By Andrew Horton
One of the pioneers of tv, Ernie Kovacs used to be probably the most unique and creative comedians. His zany, irreverent, and spectacular humor not just entertained audiences through the Nineteen Fifties and early Nineteen Sixties, but in addition encouraged a bunch of later comedies and comedians, together with Monty Python, David Letterman, a lot of Saturday evening reside, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, Captain Kangaroo, or even Sesame road. Kovacs created laughter via wildly inventive comedian jokes, playful characterizations, hilarious insights, and wacky experiments. "Nothing in moderation," his motto and epitaph, sums up good Kovacs's wholehearted method of comedy and life.In this publication, Andrew Horton bargains the 1st sustained examine Ernie Kovacs's wide-ranging and lasting contributions to the improvement of television comedy. He discusses intimately Kovacs's paintings in big apple, which incorporated The Ernie Kovacs express (CBS leading time 1952-1953), The Ernie Kovacs exhibit (NBC sunlight hours kind 1956-1957), this night (NBC late-night comedy/variety 1956-1957), and a few quiz indicates. Horton additionally appears to be like at Kovacs's paintings in l. a. and in function movie comedy. He vividly describes how Kovacs and his comedian co-conspirators created offbeat characters and zany events that subverted expectancies and upended the established order. such a lot of all, Horton demonstrates that Kovacs grasped the chance for making a clean style of comedy during the new medium of tv and exploited it to the fullest.
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Extra resources for Ernie Kovacs & Early TV Comedy: Nothing in Moderation
Oh, and we managed to go to Bermuda that month with his daughters. Then in August I started rehearsals for Lil’ Abner. And don’t forget that Ernie’s daughters came to a matinee of mine whenever I was on, and we would have dinner afterwards at Sardis. m. Unlike the Philadelphia and New York shows, the Kovacs shows 20 } Ernie Kovacs & Early TV Comedy Edie Adams “encircling” Ernie Kovacs, who enjoys it all. The Ernie Kovacs Show (cbs/nbc 1952–1956). nbc/Photofest © nbc in California from 1958–1962 were not under the same “no budget, no time” regime.
He wears a bow tie and, of course, has his cigar in hand as he addresses a live audience and looks directly at us (the camera) frequently. The stage set is a European forest. Edie Adams in costume sings an operetta piece as a violin plays. As in most “comedy variety” shows, the song is done straight without humor. Ernie begins reading a poem about gypsies and breaks into Hungarian. He then turns to the camera and says “Hiya, folks. ” And the whole screen freeze-frames as he winks at us! ”), eight years before Francois Truﬀaut ended his muchwritten-about debut feature, 400 Blows (1959), with a freeze-frame of the young protagonist’s face.
Yes, the surrealism of an elephant suddenly in a Western is clearly Ernie Kovacs’ imagination at work full tilt in a purely carnivalesque spirit. The shootout ends as a young lady in a long dress walks through the swinging doors only to have her skirt shot oﬀ and her long knickers exposed. But before we cut to the Dutch Masters cigar box and the commercial pitch, Ernie splices in one last “killing” and this is the explosion of a ship in a harbor. What seems particularly “modern” about this example of what we could call Ernie’s “montage (editing) humor” is the extremely short takes of each shot so that as music plays throughout, we have something of a humorous mtv music video decades before mtv existed.
Ernie Kovacs & Early TV Comedy: Nothing in Moderation by Andrew Horton