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Thread: Ernie Kovacs

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    Ernie Kovacs

    [SIZE=3]We still haven't caught up to him. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3]Genius, entertainer, comedian can be summed up to this man. [/SIZE]

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    If I recall correctly he had been in attendance at a party in January 1962, and I can't recall why, but he swapped cars with his wife (EDIE ADAMS) which was a Corvair and driving home in the rain he was attempting to light a cigar and lost control of the car which crossed a concrete abutment & crashed, killing him instantly.

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    I think I read somewhere that he had a daughter who also died in a car crash at a young age.

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    I think he's great! I don't know about his daughter...that would be too bad if it's true!
    peek-a-boo!!

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    Jack Lemmon played in the Narobi Trio once.

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    I read somewhere that they had published a picture in the paper of him in the car wreck. I haven't been able to find it though.

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    he was steve allens [i know] main guest host on the tonight! show.

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    Ernie drove a rolls royce separately to a party where he met up with his wife. Since it was raining pretty hard when it was time to leave, he had Edie take the much heavier and stable car. His daughter Mia Susan Kovacs died 20 years later in a car accident at age 22. They are buried next to each other.

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    Ernie Kovacs was nothing short of Brilliant.
    When I was a kid, I was addicted to his show (the reruns back in the '70's) heck, I even bought an Ernie Kovacs record! Great stuff on it.
    "Bruce a little more vermouth"- Percy Dovetonsils

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1karenhb View Post
    Ernie drove a rolls royce separately to a party where he met up with his wife. Since it was raining pretty hard when it was time to leave, he had Edie take the much heavier and stable car. His daughter Mia Susan Kovacs died 20 years later in a car accident at age 22. They are buried next to each other.
    yeah, thats it, Mia died in very similar circumstances as her dad.
    i think that her passenger in the car survived.

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    Ernie

    Sadly, not only did Ernie's daughter Mia die in a car accident, but his other daughter Kippie also died awhile back. She is buried with them too. I assume that Edie Adams (Mia's mother) will be buried in the same plot when her time comes.

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    Ernie Kovacs was pure comedic genius. I still miss him.

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    I was told that he died in great debt and that Edie Adams did all of those Tiparillo commercials for years to pay off the debt. She was sooo classy, that it made you admire him more that he was with her.

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    Did anyone see the TV movie, "Ernie Kovacs:Between the Laughter" with Jeff Goldblum as Ernie? It came out in 1984. I thought Goldblum did a good job with the character.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KELT View Post
    If I recall correctly he had been in attendance at a party in January 1962, and I can't recall why, but he swapped cars with his wife (EDIE ADAMS) which was a Corvair and driving home in the rain he was attempting to light a cigar and lost control of the car which crossed a concrete abutment & crashed, killing him instantly.
    I heard the same thing. Interestingly enough, there's a list somewhere on the internet that shows the names of famous people who have died as a result of tobacco use. For example, Sammy Davis Jr. was a heavy smoker and died of lung cancer. But they also listed Ernie Kovacs because he was killed while trying to light a cigar. It's bad enough to die in a car accident, but dying in a car crash because you were trying to light a cigar?
    Any day above ground is a good day.

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    Edie remained devoted...

    Quote Originally Posted by KELT View Post
    If I recall correctly he had been in attendance at a party in January 1962, and I can't recall why, but he swapped cars with his wife (EDIE ADAMS) which was a Corvair and driving home in the rain he was attempting to light a cigar and lost control of the car which crossed a concrete abutment & crashed, killing him instantly.

    For a period of time I worked in the Flower Shop at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, which is where Ernie Kovacs is interred. Ms. Adams used to come into the shop at least weekly to purchase flowers before she went to visit his grave. She was always a kind, lovely lady. I felt sad that the tragedy of losing her husband still had such a hold on her, so very many years later.
    Rhiannon

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    I once read a Kovacs biography! Fascinating - he was very innovative. I loved his role in the film 'Bell, book and Candle' - so many greats in that one!

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    [attach]16588[/attach]
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Fron the videos on You Tube, Ernie was "One big hangin man!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PimGn...eature=related

    Look at him in the beginning of this, he must've been going "Comando!"
    Last edited by Sam; 11-14-2009 at 06:27 PM.

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    Though Edie went on to marry and divorce two more times, I think Ernie was always the love of her life and her true soul mate.


    Here is Ernie and Edie's grave site where their daughter Mia and Ernie's daughter Kippie also rests.



    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...&GRid=30618541
    Rudolph Valentino 1895-1926

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    Edie and Ernie on Lucy....

    Was it the last episode of ILL?

    Ernie is a story that I want to put together, but of course, it's up to Scott.

    Does anyone here want to see an Ernie story????



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    Quote Originally Posted by Kman0072 View Post
    Was it the last episode of ILL?

    Ernie is a story that I want to put together, but of course, it's up to Scott.

    Does anyone here want to see an Ernie story????


    YES! I barely remember him, but weren't he and Edie susposed to me in IAMMMMW?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Fron the videos on You Tube, Ernie was "One big hangin man!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PimGn...eature=related

    Look at him in the beginning of this, he must've been going "Comando!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kman0072 View Post
    Was it the last episode of ILL?

    Ernie is a story that I want to put together, but of course, it's up to Scott.

    Does anyone here want to see an Ernie story????




    I would love that!
    Rudolph Valentino 1895-1926

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Fron the videos on You Tube, Ernie was "One big hangin man!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PimGn...eature=related

    Look at him in the beginning of this, he must've been going "Comando!"


    Wow. Now I know what people mean when they talk about a third leg!
    Rudolph Valentino 1895-1926

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Lights View Post


    [attach]16588[/attach]
    Ernie's death was one of the things that killed the Corvair after Ralph Nadar published his book. "Unsafe At Any Speed".

    "The Sporty Corvair"
    The subject for which the book is probably most widely known is covered in the first chapter, General Motors' Chevrolet Corvair. The chapter is subtitled "The One-Car Accident". The 1960–1963 Corvairs had a rear engine and a suspension design which was prone to "tuck under" in certain circumstances and which required drivers to maintain proper tire pressures which were outside of the tire manufacturer's recommended tolerances for the tire. The tires had an unusually high front:rear differential (15psi front, 26psi rear, when cold; 18 psi and 30psi hot). The tire pressures were more critical than for most contemporaneous designs, but this was not made explicitly clear to salespeople or owners. According to the standards laid down by the Tire and Rim Association, the relevant industry body, the pressures also rendered the front tires overloaded when there were two or more passengers on board. An unadvertised at-cost option (#696) included upgraded springs and dampers, front anti-roll bars and rear axle rebound straps to prevent tuck-under. Aftermarket kits were also available, such as the EMPI Camber Compensator, for the knowledgeable owner. The suspension design was modified for the 1964 model year, just far enough ahead of publication to allow its inclusion in the book; most significantly a second, outboard constant velocity joint was added to maintain a constant camber angle at the wheels. Corvairs from 1965 on were of this type and did not suffer the characteristic tuck-under crashes.
    In more recent years, the perceived problems with the Corvair has been recognized as due to driver unfamililarity with the handling characteristics of the Corvair's design. [1]
    George Caramagna, the Chevrolet supension mechanic, who Ralph learned had fought management for costing out the vital anti-sway bar that they were forced to install in later models was vital to this issue. The missing bar caused many crashes when drivers drove the car beyond its limits and it was George who precipitated the whole controversy by staying his ground on the issue.

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    His work was so innovative and hip for it's time.

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    RIP, Ernie.

    You were way ahead of your time.

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    I don't believe the poor handling problem on the first generation Corvairs was so much due to the front tires being overloaded as it was due to the excessive camber change the rear wheels underwent as they traveled vertically. Due to the swing axle design they would pass through a large degree of camber change, that's to say as the rear of the car went up the tires would "hang down" and tuck under the car. This would cause massive and uncontrollable oversteer.

    The recommended tire pressures were a patchwork attempt to mitigate this, but this itself was a problem as these pressures were so far outside the norm that when a mechanic saw them while checking a car he (reasonably) thought it to be wrong and "corrected" it, further exacerbating the ill handling.

    Porsche 911's suffered from this as well a early Mercedes and VW Bugs. As was previously mentioned, an aftermarket parts company, EMPI, offered a "Camber Compensator" for the Bugs which was very successful in taming this. The sad irony is that when the second generation Corvair came out it had a very good suspension but GM couldn't dare mention this without in effect admitting how poor their original design was.

    I've blathered on quite enough about the damn car, time to talk about the man. What an uber genius! It always struck me as odd that here was a master of the visual arts who if he had been born a couple decades earlier could've been one of the great silent comedians! Think about the irony, he excelled in the modern electronic media using the new technology to do what his forefathers did with what was *their* modern technology!

    And then to consider the following history of mass media and how it seems to have developed in cycles:
    VISUAL: Art, drawings, paintings etc
    AUDIO: Then was sound recording (records)
    VISUAL: Photography then movies
    AUDIO: Radio
    VISUAL/AUDIO: Movies and then TV

    Yeah, I'm a crackpot. But one who majored in filmmaking, animation and cartooning in school. But why do I get greasy for a living? Toldja I'm a crackpot.
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    Last edited by Bessolo; 11-24-2010 at 10:03 PM.

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    Bessolo this engineer thanks you for the post. It was very informative.
    Also I think Ernie was way ahead of his time and Edie was a realy Lady and a great wife for him.
    He certainly paved the way for Laugh In and the Smothers Brothers etc.
    RIP Ernie and Edie!
    Regards,
    Mary

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    I didn't know Corvair made station wagons! As far as Ernie Kovacs is concerned, he was a REAL HOOT!!! Hopefully now, he is with all the ladies of his life. Even though Kovacs was ahead of my time, I enjoy watching him on reruns.

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    Post

    Technically, GM made Chevy who made Corvairs

    Not only was there a Corvair wagon, but there was convertible, 2 door and sedan (in both hardtop and post roof), and even a van along with a pickup truck version of the van.

    As if that wasn't enough, there was also a high performance Monza Spyder package that included a turbocharger.

    Back to the great one. Even when he was performing he appeared quite taciturn to me, low key and kinda grumpy. I wonder if this was just a facade and if off camera he was more cheerful. I've known many comdeians who when not performing appear to be escapees from a depression clinic.

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    Ernie's TV show was incredible. When PBS showed all the episodes many years ago, I was hooked. He really was ahead of his time. I also loved the music too.

    I saw the picture of him after his accident. It wasn't pretty.
    Cindy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I saw the picture of him after his accident. It wasn't pretty.
    I'll say what a large percentage here are probably thinking: Please post it! (or pm it to me) Yeah, I'm a morbid sumbish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bessolo View Post
    Porsche 911's suffered from this as well a early Mercedes and VW Bugs. As was previously mentioned, an aftermarket parts company, EMPI, offered a "Camber Compensator" for the Bugs which was very successful in taming this. The sad irony is that when the second generation Corvair came out it had a very good suspension but GM couldn't dare mention this without in effect admitting how poor their original design was.
    Wikipedia: The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a press release dated August 12, 1972, setting out the findings of NHTSA testing from the previous year — after the Corvair had been out of production for more than three years. NHTSA had conducted a series of comparative tests in 1971 studying the handling of the 1963 Corvair and four contemporary cars, a Ford Falcon, Plymouth Valiant, Volkswagen Beetle, Renault Dauphine — along with a second generation Corvair (with its completely redesigned, independent rear suspension). The subsequent 143-page report (PB 211-015, available from NTIS) reviewed NHTSA's extreme-condition handling tests, national accident data for the cars in the test as well as General Motors/Chevrolet internal documentation regarding the Corvair’s handling.[27] NHTSA went on to contract an independent advisory panel of engineers to review the tests. This review panel issued their own 24 page report (PB 211-014, available from NTIS) — which concluded that "the 1960-63 Corvair compares favorably with contemporary vehicles used in the tests...the handling and stability performance of the 1960-63 Corvair does not result in an abnormal potential for loss of control or rollover, and it is at least as good as the performance of some contemporary vehicles both foreign and domestic."
    Last edited by Maxster; 11-25-2010 at 11:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bessolo View Post
    I'll say what a large percentage here are probably thinking: Please post it! (or pm it to me) Yeah, I'm a morbid sumbish.
    Ha! I'm a morbid sumbish too! Let me try to hunt it down. Just can't remember where I saw it (that's what happens when you get old!). In the meantime, here is a picture of Ernie as Percy Dovetonsils to hold you over.
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    Cindy

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    Haven't read that NHSTA report, I wonder if they account for incorrect tire pressures. While I don't mean to boast of my driving skills but I'm here to tell ya that early Corvairs, some Beetles and 911's can get awful squirrely...and if they can be a handful for me one can only imagine what the average person (especially one that had been drinking) might encounter.

    Percy Dovetonsils causes me incontinence!

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    Edie's and Ernie's daughter died about 20 feet from the site of Ernie's fatal accident. (cue "Twilight Zone" type of music) I read on Google that she was ejected from the sunroof of her car.
    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

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    I'm also hearing the music from One Step Beyond. How bee-zar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanwench View Post
    Edie's and Ernie's daughter died about 20 feet from the site of Ernie's fatal accident. (cue "Twilight Zone" type of music) I read on Google that she was ejected from the sunroof of her car.

    Very bizarre. Reminds me of the Berry Oakley/Duane Allman accidents. I heard it was only a few blocks between each accident. But 20 feet? Creepy.
    Cindy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bessolo View Post
    Haven't read that NHSTA report, I wonder if they account for incorrect tire pressures. While I don't mean to boast of my driving skills but I'm here to tell ya that early Corvairs, some Beetles and 911's can get awful squirrely...and if they can be a handful for me one can only imagine what the average person (especially one that had been drinking) might encounter.

    Percy Dovetonsils causes me incontinence!
    Kovacs was one of my favorites, and i understood his humor a lot more when i got older
    As to the cars, wouldn't the fact that these cars had the motor in the rear make a difference in the handling? I have driven VW bugs and corvairs, and they do handle differently from front-motor cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geekygirl View Post
    I heard the same thing. Interestingly enough, there's a list somewhere on the internet that shows the names of famous people who have died as a result of tobacco use. For example, Sammy Davis Jr. was a heavy smoker and died of lung cancer. But they also listed Ernie Kovacs because he was killed while trying to light a cigar. It's bad enough to die in a car accident, but dying in a car crash because you were trying to light a cigar?
    From my post earlier in this thread, the accident didn't have anything to do with the car. It was caused by driver distraction.
    Any day above ground is a good day.

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    I always thought this accident happened in my neighborhood, just a few blocks from where I live. But the article says it was half a block from the Beverly Hills Hilton. That would make it about a mile from where I live.

    According to this it was in my neighborhood which isn't a half-block from Beverly Hills Hilton.

    http://nndb.com/people/412/000022346/
    Last edited by GravesEnd; 11-30-2010 at 06:17 PM.
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    I can't make this link work, maybe someone else can? uv.quasimodo.no/generosity-ernie-kovacs-corpse-dead/
    Image may be subject to copyright
    [SIZE=3][/SIZE]

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    Ernie was part of the generation of memorable 50's comics, Steve Allen, Louis Nye, Tom Poston ...

    He had a permanent slot as host on the Tonight Show.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046652/
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    Quote Originally Posted by microsonic66 View Post
    I can't make this link work, maybe someone else can? uv.quasimodo.no/generosity-ernie-kovacs-corpse-dead/
    Image may be subject to copyright
    Doesn't work for me either and Archive.org doesn't have it in their memory. I deleted the part after the domain and it brought me to a log in page so perhaps the link you posted requires the visitor to log in first?

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    I got the link to finally load (it took a while), but it's not showing Ernie's body (but there is a photo of Ernie when he was alive).

    I can't believe I can't find the photo that I've seen years ago. It may have been on E!'s Hollywood Mystery and Scandals show. Ernie was laying on his seat, with the drivers door open, head facing out the open door. There was some blood on his head from his skull fracture. I want to say there was a cigar near by and matches, but don't hold me to it.
    Cindy

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    Ok, just finished "wasting" some time surfing this here interweb and found the following pix. This view of the wagon was purloined from a Corvair website. Here's a link to a related thread: http://corvaircenter.com/phorum/read...,197976,page=1

    At one point the there's a bit of a red herring which depicts a Corvair coupe, that is NOT the car Ernie died in...his (actually Edie's) car was a wagon. Whether he was drunk, trying to light a cigar or if the road conditions contributed to the accident the bottom line is that the car was a major factor in the accident (IMHO) because a spin out in a Corvair is essentially unrecoverable.

    Check out the pic of him wearing that padded suit, got me to wondering if that's where David Byrne from the Talking Heads got the idea from.
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