What’s My Hush Hush? Ernie Kovacs on NBC, 1956

Much like Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, and other playwrights of the theater of the absurd school, Ernie realized that very few things in life made sense. Unlike them, however, he did not conceive of the absurd as terrifying. Ernie saw laughter as a means of survival, and created a television of the absurd as a video fallout shelter – Ernie would have tripped Godot when he finally did show up.

- Edie Adams

This video, edited from the first half hour of an episode from Ernie’s NBC series of 1955-56 hasn’t been widely circulated, and while it’s not “classic” Kovacs, it does show how casually Ernie approached his shows, even in prime time. It’s fun watching the his mental gears spin in the monologue, it’s reassuring to know that Al Kelly’s doubletalk transcends time and place… and it’s worth remembering that 10 minutes of Kovacs are usually better than ten minutes of nearly anything else.

Videos I’ve posted to YouTube

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