Ok, as mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we’ve been tougher than usual with this week’s Monday quiz.
Ernie Kovacs was a renowned TV comedian in the medium’s relatively early years with a creatively twisted comic sense that remains remarkably contemporary today.
Kovacs was versatile, an author and composer of pop music ditties among other comedic talents. And he was also a decent movie actor. His film career spans just five years from 1957 to 1962, the year he died just 10 days before his 43rd birthday.
We’re indebted here to author Diana Rico for her 1990 tome Kovacsland: A Biography of Ernie Kovacs (Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich).
On to our quiz answers. Questions are shown in Monday’s blog, so scroll right down ASAP.
1) Answer: c) Kovacs was almost never without a lengthy cigar. His fatal accident occured when he had taken his hands off the steering wheel in order to reach into his pockets for a stogie. It was nearly 2 a.m., Kovacs was driving swiftly and the streets were rain slicked. His car promptly went into a spin , jumped a median and slammed into a utility pole. The message is: never try to light a cigar while driving.
2) Answer: b) Alec Guiness. He and Kovacs became fast friends while making Our Man In Havana. Kovacs delighted in staging various pranks for Guiness benefit. The British actor grew “very fond” of Kovacs whom he described as being ” just about the funniest man I ever met.”
3) Answer: a), c) and d); all except b). As far as we know, Kovacs never bared his bottom for Maureen O’Hara’s edification. Remarked costar Guiness, “What he’d done was hired a whole lot of girls just to take their clothes off and sit around (Kovacs’ Havana hotel) room” reading magazines.
4) Answer: None of the above. The comedian-actor was born Jan. 23, 1919 in Trenton, New Jersey. Of Hungarian ancenstry, his real name was Ernest Edward Kovacs.
5) Answer: c) Edie Adams.
6) Answer: Like Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds and Dorothy Lamour, Edie Adams was saddled with the financial mess left by her husband. Although he was richly paid, Kovacs also richly spent without bothering to pay hommage to the Internal Revenue Service. Following his death, she went back to work right away, taking all offers to keep the tax agents at bay.
7) Answer: d) Edward G. Robinson. Cyd Charisse appeared with Kovacs in 1961’s Five Golden Hours. Dan Dailey in 1960’s Pepe. Robert Wagner in 1962’s Sail A Crooked Ship.
8) Answer: b) Jeff Goldblum. Melody Anderson played Edie Adams.
9) Answer: d) Yves Montand.
10) Answer: b) 11. Kovacs costarred with John Wayne in 1960’s North To Alaska. He plays an annoying dandy who comes out the losing end of a muddy fistfight with the Duke.