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!"


Anonymous said...

Hey there! This is the first time I've tried answering the trivia contest here, but since I just watched that particular episode I thought I'd give it a shot.

1. Ernie brought out his prized moustache collection.

2. They perform what the Prison of 1970 might be like is the reform movement continued.

3. Ernie's dramatic turn is provoked when the warden frees Ernie from the prison life of plenty.

4. I'm completely guessing here, but I'll say the two things are: It's the only time he worked with Jack Benny, and it's the only performance he gave without a cigar.

Thanks for such a great site!


Al Quagliata said...


You are most welcome for the site and thank you for participating!

You got it ALMOST 100% correct!!

These questions were tough and since you're the first person to come close I've decided to declare you the winner, especially since we haven't been bombarded with responses. I tip my hat to you sir, and light a cigar in your honor!

Only number 4 is a bit off but what a great guess. "Its the only time he worked with Jack Benny" is correct. The other half of the answer is that:

A. Ernie never won an Emmy

B. This episode won an Emmy for the Benny writers


This was the only time in his career that Ernie was associated with an Emmy winning show, albeit vicariously.

You say that its the only performance he gave without a cigar. There are other sketches and shows where he doesn't have one, so that part is wrong.

Below I'm posting the answers that John Hammes, the man who came up with the quiz, sent to us:

1. His false moustache collection...he has Jack try on a few

2. Jack and Ernie are inmates of the country club prison of the future...1970)

3. Prisoner Ernie has served time, and now he will be a free man...except he does not want to leave

4. This episode won an Emmy for the Benny writers, ergo one of the few Emmys Ernie Kovacs would be associated with in his too short career. Also, unless another lost kinescope should surface, this is the only time that Jack Benny and Ernie Kovacs will perform together.

Overall, Frank, a great job and you now have infamy on the Kovacs Blog!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the link to my Pop Culture blog and my post about the Tonight Show and Ernie!
I found your site through Technorati and it's just a great retro site about Ernie!
I've bookmarked you and plan to visit often!
Thanks for the memories!

Al Quagliata said...


You are most welcome! Thanks for your blog and thanks for stopping by!