Ernie Kovacs Gets Major Retrospective Boxset in April

Ernie Kovacs pushed the weirdness that could be achieved in the early days of television. His insane visions inspired generations of video based comedians. He dared to bring the freaky visions to America’s living rooms with shows and specials. The Ernie Kovacs Collection is packed full of specials, shows and oddities that will please longtime fans and impress fresh eyes. The collection is slated to be released on April 19. Here’s the press release from Shout! Factory:

Celebrating the Unsung Hero of Television Comedy…At Last


The Ernie Kovacs Collection

Featuring more than 13 hours of Kovacs’
original classic television content, unforgettable
characters and a treasure trove of genuine rarities
all collected in a lavishly packaged 6-dvd box set!

VAST MAJORITY OF THIS CONTENT
HAS NOT BEEN SEEN IN OVER 50 YEARS

OWN IT ON DVD APRIL 19, 2011
FROM SHOUT! FACTORY

LOS ANGELES, CA (JANUARY 10, 2011) – 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.

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, Featuring:

  • 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

About Ediad Productions, Inc.
Formed by the late entertainer & Muriel Cigar girl Edie Adams and currently run by her son Joshua Mills, Ediad Productions is home to what is likely the largest independent archive of early American television in existence. With more than 150 half-hours of content from legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs as well as two seasons of Edie Adams’ prime time variety show from the mid-1960’s, Ediad Productions is a treasure trove of classic popular entertainment. Titles in the archive include, The Ernie Kovacs Show, Ernie in Kovacsland, Take A Good Look (clues), the Kovacs specials for ABC, The Edie Adams Show, Here’s Edie! And much more. Ediad Productions is the go-to archive for television, digital & mobile entertainment content and is based in Los Angeles, California.

* THE ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION – Disc 1 (THE EARLY YEARS)
o It’s Time For Ernie; March 7, 1951
o It’s Time For Ernie; June 1951
o Ernie In Kovacsland; July 6, 1951
o Ernie In Kovacsland; August 23, 1951
o Kovacs On The Corner; Date Unknown
o Kovacs Unlimited; May 28, 1952
o Bonus Material:
+ 1987 ATAS Hall Of Fame Induction
+ Remembering Ernie with George Schlatter And Jolene Brand
+ “Baseball Film”
+ Making Of “Baseball Film”
+ “The Mysterious Knockwurst”
+ Andy McKay 8mm Home Movies

* THE ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION – Disc 2 (THE NBC MORNING SHOW)
o The Ernie Kovacs Show; December 19, 1955
o The Ernie Kovacs Show; February 20, 1956
o The Ernie Kovacs Show; March 15, 1956
o The Ernie Kovacs Show; April 12, 1956
o The Ernie Kovacs Show; June 12, 1956
o Bonus Material:
+ Percy Dovetonsils: “Ode To Stanley’s Pussycat”
+ Martin Krutch, Public Eye
+ Rock Mississippi in “Fingers Under Weskit”
+ Howard, The World’s Strongest Ant
+ J. Burlington Gearshift

* THE ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION – Disc 3 (THE NBC EVENING SHOW)
o The Ernie Kovacs Show; July 2, 1956
o The Ernie Kovacs Show; July 30, 1956
o The Ernie Kovacs Show; September 3, 1956
o Bonus Material:
+ “Superclod” Test

* THE ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION – Disc 4 (THE LATE 1950s)
o Saturday Color Carnival: “The Ernie Kovacs Show”; airdate: January 19, 1957 (NBC)
o Kovacs On Music; airdate: May 22, 1959 (NBC)
o Take A Good Look; airdate: July 21, 1960 (ABC); with panelists Cesar Romero, Edie Adams and Jack Carson
o Bonus Material:
+ Take A Good Look Clues
+ Take A Good Look Sales Film
+ Silents Please
+ Our Man In Havana Behind-The-Scenes Footage

* THE ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION – Disc 5 (THE ABC SPECIALS)
o Kovacs Special #4; September 21, 1961
o Kovacs Special #5; October 28, 1961
o Kovacs Special #6; November 24, 1961
o Kovacs Special #7; December 12, 1961
o Kovacs Special #8; January 23, 1962
o Bonus Material:
+ Dutch Masters commercials

* THE ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION – Disc 6 (CLASSIC PIECES)
o The NBC Morning Show
+ Percy Dovetonsils Reads “Roughing It”
+ Ferrante & Teicher Perform “Oh Susannah”
+ Mr. Question Man
+ Rock Mississippi: “Fingers Under Weskit”
+ Drawing With John Magee
+ Leena Queen Of The Jungle
+ Leroy L. Leroy
+ A Series Of Magazine Ads
+ Tales From Uncle Gruesome
+ Crossed Skillets
+ Leonard And Lola
+ Percy Dovetonsils almost Reads An Ode
o The NBC Evening Show
+ The Late Late Late Late Hungarian Movie
+ Mr. Science
+ Nairobi Trio
+ Howdy Deedy
+ Let’s Take A Visit
+ TV Backstage
+ Trapizza
+ Vas You Dere?
o Bonus Material:
+ Trailer for Operation Mad Ball
+ It Happened To Ernie
+ Muriel Cigar commercials featuring Edie Adams


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