Monday, March 28, 2016

On DVD: The Ernie Kovacs Show (ABC version, 1961)

The late entertainer Ernie Kovacs had a half dozen series under his belt between 1952-61, ending with his passing in January 1962. The last incarnation of The Ernie Kovacs Show, sponsored by Dutch Masters cigars, was a series of monthly half-hour specials airing on ABC from 1961-2.

Kovacs' brand of comedy was non-pareil, sublime if you will. A series of quick gags would run with the German version of "Mack the Knife" playing in the background. Like his contemporaries, Jackie Gleason & Red Skelton, Kovacs had his own silent character, Eugene, and a November 1961 special devoted to the character netted Kovacs and co-director Joe Behar an award from the Directors Guild of America. Kovacs also earned an Emmy for the ABC series.

In this sample clip, from a Western themed episode, Kovacs takes a poke at Rod Serling's seminal The Twilight Zone:

My brother bought me the DVD, and after we watched it yesterday, I told him I had to get the rest of the set, since this particular volume was sold separately. It's on my shopping list for down the line. The rest of the Ernie Kovacs Collection, that is.

Rating: A-.

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