SHOUT!: The Ernie Kovacs Collection in April

The Ernie Kovacs Collection
April 19th
Shout! Factory
Retail: $69.97, Our: $53.99
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Shout! Factory has announced The Ernie Kovacs Collection for release on April 19th.

A breathtaking compilation, the likes of which many top-tier T.V. stars have yet to enjoy, this six-disc collection celebrates one of the pioneer's of the golden age of television with a wealth of his shows and specials, as well as a plethora of bonus features. See below for full details.

Retail will be $69.97, but is available at for only $53.99.

With a gift for inventive comedy that was alternately cerebral, goofy and just plain absurd, Ernie Kovacs transformed television's early era into his own personal playground - and invited viewers to enjoy every sight gag and loony character.
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.

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.

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).

  • 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
  • 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

DISC 1 (The Early Years):
  • It's Time For Ernie; March 7, 1951
  • It's Time For Ernie; June 1951
  • Ernie In Kovacsland; July 6, 1951
  • Ernie In Kovacsland; August 23, 1951
  • Kovacs On The Corner; Date Unknown
  • Kovacs Unlimited; May 28, 1952
  • 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
DISC 2 (The NBC Morning Show):
  • The Ernie Kovacs Show; December 19, 1955
  • The Ernie Kovacs Show; February 20, 1956
  • The Ernie Kovacs Show; March 15, 1956
  • The Ernie Kovacs Show; April 12, 1956
  • The Ernie Kovacs Show; June 12, 1956
  • 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
DISC 3 (The NBC Evening Show):
  • The Ernie Kovacs Show; July 2, 1956
  • The Ernie Kovacs Show; July 30, 1956
  • The Ernie Kovacs Show; September 3, 1956
  • "Superclod" Test
DISC 4 (The Late 1950s):
  • Saturday Color Carnival: "The Ernie Kovacs Show"; airdate: January 19, 1957 (NBC)
  • Kovacs On Music; airdate: May 22, 1959 (NBC)
  • Take A Good Look; airdate: July 21, 1960 (ABC); with panelists Cesar Romero, Edie Adams and Jack Carson
  • Take a Good Look Clues
  • Take a Good Look Sales Film
  • Silents Please
  • Our Man In Havana: Behind-the-Scenes Footage
DISC 5 (The ABC Specials):
  • Kovacs Special #4; September 21, 1961
  • Kovacs Special #5; October 28, 1961
  • Kovacs Special #6; November 24, 1961
  • Kovacs Special #7; December 12, 1961
  • Kovacs Special #8; January 23, 1962
  • Dutch Masters commercials
DISC 6 (Classic Pieces):
  • 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
  • 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?


  • Trailer for Operation Mad Ball
  • It Happened to Ernie
  • Muriel Cigar commercials featuring Edie Adams


  1. I can't wait for this. If the only thing they were releasing was 1959's "Kovacs on Music" it would be worth the price of the ticket. I saw it once at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City and it is beyond brilliant. Over twenty years ago I had a phone conversation with Edie Adams and begged her to release it. She promised me that she would someday. Thank you, Edie.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for the likes of Ernie Kovacs to pass this way again any time soon. He's gone and he's not coming back.

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  2. I've seen all seven discs and read the booklet. this collection provides a great insight into how television was made in its early days and how radically Kovacs challenged standards that are still in effect today.

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