The official word: With a gift for inventive comedy that was alternately cerebral, goofy and just plain absurd, Ernie Kovacs (www.erniekovacs.com) transformed television’s early era into his own personal playground---and invited viewers to enjoy every sight gag and loony character.
Produced and distributed by Shout! Factory in association with Ediad Productions, Inc., the long-awaited The Ernie Kovacs Collection 6-DVD box set is set to debut in stores across North America on April 19, 2011. This DVD box set is now available to preorder at Amazon.com, ShoutFactoryStore.com, and other online retailers.
Kovacs, whose offbeat humor graced the airwaves for just a decade in the 1950s and 60s, served healthy portions of the offbeat to his audiences, who had never seen anything quite like this cigar-wielding charmer. Wickedly funny but not offensive, Kovacs’ unique humor and flair for improvisation would ripple across generations, influencing TV funnymen from Johnny Carson and Monty Python to David Letterman, Pee Wee Herman and “Saturday Night Live.”
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Distribution of this special collection is 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.
Passionate fans and collectors take note: those who pre-order The Ernie Kovacs Collection from ShoutFactoryStore.com will receive an exclusive bonus DVD as a gift with purchase. The disc features over two hours of rare gems, including episodes of the Kovacs-hosted “Tonight” show, which have not been seen since their original broadcast over 50 years ago!
With many of the programs newly transferred from original 16mm kinescopes and curated by noted film/television historian Ben Model, The Ernie Kovacs Collection DVD box set is the first-ever comprehensive collection of Kovacs’ work–encompassing the full breadth of existing material, from his local Philadelphia morning shows in the early 1950’s and national evening shows to the ABC prime time specials in the early 1960’s that cemented his legend. Along with such iconic pieces at The Nairobi Trio and such signature characters as poet Percy Dovetonsils, Miklos Molnar, Matzoh Hepplewhite, Mr. Question Man, and Uncle Gruesome, fans will finally get to enjoy Kovacs’ genuine gift for improvisation, charm and warmth as host of his many variety shows.
The DVD set also includes the rare color version of Kovacs’ famous “Silent Show” (aka “Eugene”), an unprecedented wordless classic featuring a hapless character wandering through a typically Kovacsian world of surreal visual gags.
In addition to a wealth of bonus features, The Ernie Kovacs Collection includes a commemorative booklet filled with rare photos, informative program notes and a special tribute by award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn, Chronic City). Priced to own at $69.97 SRP, The Ernie Kovacs Collection from Shout! Factory offers fans what they have long waited for–the rest of the iceberg.
THE ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION 6-DVD Box Set
· Episodes From His Local and National Morning Shows
· Episodes From His NBC Prime-Time Show
· Take A Good Look
· Five ABC TV Specials
· The Color Version of His Legendary Silent Show, “Eugene”
· Classic Sketches
· 44-Page Booklet Featuring Rare Photos, Program Notes and essays by Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn) and TV critic David Kronke.
DVD Bonus Features:
· 1987 Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall Of Fame Induction
· Remembering Ernie with George Schlatter (Laugh-In) and Jolene Brand (performer –ABC Specials)
· His Award-Winning Commercials for Dutch Masters Cigars
· “Baseball Film”
· Making Of “Baseball Film”
· “The Mysterious Knockwurst”
· Performer Andy McKay’s 8mm Home Movies
· “Superclod” Test
· Take A Good Look Clues
· Take A Good Look Sales Film
· Silents Please host segments
· Our Man In Havana Behind-The-Scenes Footage
· Dutch Masters Cigars commercials
· Ernie’s Trailer for Operation Mad Ball
· It Happened To Ernie featuring Jack Lemmon & Ernie Kovas
· Muriel Cigars commercials featuring Edie Adams