Ernie Kovacs exhibit to spotlight early television comedic 'genius'

Jan 24, 2019

The National Comedy Center will give the public its first glimpse of creative papers and artifacts that belonged to the late comedian Ernie Kovacs.

Comedian Ernie Kovacs was killed at age 42, but influenced early television and those who came after.
Credit National Comedy Center

The materials have been packed away since Kovacs' death nearly 60 years ago, but his estate is collaborating with the Jamestown comedy museum to showcase it beginning in August.

"“We are so pleased to partner with the National Comedy Center to celebrate Ernie Kovacs’ centennial,” said Josh Mills, executive for the Kovacs estate and son of actress/comedienne Edie Adams, who was Kovacs’ wife, co-star, and creative collaborator. “Most of this material has never been exhibited before, so it’s an unprecedented, first-hand look at Ernie’s comedic genius and his unique approach to his work.”

The National Comedy Center announced plans for "The Ernie Kovacs Centennial Exhibit" on Wednesday, what would have been the television star's 100th birthday. Kovacs, who has been called "Television's Original Genius," was killed in a car crash at age 42.

National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gundersen said the Kovacs exhibit will give a rare glimpse into the early history of television and the innovative mind who "influenced generations of comedians and entertainers." It will debut during the five-day Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, which begins Aug. 7.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.