Friday, January 23, 2015

Born January 23, 1919 - The Great Ernie Kovacs

Today would have been the 96th birthday of Ernie Kovacs, comedy creator supreme, especially on television, sometimes in radio and writing.

Most importantly, Kovacs was the king of the "blackout" format, a.k.a. strings of ingenious sight gags, frequently set to music.

Ernie was also a very good character actor, as evidenced in the following wonderful soliloquy sketch (note: watch to the end, as the payoff is a thing of beauty).

While Ernie didn't get to write or direct movies, he did have some blazing moments as a character actor, many in features starring his chum and cohort Jack Lemmon.

Ernie Kovacs is remembered best for his remarkably inventive work, in front of and behind the camera, on his own TV shows. He was out of the box, WAY out of the box, but the master of the "orthicon tube".

It is also noteworthy that ubiquitous comic character actor Franklin Pangborn, paramount in Preston Sturges' stock company at Paramount, as well as tres cool silent film comedian Raymond "The Silk Hat Slicker" Griffith share January 23 birthdays with Ernie.

Thanks, Mr. Kovacs, for the laughs - and your creativity.

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