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Ernie Kovacs as Percy Dovetonsils

Kovacs was a pioneer of Television comedy in the 1950′s, edging closer, I think, to performance art than what men and women generally think of as comedy. Even with Percy Dovetonsils the comedy is odd, low crucial, and character generated, even although there is a poetic punch line toward the end.
Video Rating: four / 5

posted by in Comedies and have Comments (25)

25 Responses to “Ernie Kovacs as Percy Dovetonsils”

  1. cauchamar says:

    Stephen Root’s performance in Office Space seems to have been taken from this character.

  2. grabit1 says:

    “Genius” is too insignificant a word to describe Ernie Kovacs, athough stating the obvious at least keeps him in our memory.

  3. tallpaul521 says:

    Kovacs’ motto “Nothing in moderation”.

  4. tutsuro says:

    Read a great tribute to him in the May issue of Playboy. Will have to find more.

  5. einnocjoe1 says:

    Ernie was the best. Such a great brain. very funny. Thank you for the video.

  6. Juliaflo says:

    @hemming57 Actually, one of his daughters, Betty Lee, is still alive.

  7. charliehoopla says:

    Lovin it.

  8. Gydinglight12 says:

    The only other person I can remember from old TV to do anything much inventive visually was George Burns, who would turn on his TV and watch Gracie do her plotline schtick, and would comment to the viewing audience on what was going on. Not nearly as creative as Ernie, but nobody was like Ernie.

  9. hemming57 says:

    Sad that both his daughters died young too.

  10. terrryc says:

    The perverse version of Steve Allen. Watch the feature film “Sail A Crooked Ship”. The movie is uneven, but when it’s funny, it’s insanely funny!

  11. FnordicQueen says:

    Hugo, thanks so much for these uploads. Every bit of comedy I’ve loved since EK, I’ve been able to see his influence (remembering EK from the early ’60s and the ’70s reruns).

    Such an under-remembered visionary in the visual media, and how much television has eroded since his early supernova of TV possibility.

  12. DevildogGarcia says:

    Excuse me! Ahhh!

  13. svenghoulieil says:

    Genius – blows away anything SNL ever did, and he wrote his own material

  14. korymic says:

    Is this Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican from Kentucky ?

  15. OrganCat says:

    ‘They dipped the needle in pancake batter’ LOL Nothing funnier than adlibbing when live TV goes wrong.

  16. RangerAlways says:

    @tallpaul521 You are absolutely correct about Hattie & her statement. Before the Awards, many were concerned that a “negro” would win. Others thought”no way.” I’m sure you’ve seen film of the presentation. When her name was announced there were gasps which quickly turned to thunderous applause and rightfully so. They talk about class in Hollyweird & Hattie said she was prepared to lose. She accepted the award with grace & never showed anything but class.

  17. tallpaul521 says:

    @RangerAlways The wonderful Hattie McDaniels was the first black actress to win an Academy Award for Gone With The Wind. When asked if she tired of playing maids in films (she was so much more than that), she answered, “I can either be a maid and get paid $60 a week, or play a maid and get $600 a week.

  18. clintbronson5 says:

    Wow! No wonder Terry (MONTY PYTHON) Gilliam loved him!

  19. RangerAlways says:

    tallpaul521- I saw the Kirby docu. also. They interviewed many along w/ “Sapphire” who said up until Amos ‘n Andy the only parts blacks could get were maids, butlers, other service jobs. Also said they were paid top $ for their work & held in high esteem. After A & A the cast members couldn’t find work. Funny is funny no matter what color it is. People should STOP judging anything by color. Blacks as well as us “beige” people.

  20. tallpaul521 says:

    So right. Amos and Andy was just plain funny..the color of the characters didn’t matter. I have all the A&A shows as well. I saw a documentary hosted by George Kirby, on A&A..many current black comedians were interviewed, including Redd Fox. All of them praised A&A.

  21. RangerAlways says:

    Kovacs was just plain genius. No one could get away doing Percy these days. Neither could the Nairobi Trio. Or Milton Berle dressed as a woman. Too bad so few people can decide what we see on TV. I have every Amos n Andy episode & love them. Hilarious stuff. I didn’t hear any white ppl complaining about Archie Bunker. Because…it…was…funny. Maybe that’s why old TV is so well liked. We can see the humor in it. It was great TV & was better than anything on today & I’ve got 250 channels.

  22. ChesterFanningChorno says:

    I was amazed when Colbert recently put on weird glasses and referenced Percy Dovetonsils during the segment. Hilarious!

  23. GodsFavoriteBassPlyr says:

    My Gahd, Funny Stuff!

  24. tallpaul521 says:

    Frankin’s name and Kovacs should not even be mentioned in the same sentence.
    Wow is right!!! — sad.

  25. ACcountryFan says:

    I have HEE-HAW dvd’s and in some of them Roy does the ‘Claude Strawberry’ character. i never knew it was a parody of Ernie Kovacs’ character, though.

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