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Ernie Kovacs - "Eugene" Part 1

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Uploaded on Feb 14, 2010

[From "Kovacs Corner" on YouTube.com] - This was one the last video productions completed by Ernie before his death in 1962. "Eugene" was a character from his 1957 Emmy Award winning 30 minute NBC special "The Silent Show". By drawing together gags from his previous live shows, like the "Tilted Table", and combining them with new production techniques, like video superimpositions, Ernie left a final artistic work which could be reasonably classified alongside Charlie Chaplin, Marcel Marceau, and Buster Keaton. Way before chroma key, green screen, and CGI, Ernie tested the artistic elements of the new medium and it's primitive, by today's standards, video special effects. His early career in radio also made him open to the complimentary effects of sound and music, and not just the visual side of the medium. He no doubt gave many of today's on and off screen television and internet based talent the inspiration for their current work. The fact that Kovacs could take whatever shoestring budget he had, and make the best out of it, proves that imagination and talent have no limitations.

[Updated December 12, 2010] - Eugene introductory music is Dmitri Shostakovich's "The Age of Gold Suite, Op. 22a, Polka".

[Updated January 25, 2011] - In 1957, Ernie Kovacs received the Sylvania Award for his work on the 1957 NBC special. As a result of the publicity for this TV special, Kovacs received a movie offer from Columbia Studios (which resulted in his role in the film Operation Mad Ball), and appeared on the cover of the April 15, 1957 issue of LIFE magazine.

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