Join 3,376 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Silence Kit
May 19, 2012 8:09 PM   Subscribe

Ernie Kovacs' groundbreaking television special, aired ten days after he died.
posted by timsteil (20 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
I remember watching Kovacs on PBS when I was a kid and just being enthralled by him. He was just so far ahead of his time.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:17 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ernie previously. Any time you find more Ernie it's good.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:19 PM on May 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Damn well that post sure put me to shame onefellswoop

I'm surprised my links didn't get caught in preview.

Sometimes I'm so lame old mules wearing straw hats laugh at me when I walk by.
posted by timsteil at 8:23 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


oneswellfooop..thanks for that "previously", and, tim, thanks for the post...
posted by HuronBob at 8:24 PM on May 19, 2012


tim, your main discovery wasn't in the previous post, so it's all good, and that's why I wrote "Any time you find more Ernie it's good"
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:28 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The early days of TV, Ernie, Jack Parr, Johnny, Milton, Jack Benny established the best that TV could be. The noobs that spent today talking about Community weren't around for the glory days of TV... maybe they'll watch these clips.
posted by HuronBob at 8:34 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


The noobs that spent today talking about Community

Hey I don't want to diss anyone, but I'll admit my eyes did roll a bit with the "Hey Mom I got fired again" end of that post. I've never seen the show, so I can't comment.

It's a different mindset, a different world and sensibility, and yes, a different bar set to what makes you go wow.

For the life of me, I cant get my kids (15, and 13) to watch the Marx Brothers, or WC Fields, or Laurel and Hardy, or the Three Stooges, or the Honeymooners,, and maddeningly, not even Rod Serling's stuff.

I can't get them to read Benchley, or Twain. or Arthur Conan Doyle, or P.G. Wodehouse.

It's their thing, but as as father, I wish I could turn them on to the classics, and it makes me feel just a bit of a cad, for not insisting more that they do learn their ABC's. before they get on the jet skis.
posted by timsteil at 8:46 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even though I haven't seen much of his TV work, I do remember being impressed by Kovac's performance in "Our Man in Havana" years ago. In fact, I really believed he was a Cuban, possibly even a real Cuban law enforcement agent, until I looked him up.
posted by Alonzo T. Calm at 8:49 PM on May 19, 2012


timsteil, younger children are easy to introduce to awesome things, and as you mature you can develop an appreciation for things you previously dismissed, but teenagers are at a time where it's very easy to dismiss things they haven't been acclimated to as worthless. I wouldn't give up though.

There are some things it's easier to like when you're a teenager. Maybe introduce them to Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, J. D. Salinger or Joseph Heller. Maybe try to spring something unexpectedly awesome on them -- like, Citizen Kane has this fearsome reputation in film circles, but it's really entertaining too.

Well, it's a suggestion. Take it for whatever you find it as worth.
posted by JHarris at 9:05 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


What was with the scraping footsteps? And the finis?
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:50 PM on May 19, 2012


Ernie was so far ahead of his time that even cross-dimensional alien beings said "what the fuck?" Just consider the monkeys.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:45 AM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


twoleftfeet: The Nairobi Trio is one of the funniest things, in a pure sense, ever put to video.
posted by JHarris at 12:58 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anther thing Kovacs liked to do was series of blackout gags interspersed with images of an oscilloscope, set to a somber German version of Mack The Knife.
posted by JHarris at 1:02 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suddenly want to introduce Ernie Kovacs to Graham Chapman, just to see what would have happened.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:54 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Starting my day out thinking about Ernie Kovacs! Thanks timsteil - now I'll be chuckling to myself rest of the day as favorite Kovacs bits come to mind.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:46 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first time I ever saw Ernie Kovacs, it was on Comedy Central in the middle of the night, sometime in the early/mid 90s.

I couldn't tell, in all honesty, if it was an old show or if they were using antiquated equipment to
simulate an old show.

The comedy was that good. Timeless and still relevant.

That's how amazing Kovacs was.
posted by gcbv at 6:14 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was my introduction too gcbv. New networks often do lots of awesome things. That tends to last until about the first management changeover. Nick gave us You Can't Do That On Television, Cartoon Network gave us Space Ghost Coast to Coast and great commmercials, and Comedy Central gave us MST3K and late night Kovacs compilations.
posted by JHarris at 7:10 AM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


He was the very first video artist. Pure genius.
posted by dbiedny at 10:09 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't wait to click on these. One of my favorites of early TV, along with Sid Caesar.
posted by not_on_display at 10:28 AM on May 20, 2012


He was the very first video artist. Pure genius

I concur.

Kitchen Symphony
posted by timsteil at 11:42 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older If we look at how fast they metabolize, it would t...  |  "Don't ever forget that you're... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments