the world, and a whole new generation of fans should become Ernie-holics. MAJOR credit for this release needs to go to two people and a company. First is Edie Adams, Kovacs wife and co-star of his show. After Ernie's death, when the major TV networks (Kovacs shows were on NBC, ABC and Dumont) were erasing the video tapes of show to re-use them, Adams bought - at great personal expense - as many as she could - thus saving them from oblivion. She created an archive, now managed by her son - from her second marriage - Josh Mills. Mills is the "keeper of the Kovacs flame" and the Producer of this set. The third party we need to thank is Shout Factory, the LA video reissue company, who is making this available for home viewing in such a deluxe package.Read more ›
This is a beautifully produced box set, worthy of Ernie, which is saying a lot. I'm sure this was a labor of love by all concerned, especially by the late Edie Adams who made sure Kovacs' work did not end up at the bottom of the Atlantic like most other NBC programs of the period. We should have a discussion about the wisdom of allowing for-profit corporations to be the guardians of our cultural heritage, but I suppose this isn't the place.
Anyway, buy this. It's one of the best DVD boxes ever.
It's definitely worth it to get the bonus disc. I really enjoyed it. You get two clips from "Tonight!", from October 22 and December 11 1956, one which has a "Eugene" sketch and another which features Ernie, along with Allen Funt as a guest, doing a "Candid Camera" satire. "Eugene" was first introduced on "Tonight!", I believe, so this may have been the first time he was seen. Then there's "Tonight! America After Dark" from July 26, 1957 which is an interview with Ernie and Edie in their penthouse on Central Park West. In addition you get about an hour's worth of extra bits culled from various installments of "The Ernie Kovacs Show", which aired from 8-9pm on NBC, Mondays, July 2-Sept 10, 1956. The bonus disc contains an extra TWO HOURS worth of material.
There are several websites devoted to Ernie and they all have links to the Shout Factory site that has the bonus. It's about five bucks more than it costs here, not including shipping. A no brainer for the true Kovacs fan.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can't wait to get this collection. I wish someone would release all of the Coke Time Shows that were made by singer Eddie Fisher in the 1950's. Great shows. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Frisco Nolan
A must for Ernie Kovac fans. I love watching him on TV - and I was a child of 5 or 6. Still love him. Was so glad to find this collection.Published 6 months ago by Leen
I grew up watching the Ernie Kovacs Shows. Who could ever forget the Bears playing a Song.Published 7 months ago by A Roger Zelazny Fan
I've heard that there are several Ernie Kovacs performances generally missing during a time when shows were being erased from tapes, and that his wife Edie Gourmet did her best to... Read morePublished 8 months ago by david ross
I found confirmation that most of the Musical Numbers WERE Edited Out of these DVDs because they didn't even bother to get the clearances! Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jeff N
He died before his time, but his legacy lives on here. This is a MUST HAVE and if your checking this item out then you already know that fact.Published 16 months ago by Paxloria
I used to watch Ernie Kovacs when younger and I loved his programs on TV. The closest you can get to the original.Published 18 months ago by A. Bottone
Edie Edie Edie just what in the hell were you thinking when you refused to pony up for paying the music composers!!! Read morePublished 19 months ago by Moze the scribe...