LOS ANGELES, CA. (Monday, Jan. 14, 2019) – Ediad Productions announced today that the celebration of legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs’ centennial year kicks into high gear this month with two high-profile events around the birthday of Television’s Original Genius.
On Wednesday, January 23 – Kovacs’s actual birth date –Turner Classic Movies will bring three of Kovacs’s iconic television episodes back to the small screen for one night only, along with four of his best films as part of their Ernie Kovacs Centennial programming. Beginning at 8pm EST, TCM will broadcast three of his iconic ABC Specials from 1961 & 1962 along with films starring Kovacs including Operation Mad Ball (1957); Wake Me When It’s Over (1960); Bell, Book and Candle (1958) and Five Golden Hours (1960).
A few days prior, the UCLA Film and Television Archive in Los Angeles has confirmed the program Kovacsland Forever: Ernie Kovacs Centennial live events over two days, which will screen Kovacs’s television and film work at the Billy Wilder Theater. On January 18, UCLA will screen classic clips and complete episodes of Kovacs’s pioneering television career as well as unseen-in-decades curios, plus a discussion and Q& A with Moderator Susan King and guests. On January 19, UCLA will screen perhaps Kovacs’s best-known film Our Man in Havana (1959) directed by Carol Reed and co-starring Alec Guinness, Maureen O’Hara and Burl Ives.
Additional live Ernie Kovacs events in the United States, Canada and Europe will be announced shortly.
The Ernie Kovacs centennial will be commemorated in a variety of formats throughout 2019. Included will be a new coffee table book of unseen personal items and unpublished writings, as well as an archival album reissue alongside Shout! Factory’s previously released career-spanning nine-disc Ernie Kovacs : The Centennial Edition DVD set and a limited edition set of hand-numbered Ernie Kovacs “Illustrated Profuselies” lithographs for the first time.
A pioneer in early television whose inventive use of the medium inspired countless performers, directors, and video artists, Ernie Kovacs created indelible characters such as Percy Dovetonsils, Matzoh Hepplewhite, and Uncle Gruesome. Kovacs invented a distinctly modern form of comedy that playfully subverted the television medium. Edie Adams was his on-screen partner as well as his wife. After his death in 1962, Adams was instrumental in not only saving, but also preserving Kovacs’s body of work during the 1960s when she bought all existing Kovacs materials, including the masters that the television networks were planning to destroy because of cost and storage issues.
Since 2010, Ediad Productions has released new video and audio material from the collection, most of which has never been seen or heard in more than 50 years. This includes Kovacs’s DVD packages from Shout! Factory, a four-disc Edie Adams DVD box set from MVD titled Here’s Edie and new LP, CD and digital releases from Omnivore Recordings.
Retrospectives on Ernie Kovacs and his work have also been feted at such prestigious institutions as The Paley Center for Media, Museum of the Moving Image, the National Gallery, AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, American Cinematheque, Long Beach Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, Spain.
About Ediad Productions
Formed and based in Los Angeles by the late entertainer and Muriel Cigar girl Edie Adams, and currently run by her son Joshua Mills, Ediad Productions is home to what is one of the largest independent archives of early American television. The archives include more than 150 half-hours of visual content from legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams, as well as more than 100 hours of rare Kovacs and Adams audio content. Titles include The Ernie Kovacs Show, Ernie in Kovacsland, Take A Good Look, the Kovacs ABC specials, The Edie Adams Show, Here’s Edie! and much more.