Release Date:April 17,2012
On April 17 Shout! Factory will release a DVD featuring most of the prime time ABC Specials that helped cement Ernie Kovacs’ legacy as a comic artist who broke the rules of television before they were made. Produced and distributed by Shout! Factory in association with Ediad Productions, Inc., The ABC Specials is a single-disc DVD broken out from the critically acclaimed 6-DVD box set Ernie Kovacs Collection, released by Shout! Factory in 2011. The new DVD is designed to appeal to a broader audience not already familiar with Kovacs’ work.
Additionally, the renaissance of Kovacs makes its first foray into the digital realm today with the exclusive iTunes release Best of The Ernie Kovacs Collection, featuring 10 episodes from the Ernie Kovacs Collection.
Before his untimely death at the age of 42, television pioneer Ernie Kovacs left us with a sublime body of comedy work whose influence can be seen on everything from Monty Python to SNL and David Letterman. He made eight TV specials for ABC in 1961, the final year of his life, and these show Kovacs at the peak of his creative experimentation with the medium, featuring many of his comic masterpieces and iconic set pieces. Five of these programs are presented here in complete uncut form, along with many of his celebrated — and delightfully offbeat — commercials for Dutch Masters cigars.
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 to Pee Wee Herman.
Ernie Kovacs: 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