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Here's Edie: The Edie Adams Television Collection

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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(Nov 19, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

All 21 episodes of the variety show starring American Broadway star and film actress Edie Adams which aired between 1962 and 1964. The collection also includes footage of Edie appearing onstage with her husband Ernie Kovacs during the 1950s and the long-running Muriel Cigar TV commercials of which she was the face.


Unseen by audiences for more than a half-century, the television variety series Here's Edie does much to promote the legacy of its star, Emmy-nominated actress, singer, and television preservationist Edie Adams, as a small-screen visionary on par with her celebrated husband, Ernie Kovacs. Here's Edie, which aired on ABC from 1962 to 1964, provided not only a spotlight for Adams's numerous talents--a Tony winner on Broadway for Li'l Abner, she also proved to be a fine film actress, as evidenced by turns in Billy Wilder's The Apartment, among many other pictures, and could more than hold her own as a comic performer in the surreal maelstrom generated by Kovacs--but also a means of alleviating the staggering financial burdens placed upon her by his untimely passing in 1962. Here's Edie shines a spotlight on all of her particular gifts, from an abundance of musical numbers--everything from Broadway to Brecht--to quirky comic bits featuring Adams in tandem with stars like Bob Hope, Buddy Hackett, Dick Shawn, and Soupy Sales. But the series' unexpected gifts are a wealth of stellar musical and dramatic guests, including such jazz luminaries as the Duke Ellington String Quartet, Count Basie and His Orchestra, and Stan Getz, all of whom are given extended and exceptional showcases to play live for a national TV audience on a major network. Singers are naturally a staple of the show, with such talents as Sammy Davis Jr. (who gets to show off his dancing and impressions), Bobby Darin, Johnny Mathis, and Eddie Fisher each performing current and songbook numbers. Though never emphasized by the program, the fact that Adams was provided equal amounts of airtime and even collaborating as an equal with African-American performers only adds to the series' remarkable nature.

But what sets Here's Edie apart from the majority of variety series and helps to underscore Adams's unheralded gifts, are the first eight episodes of the program, each of which is devoted to a single theme or concept: "Love," "New York," "Bossa Nova," and so on. Unlike the traditional variety series approach to these ideas--skit-musical-number-skit--Adams and her producer-director Barry Shear address them in a manner similar to Kovacs's specials for ABC, with quick edits, nonlinear and wordless sketches, experiments with split-screen and other in-camera effects, and other decidedly artful approaches that seem more in line with television projects that came a decade or more after Here's Edie left the air. The show was also willing to tackle some ambitious location shooting, most notably on the streets of New York and amidst London neighborhoods still displaying damage from World War II, for a small-screen effort, and devote air time to decidedly nontraditional material, like Peter Falk's monologue as a New York cabbie and Sir Michael Redgrave overlooking the Thames while reciting the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V. These are quietly thrilling moments, both in concept and execution, and it's a shame that they--and Adams--didn't receive the acclaim they deserved due to the relatively short network run of Here's Edie. Thankfully, modern audiences can reframe their understanding of and appreciation for her gifts with this four-disc set, compiled by her son, Josh Mills, who also provides thorough liner notes on the show's history, which are also annotated with program notes by historian Ben Model and appreciative comments from admirers ranging from Bob Dylan to Ann Magnuson and Paul Reubens. The set is rounded out by a wealth of terrific extras, including 19 musical numbers (some exclusive to this set) by Adams from various iterations of Kovacs's TV output, a pair of promos by Adams and Sid Caesar for their respective shows, which alternated weeks in the same time slot, and a terrific, jet-setting 1965 promotional film for Muriel cigars, which Edie promoted in an iconic series of sultry commercials throughout the decade, and whose parent company, Consolidated Cigar Corporation, backed both the Kovacs specials and Here's Edie. --Paul Gaita

Product Details

  • Actors: Edie Adams, Ernie Kovacs, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Getz
  • Directors: n, a
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Ediad Productions
  • DVD Release Date: November 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 720 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00E4V0DBW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,225 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tante Maren TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 4, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For fans of Edie Adams, you will be thrilled with the DVD complete release of Edie's very rare one season show Here's Edie, which after the summer break in the summer of 1963, ABC changed it's name to The Edie Adams Show. Edie Adams was the most talented wife of Ernie Kovacs, who upon Ernie's death in a tragic car accident found herself owing huge debts that Ernie had owed to the IRS in 1962. Edie took it upon herself to pay off all of Ernie's debts, beginning with her own television show on ABC, called Here's Edie. Edie produced, hosts, sings, dances, acts, does comedy skits and even designs her own costumes under the name Enke in the show. Edie's design name Enke, was taken from Edie's real name- Edith Elizabeth Enke.

Back in 1962, I had no idea that Edie was such a powerful woman, as Edie was always such a femme fatale as you would see her absolutely beautiful and sexy in the movies and especially in her famous Muriel Cigar commercials. For those of you old enough to remember Muriel's commercials from the sixties, Edie would say, Why Don't You Pick One Up And Smoke It Sometime? in a very Mae West tone, only with a Marilyn Monroe figure. Those commercials must have worked, as I remember every father on my street in the 1960's smoking Muriel Cigars, including my own father. My father having 5 children also liked the 10 cent price, and I even remember Edie singing the song to the tune of Sweet Charity's Big Spender, only with the words- Hey Big Spender Spend A Little Dime With Me. How wonderful that these commercials are on these dvd's, so that we will be able to see them again after so many decades!

Edie Adams who passed away in 2008 at the age of 81, is the reason we have any DVD's of The Ernie Kovacs Show.
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Format: DVD
It's exciting to be able to see an entire TV series for the first time in decades, especially one with such a rich entertainment history behind it. This series was never, ever able to be seen after its original airing, as the episodes were stored in a vault until Edie Adams' son Josh lovingly put them together--along with lots of choice extras--on this astonishing 4-disc set. Astonishing because it exists for us on DVD and we can enjoy its wonders now.

The guest list alone is staggering: Sammy Davis, Jr., Bobby Darin, Peter Falk, Sir Michael Redgrave, Don Rickles, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sid Caesar, Nancy Wilson, Al Hirt, Bob Hope, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Louie Nye, Soupy Sales, Spike Jones, Buddy Hackett, Stan Getz, Lionel Hampton and several visits with up-and-coming comedians like Dick Martin, Dan Rowan, Mitzi McCall and Charlie Brill. A roster of this level makes the show like The Ed Sullivan Show without the spinning plates.

But Here's Edie, or later, The Edie Adams Show, is as different from variety shows of its day as Kovacs' shows were from comedy shows. First of all, Adams had complete control of the show, rare for many performers, especially females, in those days. So every episode is a personal reflection of the artist herself: a classically trained soprano who had a grasp of popular entertainment as well as an acute intelligence, sensitivity and eclectic sense she was eager to present.

When Here's Edie was broadcast from April 1963 to March 1964, audiences and industry insiders knew the headlines about her situation well. Kovacs' passing left behind a labyrinth of debt. Live concerts and this series were literally Adams' most visible means of support and recovery.
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Format: DVD
Okay here I was ready to post my five-star review of this new DVD set and then I read Tante Maren’s exhaustive review. While it appears that Tante posted his review based on not have actually seen the set yet (based on the date of his review), he certainly described all the details and so I won’t waste you time in rehashing that but will add some additional info while giving it the five star rating it deserves based my actually watching the set.
As you probably know by now, the set was produced by Adams’ son Josh Mills (from Adams’ second marriage – after her first husband – Ernie Kovacs – died). Mills is also responsible for the two multi-volume Ernie Kovacs DVD sets and keeps both Kovacs’ and Adams’ names alive. Adams had her own production company and recorded all her shows. That gives Mills the access to reissuing these. If you got the Kovacs Collection DVDs you were probably as prostrated as I was to see that many of the shows were not complete – Adams songs were excised, except for some public domain material. That’s because of “rights” issues and licensing is prohibitive. This was not the case of the Adams shows and they are here complete. As bonuses you even get to see and hear songs from the Kovacs shows. And yes, all the Murial cigar commercials are here too.

The black and white images (in the 4:3 standard ratio – view it that way, not full screen if you have a flat screen TV) are really nice. It is funny to see the primitive way that, even network shows, ran the credits. (Didn’t we get headaches watching them them?).

The booklet enclosed helps select which shows had which “special guests” – and some of the biggies are there too!
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