Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fan Scan Joe Masi's The Man!

Good evening Kovacsians. Let me start out by thanking all the folks who have put in friend requests on the Ernie Kovacs MySpace Fan Page. Accept my apologies; we haven't mentioned the page in quite a while and are always getting requests. We're pushing towards 1,000; the page is currently at 856 fans and we're grateful to all who are helping to keep Ernie's work alive!

Today I'd like to share with you two scans which Kovacs fan Joe Masi sent me. The first is an autographed card from "Kovacs Unlimited" which he received back in 1953:

And here's an extra fun artifact in case you were wondering when Joe received this prized possession (I removed the street address):

Almost 56 years ago! Remember the days before zip codes? How about typewriters? Remember two cent postage? Well I don't but I wish I did. I grew up in Westchester County so of course Port Chester resonated with me; that I remember!

Joe was inquiring as to what the value of the card might be. To tell you the truth I'm not sure. Our last post talks about an upcoming auction of Kovacs memorabilia; a similar "Kovacs Unlimited" card is one of the listed items and there are several title cards which Ben Model thinks are also from that program. Here is another scan of one of these autographed cards which a fan sent me about seven years ago.

From left to right in the photo are "Kovacs Unlimited" cast members Eddie Hatrak, Edie Adams, Ernie, Trigger Lund and Andy McKay, each with an accompanying signature underneath. In all the different photos of this card the signatures appear similar though the ink colors are different. Joe is of the opinion that the signatures on his are "secretarial" and I tend to agree; "Kovacs Unlimited" was a nationally broadcast program which orginated daily, "live from New York", and I doubt very much that the cast would have had the time to sit around signing cards for which there were probably myriad requests while still preparing for a live comedy show. That being said this is still a great piece of Kovacsian memorabilia which could probably draw some nice bids at auction, especially with the envelope featuring that cool CBS-TV logo.

Joe also mentions in his email that he once had an EEFMS card but lost it; I have a feeling these are worth a bit more because they were from Ernie's local "Three To Get Ready" program in Philly and are probably rarer. Even though it's a scarce item I've received many scans of it from a variety of fans. Here's a color version of the card.

We thank Joe very kindly for his question and for taking the time to send these scans; what keeps this blog going and Ernie's legacy alive are the memories of the folks who loved him and enjoyed his work.

Until next time my fellow Kovacsians: "IT'S BEEN REAL!"- Al Quagliata

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Kovacs Memorabilia Auction Feb 21-22 2009 In Texas

A pair of Ernie's Percy Dovetonsils glasses are among many piece of Kovacs memorabilia slated for the auction block on Feb 21-22 at Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas Texas.

You may never get a chance to see any of these items again, but you can take a gander at the auction preview page. Click here to go directly to the list of Ernie Kovacs stuff. In each item display, just above each item image, there is a text box that says "turn off/on Pan & Zoom Images". Turn it off and then click on the image to see it in high resolution. For instance, you'll see that the black horizontal "eyelids" on Percy's glasses were drawn on.

There are also two books that have been hollowed out with some sort of sound or light effect inside. Ernie tried out the "library" sequence of the 1957 Silent Show a couple times when he was hosting Tonight in November and December of 1956. These prop books may be from those dry runs. Kinescopes survive for at least one of those Tonight episodes.

Below is an image for four title cards up for auction, in a lot, which are not identified but I believe these are from Kovacs Unlimited (CBS, 1952-54), as Schroeder was one of the puppets used on the show. The puppet is still around, in the collection of a relative of Andy McKay.

Anyone with deep pockets live near Dallas? Paging Mr. Letterman...!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Anniversary Of Ernie's Death (And Birth)

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the accident that prematurely ended Ernie's life in 1962. His 90th birthday comes up in ten days, on January 23rd. There used to be an event held in Trenton in January to commemorate these two events, organized by a woman whose uncle was Bernie Kosnowski, the "polka king" of NJ (or Trenton, anyway) and whose last name Ernie used a great deal (the names Arthur B. Kosnowski or Betty Lou Kosnowski pop up a lot in sketches). But it got too hard to get people to come out in January to play poker and smoke cigars.

For those of you in the NJ area, I will be giving a talk on Kovacs and showing clips at the Ocean County Library in Toms River, NJ on Monday January 26th 2009. Click on the image to go to the library's website. I'm still narrowing down what I'm going to show, but have to tell you it won't be anything planned for the DVD set, as that material hasn't been transferred or remastered yet. If nothing else, the evening will be a chance to meet – and watch Ernie Kovacs – with other fans. Click on the image to find out more.

Ben Model