Ernie Kovacs was a genius, Shout! and Paley Center NYC agree, panel announced
By April MacIntyre Mar 16, 2011, 23:32 GMT
The panel discussion will focus on the impact Kovacs has had on television in general and on specific creators long after his death in 1962. The program will incorporate a wide range of Kovacs’ work in its original form and some repackaged to address specific themes. Additional programming and scheduling details will be announced in the coming month. Image public domain
Paley center news from New York: Keith Olbermann will moderate a special panel to include TV cultie fan favorites, comedian and Kovacs fan Joel Hodgson,(Mystery Science Theater 3000), humorist-comedian-writer Robert Smigel, Laugh In creator George Schlatter, Kovacs cast member on his ABC specials Jolene Brand and television historian & Kovacs curator Ben Model.
The Paley Center announced today that they will present an evening titled It’s Been Real: The Works of Coming Genius Ernie Kovacs (www.erniekovacs.com) at its New York headquarters on April 12, 2011, that will include screenings of his work and a panel discussion with top comedic performers and writers.
The panel discussion will focus on the impact Kovacs has had on television in general and on specific creators long after his death in 1962.
The program will incorporate a wide range of Kovacs’ work in its original form and some repackaged to address specific themes. Additional programming and scheduling details will be announced in the coming month.
Ernie Kovacs was a comedy trailblazer. He transformed television’s early era into his own personal playground---and invited viewers to enjoy every sight gag and loony character.
Scholars tip their hats to Kovacs, a prescient force who is credited with shaping the medium’s visual possibilities rather than simply putting a picture to a popular radio show.
The Paley Center event coincides with the distribution by Shout! Factory of the long-awaited The Ernie Kovacs Collection 6-DVD box set which will debut in stores across North America on April 19, 2011.
This DVD box set is now available to pre-order at Amazon.com, Erniekovacs.com, edieadams.com, ShoutFactoryStore.com, and other online retailers.
Hungarian-American Kovacs, whose offbeat humor was a solid TV hit in the 1950s and 60s, served offbeat gags and characters to his audiences, who had never seen anything quite like this cigar-wielding charmer.
Wickedly funny but not offensive, Kovacs’ unique humor and improvisation skills would influence Johnny Carson, Monty Python to David Letterman, Pee Wee Herman and even Lorne Michaels' “Saturday Night Live.”
The Paley Center event and the distribution of this special collection are designed to introduce audiences to Kovacs’ genius. Kovacs, who died in a 1962 car accident, left behind a stunning body of work that survives thanks to the indefatigable efforts of his wife and co-star, the late Edie Adams. Most of these shows, which have never been screened since their original airings, have been newly transferred from original 16mm kinescopes and curated by noted film/television historian Ben Model, who will participate on the Paley panel.
Much of Kovacs’ works have been archived at the Paley Center since Edie Adams delivered original kinescopes and tapes dating back to the 1970s.