ernie kovacs

The Ernie Kovacs Collection on DVD

ernie kovacs

I went through about 8 years of my life without knowing who Ernie Kovacs was, then one late night, I tuned into a local TV channel and saw the last 10 minutes of one his episodes. I was intrigued, but had no idea what to make of it. As I slipped off into dreamland I made a mental note to ask about this Ernie Kovacs character in the morning. That morning I asked my mother and grandmother about him and their answer was a unanimous, “oh did a weird comedy show”. That is all I needed to hear. A guy who did a show that 2 generations though was weird, I needed to watch the show. I spent about a week trying to adjust my sleeping patterns to stay up later and then all summer I watched this offbeat television pioneer.

Since then i have tried to get many people hooked on Kovacs, but have failed many times. His is a style of comedy that you either appreciate or you don’t and Oh how I do. So I was very happy that Shout! Factory has decided to release a six DVD set featuring highlights from the collective works of Kovacs that include:

  • 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.

That in itself would be enough for a fan, but Shout! Factory, also decided to include some great extras, including:

  • 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

If your a Kovacs fan or if the idea of offbeat retro comedy intrigues you, point your browsers to either Shout! Factory or Amazon and pick up The Ernie Kovacs Collection on DVD today.


The Retroist

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2 thoughts on “The Ernie Kovacs Collection on DVD

  1. My first comment didn’t take so I’ll try again. You have to order the set directly from Shout Factory if you want a 7th Bonus disc, “Buried Treasures”. There are great extras on there, including clips of Ernie hosting “Tonight!”. You won’t get the bonus if you order from Amazon or other online retailers.

    Al Quagliata, webmaster, A Tribute To Televisions Original Genius

  2. Ernie Kovacs was a visionary. He was the first to realize that great art could be created within the nineteen-inch confines of an ugly box with a glass tube at its center. Unfortunately for humanity, he’s gone and he’s not coming back. Thank God for Edie Adams. Because she had the foresight to save her husband’s work, we now have these kinescopes and videotapes to gently remind us what once was. Ernie’s world was a delightful, wondrous and riotous place to enter. Someone once remarked, “In an ocean of noise, this island of quiet genius was typical of Ernie Kovacs.” Indeed it was.

    Early in his career, he would close his programs by telling the audience at home, “It’s been real!”, a phrase he coined. He was a bit of a paradox in that respect. Ernie Kovacs was the real deal alright – and television’s first surrealist. Go figure.

    It’s been real!

    Tom Degan

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