Back to All Events

Stand Up! Records Presents: The Ernie Kovacs Centennial: 1919-2019


Friday, October 25, 2019
7:00 pm Doors // 8:00 pm Show
$15 Advance // $20 At The Door — On sale Friday October 4
All Ages

Facebook RSVP

A tribute to television's original comedic genius, celebrating the 100th birthday year of the legendary comedian, actor, writer, composer, and entertainer Ernie Kovacs.

Along with highlights and rarely-seen footage from his extraordinary career, the evening will feature a panel of Kovacs experts, aficionados, and admirers -- moderated by writer, musician and filmmaker Chris Strouth and including best-selling author & comedy historian Neal Karlen, Grammy Award-winning comedy producer Dan Schlissel, actor & cult icon Rich Kronfield, Kovacs historian and executor of the Kovacs estate Josh Mills, and a musical interlude from the Nairobi Trio! The first 100 attendees will receive a limited edition signed and numbered 11x17 commemorative poster.

Known as "Television's original genius," comedian, actor, writer, composer, and entertainer Ernie Kovacs (1919-1962) was lauded for his cockeyed sense of humor, his surreal visual gags, and his subversive absurdist wit. Hailed as "The Godfather of Monty Python," the zany mustachioed '50s television star made an undeniable impact in comedy with his revolutionary use of special effects.

Kovacs' most famous quote was, "Television is often called a medium because it's neither rare nor well done." His pioneering comedic spirit influenced generations of comedic artists including Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel and Andy Kaufman -- and laid the groundwork for the creation of programming like "Saturday Night Live," "Pee-Wee's Playhouse," and "The Muppet Show."

Best known for his groundbreaking visual humor, Kovacs was posthumously nominated for a Grammy Award in 1977 for Best Comedy Album for The Ernie Kovacs Album, reissued for the first time ever in 2019 by Omnivore Recordings in celebration of his centennial. Kovacs was also a three-time Emmy Award nominee and posthumous Emmy winner, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, won a Directors Guild award, and was inducted into the Television Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.

Gone since 1962, Kovacs' work has not only survived via the dogged efforts of his wife, entertainer Edie Adams, but has had a second renaissance this past decade with the release of four DVD box sets from Shout! Factory, two audio releases, numerous live events, a centennial exhibition at the National Comedy Museum in New York, and coming in 2020, a coffee-table book from Fantagraphocs Books on Kovacs' writings, drawings, photographs and never-before-seen personal items from his archives.

Website // Facebook // Twitter

Boasting over 100 releases, Stand Up! Records is America's top independent comedy label. Taking cues from the golden age of comedy records and the broadcloth of American humor and armed with an iconic logo by no less a luminary than Shop Fairey, Stand Up! features a stable of artists from Maria Bamford to Patton Oswalt to Greg Proops. Based in Minneapolis and founded by an award-winning producer with an award-winning beard, Stand Up! is an unstoppable force in comedy.

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Earlier Event: October 24
Hellraiser (1987) 35mm Presentation
Later Event: October 26
Ghostbusters (1984 Digital)