Brilliant. Innovative. Wacky. Original.
Ernie Kovacs was all of the above and so much more. With his bushy eyebrows, mustache and ever-present cigar, Kovacs was one of the craziest and most visionary comedians to emerge during the Golden Age of TV in the 1950s.
He pushed the visual envelope on his comedy-variety series "Ernie in Kovacsland" and "The Ernie Kovacs Show," and in his comedy specials. Kovacs also created the hysterically funny and beloved characters Percy Dovetonsils, Mr. Question Man and the Nariobi Trio.
His crazy sketches and characters, such as the sidesplitting musical parody as a gorilla "Swan Lake" ballet, the woman-in-the-tub bits, Percy Dovetonsils reading "Leslie the Mean Animal Trainer" and an interview with painter Mother Rustic, made his television shows unique.
Kovacs changed the way viewers watched television. His influence could be seen on many of the comedy shows that followed, including "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In."