Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I Need A Volunteer From The Audience

Good afternoon fellow Kovacsians. Greetings through your computer orthicon tube, if there is such a thing.

Last week's trivia question was successfully answered by Ernie MySpace Fan Page friends Brian and Craig. Kudos. To see the question and answer click here (the answer is in the comments section of the post). As of this writing the fan page is up to 381 friends, and increase of 9 friends since last week. Thanks to everyone who requested us as a friend or added us.

Here's this weeks trivia question. "Take A Good Look" at the photo to the left (pardon the pun and be advised that its not from that show).

1. What is the name of Ernie's character?

2. What is his profession?

3. What word proceeds the name of his profession on screen and what does this word mean? (IE, if he were a plumber named Joe Smith, the title card might read "Joe Smith Master Plumber").

FOR EXTRA CREDIT: The actor on the far right went on to fame as a soap opera star. What's his name, which soap opera, and what character did he play for many years and as recently as 2006? In the bit pictured above what was his function?

As always you can message the answers to my at the Ernie MySpace Fan Page or post them as comments here.

Until next week Kovacsians, "Its Been Real!"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dancing Office Furniture Trivia

OK fellow Kovacsians, its time for a new trivia question and I promise its not as hard as the last one:

"What is the name of the music used as the soundtrack to Ernie's famous "Musical Office" sketch and who performed it?"

If you'd like to the view the sketch you can do so either by looking on the VHS "Best Of Kovacs" collection or the DVD. On the DVD its chapter 8 on the menu and is called "Musical Office." On the VHS series the sketch is located on Volume One, which is the tape in the dark red box. "The Turksville Trolley Blog" also has a stream of the sketch which you can view by clicking here.

This is one of my all time favorite Ernie sketches; its an absolute piece of inspired genius that works splendidly on both visual and musical levels. The late, great author David Walley who wrote "The Ernie Kovacs Phile" (a wonderful book that every Kovacsian should own) put a series of appendices in the back which are quite informative. Appendix B is the "text of memo sent to staff for third Special, taped May 28, 1961, aired May 15, 1961 (I realize that the dates don't seem to make chronological sense, but that's what it says). This is Ernie's memo to the staff about how to execute the bit and also contains what he called the bit, which is a hint to part of the song title. Its an amazing read, as is the whole book so get a hold of it if you don't already own it. The book had several printings and is also known as "Nothing In Moderation: A Biography Of Ernie Kovacs." Many libraries have a copy.

Every week I say thanks to anyone who has accepted a friend request from or put in a friend request to the Ernie Kovacs MySpace Fan Page. We are up to 372 friends from last week's total of 361. Please tell your friends about us if they don't know and ask them to put in a request if they have a MySpace page.

When I started acting back in around 1988 I did a student film at the State University Of New York At Purchase. Parker Posey, an amazing actress whose films are well worth you time, was a student there and was the lead in the film. She's in a new film called Fay Grim and this review mentions Ernie. Since I love them both I thought I'd share it with you.

Well, fellow Kovacsians, I close this week with my usual list of blogs and articles that mention our dear friend Ernie:

Until next week friends, "Its Been Real!!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Masked Man Finally Is Un-Masked!

OK. I know that there are many of you that are dying to know the answers to the infamous trivia question and I'm happy to say that someone has finally gotten it. I promise I won't keep you in suspense for much longer.

But first, I want to thank (as I always do each week) anyone who has accepted a friend request or requested to be a friend on Ernie's MySpace Fan Page. As of my last post there were 348 friends and there are now 361. Please let other Ernie fans who have MySpace pages know about us if they don't already. We will gladly process their friend requests.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for. The trivia question was answered by our dear MySpace friend Brian, pictured to the left ( I think this photo may have been taking after some painful dental surgery). Here are the answers. Ernie would have been proud:

1. What was the name of this western?
"Das Einsame Aufseher"

2. What is the LITERAL translation of the title.
"The Lonely Overseer"

3. Who is the character a satire of? The Lone Ranger

4. What is the name of the desperado Ernie is going to fight, as played by Joe Mikolas? "Schwarze Bart"

5. What is the translation of the desperado's name?
"Black Bart" (Or "Black Beard" since Bart = beard in German)

6. What does Ernie put in his six shooter? "Silber Kugels!" = silver bullets

7. What language are they supposedly speaking in this "European Western?"
Mangled German

Brian speaks some German and I accept his answers as more correct than the ones I came up with when I first wrote the question. I thought that "Das Einsame Aufseher" meant "The Lonely Custodians," but that was probably because the translation website I used is inaccurate.

Here's Brian's take on it:

In fact, I remembered the whole sketch except for the word "Aufseher", and had to play the video to get that. "Aufseher" means literally "out-seer", and the dictionary says it means overseer or supervisor. I think Kovacs might have meant it in the sense of a scout, which would be "Spaher" (umlaut (little dots) over the a). I speak enough German to wince at how "Wolfgang Sauerbraten" mangles the language!

So there you have it. A profound thanks to Brian for his good sportsmanship and fine effort. I'm giving him extra points because he had to look on the VHS tapes to get some of the answers and didn't have the help of an easy to search DVD.

Another MySpace friend, "MadWriter," was asking me about the two versions of "Eugene" (aka "The Silent Show") that were done. Yes, there were two! The first was in color and was the only time Ernie ever appeared on TELEVISION in color. He appeared in movies in color all the time. Here's what I told "MadWriter":

When Jerry Lewis split with "Dino" in 1956 he was given a 90 minute special by NBC to go out on his own with. Thing is, his agent told them Jerry didn't want to do 90 minutes.

So, they needed to fill the extra 1/2 hour. They offered it to many well known comics but NO ONE was crazy enough to go on after Lewis who was extremely popular at that time. No one except for Ernie that is. And he did Eugene for his 1/2 hour and garnered lots of acclaim. That version is in color. The only place I've ever seen it, or part of it anyway, was at the "Museum Of TV And Radio" here in New York ( And its the only time Ernie was ever in color on TV. And, it was LIVE. Of course, Ernie was in color in the movies quite a bit.

The version on the VHS or DVD is one of the ABC specials from 1961 (November I believe) and that is the one most everyone knows.

Last week a magician named Glenn Bishop wrote a very nice post about this blog and I hope you'll all go read it. Once you're there be sure to check out all of Glenn's blogs. There are some great video clips and info on magic, which used to be a hobby of mine. Glenn's a really talented magician and a fellow Ernie fan with an interesting take on Ernie's process. Thanks for the post Glenn!

I'll close as always with some other blog posts and articles I found this week in cyberspace:

The column "Pop Matters" talks about the pros and cons of "The Nairobi Trio"

Steve Gerber Gives Us A Quick Opinion On "The Nairobi Trio"

Inner Toob Gives A Quick Nod To Ernie

Some more "Nairobi Trio

Until next week, friends, "Its Been Real!"

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Ernie's Slow News Week

Good morning fellow Kovacsians. Not much to report this week, so here goes:

The trivia question from two weeks ago still has not been answered. If no one gets it this week, I will post the answer next week. Post your answer in the form of a comment or contact me with the answer via the Ernie Kovacs MySpace Fan Page.

Speaking of the MySpace Fan Page, we're up to 348 friends this week from 332 friends last week. Thanks to everyone who has requested an add or accepted a request from us. Please let other Kovacs fans know about us if you haven't.

Contributing blogger Ben "Undercrank" Model wrote a post Monday I know you'll enjoy. Check it out if you haven't already by clicking here. And therein lies an answer to part of the aforementioned trivia question so read carefully.


Until next week friends, "Its been real!"

Monday, May 7, 2007

Ernie & Edie's NYC Penthouse

Here's a photo I snapped (from inside Central Park) a few months ago of the El Dorado, on Central Park West between West 90th and West 91st Streets. This is the building Ernie and Edie lived in during the mid-1950's in that giant penthouse. If the building looks familiar, it's because it's the building that Ghostbusters takes place in. Was that location a suggestion of Dan Aykroyd's, who was/is a major Kovacs fan? Who knows. The interior of the penthouse apartment is shown in some of the photos in the Life Magazine article from 4/15/57 (pick yours up on eBay if you haven't already).

"Silver kuggels!!"


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Ernie Trivia Redux

Hi folks. Welcome to this week's "Kovacsian" blog post.

Every week I thank the people who have sent in friend requests or accepted our requests from the Ernie Kovacs MySpace Page. The page was started just about a month ago and we are already up to 331 friends as of this writing. Please encourage any Ernie fans you know to come join us!

Last week's trivia question was a toughie and I received NO answers. I must admit this surprised me very much given the knowledgeable Ernie fans who read these posts. So, here's the link so you can give it another shot:

I know you guys can do it! Post your answer in the form of a comment here or send it through the Ernie MySpace page.

Every week I search the news and blogspot for any relevant Ernie posts. I didn't find anything in the news but here are the blog posts I found:

"Revolution 21's Blog For The People" discusses the old NBC radio show "Monitor" on which Ernie was a regular presence:

"The Almost Daily Rooster" discuses Ernie in the article "Some Radio & TV Nostalgia"

"CW's Cynictionary" posts a famous quote of Ernie's:

An interesting post by "Mercedes-Benz Videos" discussing Ernie's relationship to a "300-SL" in "Our Man In Havana":

Mike from "Films2See" mentions a showing of "Our Man In Havana" which will take place Monday, May 7 in New York City. If you're in the area go check it out:

That's all for this week kids. Remember to work on that trivia question!

Until next time "Its been real!"