From 1950 until he died in an auto accident in 1962, Ernie Kovacs created some of the most inventive and unusual television ever made. A new box set collects more than 13 hours of the TV pioneer's best and rarest programs. TV critic David Bianculli says it's "a mandatory purchase for anyone who loves TV."
Lehrer, whose topical songs include "Pollution" and "The Vatican Rag," is the subject of a new multimedia release called The Tom Lehrer Collection. David Bianculli reviews the two-disc set, which includes Lehrer's greatest hits and never-before-seen concert footage.
Dick and Tom Smothers of the comedy duo The Smothers Brothers. In 1967, their show The Smothers Brothers Comedy hour first went on the air. The show has been credited with helping pave the way for a new generation of TV comedy shows including Saturday Night Live. (REBROADCAST from a 12/31/1985 interview.)
In 1955, Ford had a hit with his version of Merle Travis' "Sixteen Tons." Later, he was known for his gospel music and daytime and evening television shows. A new collection of his hits, "16 Tons of Boogie" is out on Rhino records.
Comedian Imogene Coca. Coca is a television legend, co-starring with Sid Caeser on the groundbreaking comedy series, "Your Show of Shows," in the 1950s. Since then, Coca's had numerous roles on TV, on stage, and in movies. Imogene Coca is teeming up with Sid Caesar once again, for a series of appearances at Michael's Pub in New York City, beginning April 17th.
Film director Carl Reiner. He was a writer and appeared in "Sid Caesar's Show of Shows." He's best-known to baby boomer audiences as the creator and writer of "The Dick Van Dyke Show." He also staged several Broadway plays, including "Enter Laughing," which is based on his novel and which he later adapted to the screen. Since then, he has concentrated on film direction, specifically comedies.