Opening night panel on April 27 moderated by comedian Robert Klein, with participants Harold Prince, Jeff Greenfield, David Bianculli and Ben Model
Retrospective from April 27–May 27, 2012, marks Kovacs’s 60th anniversary on network television and the 50th anniversary of Here’s Edie variety show
Museum of the Moving Image and Ediad Productions, announced today a month-long retrospective from April 27 through May 27, 2012, of one of television’s most talented and beloved married couples, legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs (www.erniekovacs.com) and Tony Award-winning entertainer Edie Adams (www.edieadams.com).
The retrospective, the first to feature the careers of both Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams, will kick off at Museum of the Moving Image in New York on Friday, April 27, with a celebrity panel discussion moderated by comedian and actor Robert Klein, and featuring legendary Broadway producer Harold Prince, newsman Jeff Greenfield, television critic David Bianculli, and guest curator Ben Model, a film and television historian and archivist for the estates of both Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams. The panel discussion will include rare clips from both performers. Daily through May 27, compilations of both Kovacs and Adams’s shows will play continuously in TV Lounge, an artwork by Jim Isermann, in the Museum’s core exhibition Behind the Screen. On May 19 and 20, a special compilation for children, “Kovacs for Kids,” will offer an introduction for families to Ernie Kovacs’s playful and endlessly inventive comedy, often filled with tricks and surprises, designed to delight audiences of all ages.
Edie Adams’s son, Josh Mills, who controls rights to the works of both his mother and Kovacs, provided the shows that will be screened and will attend the retrospective’s opening on April 27.
This retrospective coincides with two milestones in the performers’ careers. The year 2012 is the 60thanniversary of Kovacs’s network television debut on Kovacs Unlimited on CBS, and is also the 50th anniversary of Edie Adams Here’s Edie pilot which debuted on April 9, 1962 on ABC.
“Ernie Kovacs is one of the most admired and influential comic artists ever to work in the television medium,” said the Museum’s Chief Curator, David Schwartz. “His inventive, self-reflexive, boundary-breaking humor has inspired countless performers, directors, and artists. We are thrilled to present this month-long retrospective, and also thrilled that it will put a spotlight on the underrated career of Edie Adams. She was a brilliant singer, actress, and comedienne, with Kovacs and on her own.”
“Fans of Kovacs’s inventive comedy will be in for a real treat as we screen episodes of his numerous shows alongside Edie Adams’s Emmy-nominated series,” said Joshua Mills, President of Ediad Productions, which runs the Estates of both Kovacs and Adams. “Our archive has many treasures that have not been seen in 50 or more years. There should be something new to discover for fans, historians, and academics.”
Ernie Kovacs was a comic genius and a television pioneer whose inventive use of the medium inspired countless performers, directors, and video artists. In addition to creating such indelible characters as Percy Dovetonsils, Matzoh Hepplewhite, and Uncle Gruesome, Kovacs invented a distinctly modern form of comedy that playfully subverted the television medium. The gifted singer/performer Edie Adams was his on-screen partner and his wife. Kovacs and Adams first performed together on the Kovacs-hosted WPTZ show “Three to Get Ready” in Philadelphia in 1951, married in 1954, and appeared on screen consistently—on all four networks—until Kovacs’s death in 1962. While performing with her husband on television, Adams steadily built a career as a Broadway entertainer, appearing on stage with Rosalind Russell in “Wonderful Town” (1953) whose stage manager was Hal Prince. Edie’s second leading role on Broadway won her a Tony Award for her role as Daisy Mae in “Li’l Abner” (1956).
After Kovacs’s death in 1962, Adams was given the opportunity to host her own variety series Here’s Edie and later The Edie Adams Show (1963). These were half-hour shows that alternated weeks with The Sid Caesar Show and featured iconic jazz and classical performances from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Getz and Andre Previn; popular singers Sammy Davis, Jr., Bobby Darin, Johnny Mathis and Nancy Wilson; comedians such as Buddy Hackett, Bob Hope, Dick Shawn and Rowan & Martin, as well as actors Peter Falk, Sir Michael Redgrave and Zsa Zsa Gabor, among others.
About Museum of the Moving Image
Museum of the Moving Image advances the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media. In January 2011, the Museum reopened after a major expansion and renovation that nearly doubled its size. Accessible, innovative, and forward-looking, the Museum presents exhibitions, education programs, significant moving-image works, and interpretive programs, and maintains a collection of moving-image related artifacts. More information at movingimage.us.
About Ediad Productions
Formed 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 likely the largest independent archive of early American television in existence. With more than 150 half-hours of content from legendary comedian Ernie Kovacs, as well as two seasons of Edie Adams' prime time variety show from the mid-1960s, Ediad Productions is a treasure trove of classic popular entertainment. Titles in the archive include “The Ernie Kovacs Show,” “Ernie in Kovacsland,” “Take A Good Look” (clues), the Kovacs specials for ABC, “The Edie Adams Show,” “Here's Edie!” and much more. Ediad Productions is the go-to archive for television, digital & mobile entertainment content and is based in Los Angeles, California.
SCHEDULE FOR ‘ERNIE KOVACS AND EDIE ADAMS,’ APRIL 27–MAY 27, 2012
All programs take place at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street), in Astoria, New York. Unless otherwise noted, screenings are included with Museum admission.
Panel Discussion: Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams
With Robert Klein, Harold Prince, Jeff Greenfield, David Bianculli, and Ben Model
Friday, April 27, 7:00 p.m.
Highlights of the retrospective and rare archival clips of Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams will be shown during a celebrity panel discussion featuring legendary Broadway producer Harold Prince, newsman Jeff Greenfield, television critic David Bianculli, comedian and actor Robert Klein (moderator), and Ben Model, film and television historian and archivist for the estates of both Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams, who curated the series.
Tickets: $15 public / $9 Museum members and Free for Silver Screen members and above.
Tickets also include admission to the Museum’s galleries (which are open until 8:00 p.m.). Advance tickets are available online at movingimage.us or by calling 718 777 6800.
Kovacs for Kids
Saturday, May 19, 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 20, 12:30 p.m.
Kovacs’s playful and endlessly inventive comedy, often filled with tricks and surprises, was often designed to delight audiences of all ages. This selection is a great introduction for families to the legendary comedian’s work.
From April 27 through May 27, 2012, compilations of archival material featuring Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams will play continuously in TV Lounge, an artwork by Jim Isermann, in the Museum’s core exhibition Behind the Screen.
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10:30 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Closed Monday except for the following holiday opening: April 9, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Film Screenings: Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, and as scheduled. Unless otherwise noted, screenings are included with Museum admission.
Museum Admission: $12.00 for adults; $9.00 for persons over 65 and for students with ID; $6.00 for children ages 3-18. Children under 3 and Museum members are admitted free. Admission to the galleries is free on Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tickets for special screenings and events may be purchased in advance by phone at 718 777 6800 or online.
Location: 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria.
Subway: M (weekdays only) or R to Steinway Street. Q (weekdays only) or N to 36 Avenue.
The Museum is housed in a building owned by the City of New York and its operations are made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Natural Heritage Trust (administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation). The Museum also receives generous support from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. For more information, please visit movingimage.us.