NY1 DVD Review: "The Ernie Kovacs Collection," "Car 54 Where Are You?"
"The Ernie Kovacs Collection" and "Car 54 Where Are You?" are just two of the latest offerings on DVD. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
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There's two new noteworthy DVD sets hitting the market this month that will be of particular interest to fans of vintage TV comedy.
Ernie Kovacs was not only a TV pioneer, he was a unique and brilliant innovator who transformed the way people looked at television in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Experimenting with a medium that was in its infancy, he pushed the boundaries of technology that was available at the time to hilarious effect.
His quick sight gags and off-beat style of humor influenced dozens of other TV comics and comedy shows, from David Letterman and Saturday Night Live to Monty Python and Laugh In, just to name a few.
His widow and co-star Edie Adams meticulously saved much of the footage from his programs and The Ernie Kovacs Collection is a wonderful six DVD set that features more than 13 hours of classic Kovacs bits.
Watching this stuff 50 years later, it's still very funny and features all of his signature characters and skits.
It only ran from 1961-1963, but "Car 54 Where Are You?" was a classic New York sitcom that was shot entirely on location. Created by Nat Hiken, who also created Phil Silvers Sergeant Bilko show, Car 54 captures a time and place in the city that is now long gone.
The setting is a fictional precinct in the Bronx and follows the misadventures of two of New York's finest.
Starring Fred Gwynne and Joe E. Ross, along with a fine tuned supporting cast, the writing is bright, clever and at times uproarious.
The complete first season is available for the first time on DVD and the 30 episodes are loaded with unique New York humor as these policeman and members of their precinct deal with all sorts of amusing predicaments.
Plus there's wonderful vintage shots of the Bronx from the era sprinkled throughout.
TV buffs take note that Gwynne and cast member Al Lewis went on to star in TV's "The Munsters."