Edie Adams may be best remembered today as Sid Caesar’s paint-splattered partner-in-crime in “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.” But she was a woman of many talents who starred in her own television program as well as those of husband Ernie Kovacs, TV commercials (as The Muriel Cigar Girl) and Broadway shows like “Li’l Abner,” which won her a Tony Award.
The one thing she didn’t do—which made her an anomaly in her era—was make a holiday record. Son Josh Mills has now rectified that by putting together “The Edie Adams Christmas Album featuring Ernie Kovacs” (available on CD from Omnivore Recordings). The 15-track album is a delightful compilation of previously unissued recordings from the comedy pioneer’s 1952 TV show, complete with adlibs.
Edie is also well in evidence on “The Ernie Kovacs Collection Volume 2” (newly available on DVD from Shout Factory), notably as ditzy Miss Dried Apricot of 1956 in an interview sketch. Ernie gives us a hilarious lineup of looney characters: Percy Dovetonsils, the martini-swilling poet laureate of the show, reciting “An Ode to Electricity;” Miklos Molnar, doing a glue commercial in a thick Hungarian accent; screechy-voiced Hollywood reporter Skodney Silsky, illusionist Matzoh Hepplewhite, etc.
Kovacs plays a medicine show huckster with a young nephew in his charge in an unaired pilot for “Medicine Man.” Buster Keaton co-stars as his Native American accomplice but there’s nothing appropriately off-the-wall about this pairing of comic surrealists taped shortly before Ernie’s tragic death in Jan. 1962; it’s basically watered-down Damon Runyon. There are also three episodes of Kovacs’ oddball game show “Take a Good Look” and other rare goodies.
More from Jordan:
Revisiting Hollywood legends Marlene Dietrich, Boris Karloff on DVD
Celebrating the 60th birthday of John Ford’s ‘The Quiet Man’
Edward G. Robinson & Joel McCrea on Blu-ray, directors talk shop http://rootshed.com/article/edward-g-robinson-joel-mccrea-on-blu-ray-directors-talk-shop
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