In this book, Andrew Horton offers the first sustained look at Ernie Kovacs’s wide-ranging and lasting contributions to the development of TV comedy.
Author: Andrew Horton
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Among the pioneers of television, Ernie Kovacs was one of the most original and imaginative comedians. His zany, irreverent, and surprising humor not only entertained audiences throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, but also inspired a host of later comedies and comedians, including Monty Python, David Letterman, much of Saturday Night Live, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Captain Kangaroo, and even Sesame Street. Kovacs created laughter through wildly creative comic jokes, playful characterizations, hilarious insights, and wacky experiments. “Nothing in moderation,” his motto and epitaph, sums up well Kovacs’s wholehearted approach to comedy and life. In this book, Andrew Horton offers the first sustained look at Ernie Kovacs’s wide-ranging and lasting contributions to the development of TV comedy. He discusses in detail Kovacs’s work in New York, which included The Ernie Kovacs Show (CBS prime time 1952–1953), The Ernie Kovacs Show (NBC daytime variety 1956–1957), Tonight (NBC late-night comedy/variety 1956-1957), and a number of quiz shows. Horton also looks at Kovacs’s work in Los Angeles and in feature film comedy. He vividly describes how Kovacs and his comic co-conspirators created offbeat characters and zany situations that subverted expectations and upended the status quo. Most of all, Horton demonstrates that Kovacs grasped the possibility for creating a fresh genre of comedy through the new medium of television and exploited it to the fullest.
ETHAN THOMPSON Abstract: Ernie Kovacs was a one-of-a-kind television
comedian who enjoys cult status today, though he died at the height of his
popularity in the early 1960s. In this essay, Ethan Thompson models how to
Author: Ethan Thompson
Publisher: NYU Press
A new edition that brings the ways we watch and think about television up to the present We all have opinions about the television shows we watch, but television criticism is about much more than simply evaluating the merits of a particular show and deeming it “good” or “bad.” Rather, criticism uses the close examination of a television program to explore that program’s cultural significance, creative strategies, and its place in a broader social context. How to Watch Television, Second Edition brings together forty original essays—more than half of which are new to this edition—from today’s leading scholars on television culture, who write about the programs they care (and think) the most about. Each essay focuses on a single television show, demonstrating one way to read the program and, through it, our media culture. From fashioning blackness in Empire to representation in Orange is the New Black and from the role of the reboot in Gilmore Girls to the function of changing political atmospheres in Roseanne, these essays model how to practice media criticism in accessible language, providing critical insights through analysis—suggesting a way of looking at TV that students and interested viewers might emulate. The contributors discuss a wide range of television programs past and present, covering many formats and genres, spanning fiction and non-fiction, broadcast, streaming, and cable. Addressing shows from TV’s earliest days to contemporary online transformations of the medium, How to Watch Television, Second Edition is designed to engender classroom discussion among television critics of all backgrounds.
Horton, A. (2010) Ernie Kovacs and Early TV Comedy: Nothing in Moderation,
University of Texas Press, Austin, TX. Jenkins, H. (1992)What Made Pistachio
Nuts? Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic, Columbia University
Author: Andrew Horton
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
A wide-ranging survey of the subject that celebrates the variety and complexity of film comedy from the ‘silent’ days to the present, this authoritative guide offers an international perspective on the popular genre that explores all facets of its formative social, cultural and political context A wide-ranging collection of 24 essays exploring film comedy from the silent era to the present International in scope, the collection embraces not just American cinema, including Native American and African American, but also comic films from Europe, the Middle East, and Korea Essays explore sub-genres, performers, and cultural perspectives such as gender, politics, and history in addition to individual works Engages with different strands of comedy including slapstick, romantic, satirical and ironic Features original entries from a diverse group of multidisciplinary international contributors
This is precisely the environment in which Kovacs's early work was produced,
and a viewing of what remains of his early daytime ... Lemmon, at the beginning
of a Best of Ernie Kovacs collection that originally aired on public television,
implores viewers to “Relax. ... The format of his comedyvariety shows was
developed first on local TV to fill up large pieces of the programming schedule
every single day.
Author: Ethan Thompson
In this original study, Thompson explores the complicated relationships between Americans and television during the 1950s, as seen and effected through popular humor. Parody and Taste in Postwar American Television Culture documents how Americans grew accustomed to understanding politics, current events, and popular culture through comedy that is simultaneously critical, commercial, and funny. Along with the rapid growth of television in the 1950s, an explosion of satire and parody took place across a wide field of American culture—in magazines, comic books, film, comedy albums, and on television itself. Taken together, these case studies don’t just analyze and theorize the production and consumption of parody and television, but force us to revisit and revise our notions of postwar "consensus" culture as well.
In the early days, however, a few memorable exceptions tried to break the rules.
In the 1950s, when Father Knows ... The Ernie Kovacs Show survived only a few
months on nationwide television in 1952-1953. The Honeymooners lasted only ...
Author: Mary M. Dalton
Publisher: SUNY Press
Offers a variety of perspectives on the sitcom genre and its influence on American culture.
First regular series color broadcasts : Bonanza , NBC . 1960 Godard debuts with
Breathless . Reisz ' s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning , first major British
workingclass film . ... Ernie Kovacs , inventive television comedian , dies at age
Author: James Monaco
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press
Now thoroughly revised and updated, the book discusses recent breakthroughs in media technology, including such exciting advances as video discs and cassettes, two-way television, satellites, cable and much more.
On March 20 , 1950 , with its introduction of Ernie Kovacs to television , WPTZ
unwittingly gave the nation its first ... was in for when it hired Kovacs as the world '
s most unlikely host of a cooking show , “ Deadline for Dinner , " which , in Ernie '
Author: Michael D. Murray
Television in America examines the history of the industry from a local station perspective. Some interesting ramifications are: What would have happened to the ABC network without the support of its key station, WABC? What effect did KSL television have on the Mormon Church communication empire? Can stations in Atlanta and Orlando be credited with promoting a civil-rights agenda before it was politically correct? Would the Kefauver hearings have taken on as much national significance had it not been for the local coverage of WMAL-TV? Without the efforts of WEW's Dorothy Fieldheim and Nancy Craig at WABC, would women have been welcomed in the nation's newsrooms? The histories of the 20 television stations in this unique collection help answer these questions and set the stage for further inquiry.
The structure of the show business industry, however, has inhibited stand-up
comedy as a television art, Comedians, even the ... derived from their interplay
with the Dolly Parton of early TV, "a buxom blonde named Jennie Lewis, better
known as Dagmar, who played it dumb. ... sofa" talk show known as The Tonight
Show It was hosted by hon mot comedians such as Steve Allen, Ernie Kovacs,
and Jack ...
Author: David Marc
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
"Quite simply, a tour de force--a wonderful synthesis of history and criticism."--Daniel Czitrom, author of
talented comedians , including Dave Garroway , Jerry Lester , Sam Levenson ,
Jack Carter , Red Buttons , George Gobel , and Ernie Kovacs . Some early
television comedy stars , among them Milton Berle , had trouble in radio . A
Author: Arthur Frank Wertheim
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press
Discusses American radio comedy shows and performers of the 1930's and 40's and examines their place in American life and their relationship to the social history of the time.
ERNIE KOVACS , THE BEST OF / 155 comfortable Manhattan apartment , but
with the battle scars from a lifetime of ... several short - lived TV series throughout
the early 1950s , garnering a modicum of fame and honing his comedy talent .
Author: Harry Castleman
Publisher: Prentice Hall Direct
Provides summaries and critiques for over 2,100 television shows appearing in prime time over the past fifty years
Both on - screen and as a producer , Ernie Kovacs was a groundbreaking ,
innovative force in television comedy . ... In early 1961 , Kovacs talked his
sponsor , Dutch Masters , into allowing him to produce , write , and act in a series
of monthly ...
Author: Harry Castleman
Watching TV remains the only book about television to go beyond mere alphabetical listings and limited reminiscences about the medium's most popular programs. Harry Castleman and Walter J. Podrazik present a sweeping season-by-season survey capturing the essence of television from its inception to the present. anecdotes and the complicated network strategies that have made television a multi-billion-dollar industry. By presenting every prime-time schedule season by season, from the fall of 1944, Watching TV provides a fascinating reading of how the personalities, popular shows and coverage of key event shave evolved during the past six decades. photographs, Watching TV is a valuable history of American television, now updated to include the most recent programming and industry developments.
Soon Jimmy's closing message , " Goodnight , Mrs. Calabash , wherever you are
, " became one of the most famous closings in all of ... For the early “ Ernie
Kovacs ” television show , about the only thing CBS gave Kovacs was the air time
Author: Robert L. Mott
Publisher: McFarland Publishing
About the impact of sound effects in American radio broadcasts.
idea of a guest star altogether, offering to host the show himself “in a low-key,
unperformer way à la Ernie Kovacs.” Jim's first draft was heavily influenced by the
variety shows of the time, which relied on set pieces and recurring characters, in
the ... Now that he had ABC's support, Jim sat down in July to discuss ideas with
Jerry Juhl, television writer Jerry Ross, and former Jimmy Dean scribe Will
Author: Brian Jay Jones
Publisher: Random House
For the first time ever—a comprehensive biography of one of the twentieth-century’s most innovative creative artists: the incomparable, irreplaceable Jim Henson. He was a gentle dreamer whose genial bearded visage was recognized around the world, but most people got to know him only through the iconic characters he created: Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie, Miss Piggy, Big Bird. The Muppets made Jim Henson a household name, but they were only part of his remarkable story. This extraordinary biography--written with the generous cooperation of the Henson family--covers the full arc of Henson’s all-too-brief life: from his childhood in Leland, Mississippi, through the years of burgeoning fame in Washington D.C., New York, and London, to the decade of international celebrity that preceded his untimely death at age fifty-three. Drawing on hundreds of hours of new interviews with Jim Henson's family, friends, and closest collaborators, as well as unprecedented access to private family and company archives--including never-before-seen interviews, business documents, and Henson’s private letters--Brian Jay Jones explores the creation of the Muppets, Henson’s contributions to Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live, and his nearly ten year campaign to bring The Muppet Show to television. Jones provides the imaginative context for Henson’s non-Muppet projects, including the richly imagined worlds of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth—as well as fascinating misfires like Henson’s dream of opening an inflatable psychedelic nightclub or of staging an elaborate, all-puppet Broadway show. An uncommonly intimate portrait, Jim Henson captures all the facets of this American original: the master craftsman who revolutionized the presentation of puppets on television, the savvy businessman whose deal making prowess won him a reputation as “the new Walt Disney,” and the creative team leader whose collaborative ethos earned him the undying loyalty of everyone who worked for him. Here also is insight into Henson’s intensely private personal life: his Christian Science upbringing; his love of fast cars, high-stakes gambling, and expensive art; and his weakness for women. Though an optimist by nature, Henson was haunted by the notion that he would not have time to do all the things he wanted to do in life—a fear that his heartbreaking final hours would prove all too well-founded. An up-close look at the charmed life of a legend, Jim Henson gives the full measure to a man whose joyful genius transcended age, language, geography, and culture—and continues to beguile audiences worldwide.