Monday, March 17, 2008

Ernie The Grizzled Old Miner

Good afternoon my fellow Kovacsians. I'll start off by saying that the Ernie Kovacs My Space Fan Page is up to 680 friends, an increase of 4 since our last post. As always we thank everyone who requested an add or accepted a request from us.

I also need to mention that no one, not even my best "Kovacsian Trivia Answer-ers," has been able to answer all the question from our last quiz. Its a tough one; even yours truly couldn't get it. Give it a shot if you're brave enough. I'm going to let a few more weeks go by before I post the answers to give some more folks a chance to answer.

In our last entry I had a link to a blog post about the old TV western Shotgun Slade which starred actor Scott Brady in the title role. I found this post interesting because:

1. I'm a big fan of old TV westerns and had never heard of this one.
2. Ernie is the guest star in the pilot episode.

The pilot episode of this show was called "The Salted Mine" and it actually aired on March 27, 1959, as part of the "Schlitz Playhouse Of Stars," an anthology series of that era. In it Ernie plays a grizzled old miner named "Hack" (he tells Shotgun "Hack Berry's the whole of it." At least that's what I think he says...) who owns the "Hack Mine," which is located "over the hill a piece."

I'm not going to go into a long winded description of the series or the episode. That's because you can click on the links above to learn more about the show and its lead actor. And you can watch the actual pilot episode with Ernie below:

video

Its important to realize that before becoming a radio and then TV personality Ernie had trained to be a stage actor. His mentor was his high school drama professor Harold Van Kirk and he also acted in summer stock and studied drama in New York City. He was quite the excellent character actor as you can see from watching this program. Comics like Ernie have the ability to really inhabit and make you believe the characters they play, whether comedic or dramatic.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed the episode and I apologize for the quality. My goal in all the Ernie pages I run is to expose you to things about his career that you may not have known about or seen and I hope this has fit the bill!

Thanks once again for stopping by and until we meet again "Its Been Real!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Some Kovacsian Jack Benny Trivia

Good afternoon fellow Kovacsians. I receive many nice emails from folks who enjoy our various Kovacsian websites. Here's one I received today from John Hammes of The UGA Science Library at The University Of Georgia:

Thank you for all you are doing. A lot of people can now receive greetings from Ernie Kovacs "over your internet tube"! His work is so superior to today's programming, and a quick visit to "his" web pages makes a lousy day much better. Many, many thanks!

Well, John, thank you for visiting! Its my pleasure and I certainly echo your sentiments.

It turns out that John is quite the Jack Benny fan and he had an idea for a trivia quiz related to Ernie's January 25th, 1959 appearance on CBS TV's Jack Benny Program:

1. During Jack's opening monologue, what prized possession does Ernie share with him?

2. What do Jack and Ernie present for the main sketch?

3. Ernie gives a very dramatic performance at sketch's end. Why?

4. There are two things about this broadcast that are the first and only time something happened to Ernie during his career. What are they?

I must admit that I did not know the answers to these questions and I don't think you'll find them in books so it will take a real Jack Benny fan to answer them. I may have seen the episode once at the Museum of TV and Radio (then known as the Museum of Broadcasting and now known as The Paley Center For Media) but that was quite some time ago. I did find out, however, that you can see the episode by ordering The Best Of Jack Benny, a 4 DVD set where it is found on Disc Two.

Thanks to John Hammes for a great quiz! He's reached Kovacsian blog immortality and you can too by submitting answers to the questions in any one of the following ways:

1. Post your answers here in the comments section.
2. Send your answers to me through the Ernie Kovacs My Space Fan Page.
3. Email your answers to me by clicking HERE.

I'll announce the winner in a future post so get to it!

The Ernie Kovacs My Space Fan Page is up to 676 friends this week, an increase of 15 since our last post. As always we thank everyone who requested an add or accepted a request from us.

And now some fun Ernie related posts from the Blogosphere:

Robert McHenry is Mad about Mad Magazine!

Portzebie talks about the history of Mad's Alfred E. Neuman

A great post about the early days of video which talks about Ernie

Ernie in the old TV series Shotgun Slade? I guess so, pardner!

Pop Art Diva talks about the Tonight Show Hosts and mentions our fellow Kovacs...

Thanks once again for stopping by and until we meet again "Its Been Real!"