He’s been gone a long time, but one of television’s most original talents is having a renaissance month. Ernie Kovacs is celebrating his 100th birthday year with the release today of The Ernie Kovacs Album: Centennial Edition by Omnivore Recordings, a prelude to the grand opening of the Ernie Kovacs Centennial Exhibit at the National Comedy Center on August 7.
The Ernie Kovacs Album Centennial Edition, Grammy nominated in 1977, was long-out-of-print. It’s now been remastered from the original sources and will be reissued on CD and digital formats for the first time. The new collection has been expanded to feature six never-heard-since-broadcast bonus tracks, liner notes, new photos and the original album artwork. One is previewed below:
The National Comedy Center will celebrate the centennial year of Kovacs with the acquisition and display of never-before-seen material and rare artifacts courtesy of the comedian’s estate.
Laura LaPlaca, director of archives at the National Comedy Center, said Kovacs was “the first to understand television as a creative medium, as something more than “radio with pictures.” LaPlaca notes he is among the only artists in TV history to take control of every aspect of production, including writing and directing to sound design and set decoration. The result was such groundbreaking work as his “Silent Show (a half-hour with no dialogue) and “Kovacs on Music,” a mashup of image and sound.
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After his death in 1962, Adams bought all existing Kovacs materials, including the masters that the television networks were planning to destroy because of the cost of storage.
Things still turn up. Recently, Mills said, “We acquired the very last – and lost – episode of Kovacs game show Take a Good Look, which was a revelation. We now have the complete set. “
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