Puneet Varma (Editor)

The Ernie Kovacs Show

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Genre  Comedy
Country of origin  United States
Directed by  Barry Shear (DuMont)
The Ernie Kovacs Show

Also known as  ''Kovacs Unlimited The Ernie Kovacs Rehearsal''
Written by  Louis M. Heyward Mike Marmer
Starring  Boris Karloff Ernie Kovacs Bill Wendell Edie Adams Jolene Brand

The Ernie Kovacs Show was an American comedy show hosted by comedian Ernie Kovacs, first shown in Philadelphia during the early 1950s, then nationally. The show appeared in many versions and formats, including daytime, prime-time, late-night, talk show, comedy, and as a summer replacement series.


The Ernie Kovacs Show was one of only six TV shows broadcast on all four U.S. television networks during the Golden Age of Television, the others being The Original Amateur Hour, Pantomime Quiz, Down You Go, The Arthur Murray Party, and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.


From April 21, 1952 to January 15, 1954, Kovacs had a daytime show under the name Kovacs Unlimited airing Monday through Friday at 8:30 am ET on CBS Television. From December 30, 1952 to April 14, 1953, CBS aired the one-hour The Ernie Kovacs Show on Tuesday evenings at 8pm ET.


From April 12, 1954 to April 7, 1955, he also had a late night television talk show on the DuMont Television Network under the title The Ernie Kovacs Show, which aired from 11:15pm to 12:15am ET. Kovacs began to refer to this show as The Ernie Kovacs Rehearsal in its final months.

Of the DuMont-WABD version, three partial episodes and one complete episode are known to survive. The DuMont series, while also a talk show, included many comedy segments. For example, one episode featured a spoof commercial for a product called "Kodadent", a black toothpaste.

Three NBC series

From December 1952 to April 1953, NBC aired a prime-time series with Kovacs. From December 12, 1955 to July 27, 1956, NBC aired The Ernie Kovacs Show Mondays through Friday in the late morning.

From July 2 to September 10, 1956, NBC ran The Ernie Kovacs Show as a summer replacement series for Caesar's Hour starring Sid Caesar.

Kovacs also served as the regular substitute for Steve Allen on Tonight from September 1956 until Allen's departure from the show (and its subsequent reformat as a news program) in January 1957.

ABC-TV specials

From April 1961 to January 1962, a series of monthly half-hour specials for ABC, aired Thursdays 10:30 to 11pm ET, and were also titled The Ernie Kovacs Show. This latter series is often considered Kovacs' best television work. Shot on videotape using new editing and special effects techniques, it won an Emmy Award in 1961. Kovacs and co-director Joe Behar also won the Directors Guild of America award for a November 1961 installment, based on Kovacs' "Eugene" character. Kovacs' last ABC special was aired posthumously, on January 23, 1962. The weekly program included performances of The Nairobi Trio.


The Ernie Kovacs Show Wikipedia