Sunday, January 23, 2011
IN HONOR OF A TRUE TELEVISIONARY - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO COMIC GENIUS ERNIE KOVACS - CIRCA 1/23/1919
When you think, see and hear things in a funny way that other people don't always observe or acknowledge, it means you are either a world class comedian or an average person in need of immediate psychological attention.
In the case of video-virtuoso Ernie Kovacs, it was the former and we are all fortunate for that.
Today , January 23, 2011, we celebrate what would have been the 92nd birthday of the Trenton, New Jersey native and television innovator. So much of what viewers love in TV comedy , today, grew from his inspired and spontaneous work , at the very dawn of the medium on Philadelphia's Philco-owned Channel 3, then WPTZ-TV.
There he hosted the fast and funny, 3 TO GET READY, a LIVE morning show, that preceded The TODAY SHOW as one of the nascent tube's first,AM offerings.
Kovacs,who took the primitive tools and technology available to him in the early 1950's, and he used the medium as a vibrant prism, though which the small, but loyal audience that had access to tv sets, would view his comic lunacy.
He moved on to host unique and engaging shows for DuMont, NBC, CBS and finally found a professional home at ABC-TV. Superstars from David Letterman to MONTY PYTHON'S Terry Gilliam have credited Kovac's with inspiring them.
An inveterate gambler and a confirmed cigar smoker, he died in a 1962 car accident in Los Angeles. His legacy of laughter and television accomplishment endures.
To learn more about Ernie Kovacs and his formidable contributions to television, I suggest you go to list of links on this page, just to the left of this post, and click on THE ERNIE KOVACS BLOG, an excellent site run by Al Quagliata & Ben Model.
Posted below, from the TURKEYTV You Tube site is a signature Kovac's piece.From one of his 1961 ABC-TV specials, here is THE MUSICAL OFFICE.