Edie Adams and Ernie Kovacs (Ediad Productions)

Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams

April 27–May 27, 2012

Guest curated by Ben Model

Ernie Kovacs was a comic genius and a television pioneer whose inventive use of the medium inspired countless performers, directors, and video artists. In addition to creating such indelible characters as Percy Dovetonsils, Matzoh Hepplewhite, and Uncle Gruesome, Kovacs invented a distinctly modern form of comedy that playfully subverted the television medium.

The gifted singer/performer Edie Adams was his on-screen partner and his wife; they first appeared on television together in 1951, on the Philadelphia show Three to Get Ready, and appeared on screen consistently, on all four networks, until Kovacs’ death in 1962. Edie Adams then hosted her own shows, Here’s Edie and later The Edie Adams Show, which showcased her own remarkable talent and featured iconic jazz and classical performances from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Andre Previn; popular singers Sammy Davis, Jr., Bobby Darin, and Nancy Wilson; comedians such as Buddy Hackett, Bob Hope, and Rowan & Martin, as well as actors Peter Falk, Sir Michael Redgrave, and Zsa Zsa Gabor. This retrospective will look at their remarkable partnership, celebrating the best of Kovacs’s work, and restoring Adams’s solo career to its rightful place in television history.

Compilations of archival material selected will play throughout the month in the Fox Amphitheater.