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TV on DVD: Ernie Kovacs was Jon Stewart’s great grandfather

In television on 04/19/2011 at 8:58 am

Okay, 1950s television and comedy pioneer Ernie Kovacs was NOT, strictly speaking if we must keep to the actual facts, the biological great grandfather to fake news icon Jon Stewart, host of the weeknight news satire The Daily Show (Monday-Thursday 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Network, 12:05 a.m. on CTV).

But they come from the same DNA and making the connection is as certain a way as can be found right now to shed a bit of light on the work of Kovacs, an actor, comedian and talk-show … inventor! in the 1950s, through to 1962 when he died in a car accident in Los Angeles.

David Bianculli, who teaches TV history in New Jersey’s Rowan University, is not the only one this week to be talking up Kovacs; The Ernie Kovacs Collection is new on DVD and everybody is in on the act. But Bianculli doesn’t just know TV, he loves TV. Click here to read his review on NPR and trace the link from Kovacs to Stewart (or listen! multimedia like!). And while career retrospectives might not be the natural choice when you head to the DVD store this week or weekend, consider it. I’ve seen a few episodes of Kovacs talk-show work and he is gaspingly funny and then startlingly sober and urgent.

Here are a few more new releases t his week of TV on DVD:

The Lone Ranger: 10 Legendary Episodes

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Complete Sixth Season

Glee Encore

If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise

See you next week.

Denise Duguay


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