Under the Radar DVD of the Week: 'The Ernie Kovacs Collection'
This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:
“The Ernie Kovacs Collection”
Before the improvisational, skit-based antics of David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Pee-wee Herman and “Saturday Night Live,” there was Ernie Kovacs, the cigar-chomping genius who in the 1950s saw the potential of a great new medium and set a high standard for what great TV comedy could be.
“The Ernie Kovacs Collection,” due out on DVD Tuesday, harks back to the infancy of television and shows one of its greatest programming innovators working at the top of his game. The collection fills six discs with more than 15 hours of Kovacs’ daring experimentation and wild innovations that still influence comics working today.
Drawing from his earliest local morning programs in Philadelphia through his primetime NBC show and ABC specials, the discs highlight his most offbeat creations – from the effete poet Percy Dovetonsils and gorilla jazz musicians The Nairobi Trio on through Wolfgang von Saurbraten, Miklos Molnar, The Question Man and more.
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