The Ernie Kovacs Collection

Monday, August 22, 2011

Film and television historian Ben Model talks about curating The Ernie Kovacs Collection, a 6-DVD box set, which is the first-ever comprehensive collection of Kovacs’ work. Kovacs, whose offbeat humor graced the airwaves for just a decade in the 1950s and 1960s, was funny but never offensive, and his humor and flair for improvisation influenced generations of TV funnymen: from Johnny Carson and Monty Python, to David Letterman, Pee Wee Herman and “Saturday Night Live.”


Ben Model

Comments [9]

Ben Model from New York, NY

John from Manhattan, you were misinformed. The "Best of Ernie Kovacs", released on DVD several years ago, is what you've heard of. It is basically a repackaging of the 1977 PBS series. The new "Ernie Kovacs Collection" is 13 hours of unscrambled complete programs and extras.

Ben Model

Aug. 23 2011 10:24 PM
Arthur Klein from Mt. Kisco, NY

Please stop calling him KOVAX. Ernie was proud of his Hungarian ancestry, where the CS is pronounced CH. That makes him Ernie KOVATCH. The A is prouounced as in HAH.
In Hungary a KOVACS is a smith.

Aug. 22 2011 07:50 PM
Ben Model

John from Manhattan,

You were misinformed. The "Best of Ernie Kovacs" DVD's from 15 years ago are clip shows. The new DVD set is complete programs, 15 hours total on 7 discs (if you order from Shout Factory's site).


Aug. 22 2011 02:51 PM

craig ferguson-is a stepchild of sorts,of kovaks.

Aug. 22 2011 01:20 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Loved Kovacs from when I was a youngster. Somehow even at the youngest age, I GOT him and realized how unique he was and the tongue-in-cheek quality of the show.

He also greatly influenced "The Soupy Sales" show, in terms of its wry qualities and "inside" joke aspects of it.

What about the few films Kovacs appeared in? "Our Man in Havana" with Alec Guinness, & Noel Coward comes to mind....

Speaking of films, I've seen & heard Mr. Model accompanying silent films at MoMA. Great stuff!

Aug. 22 2011 01:14 PM
Dorothy from Manhattan

I saw him the first time around, I was 14-ish I think. The adults in the house thought him silly but I LOVED him. I still do.

The Nairobi Trio was my favorite. It still is.

Aug. 22 2011 01:12 PM
Shawn from Los Angeles

I'm only 45, but watched Kovacs in reruns when I was a kid. I loved the Nairobi Trio and Percy Dovetonsils. Today I watch clips of the show and it holds up to my adult standards as well as it did my kid standards 35 years ago.

Aug. 22 2011 01:11 PM

Ernie Kovacs programs intact & Stan Freberg for radio spots. Media heaven!

Aug. 22 2011 01:09 PM
John from Manhattan

I was a great fan of Ernie Kovac. I still miss him after all these years.

I heard that they remixed his programs; taking only the "best" parts out of them for the DVDs. I decided that I wouldn't buy them.

His shows were of one piece and changing or mixing the original shows for any reason is a crime.

Aug. 22 2011 12:28 PM

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