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Screens & Tech

Ernie Kovacs: 'Ernie Kovacs: The ABC Specials'

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Accompanying the treasure trove that is the 2011 six-disc Ernie Kovacs Collection, Shout Factory has just released a single-disc anthology of TV specials the legendary comedian made in late 1961, just before his untimely death. It's a fantastic batch of work that includes some of his best sketches. The DVD is jam-packed with his whole range of humor: straight-up Vaudeville howlers, surreal inversions of cliché, and perfectly timed visual gag montages set to brilliantly incongruous music. It's also evidence of Kovacs' brilliant visual and auditory sensibilities, which, it's clear seeing them now, were far ahead of their time. As a special bonus, the disc contains a collection of the commercials he made for Dutch Masters cigars; given free reign to make them, they showcase Kovacs' grand sense of humor and almost come off as bits out of his shows rather than interruptions of them. This is a must-own for fans of sharp comedy.

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