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Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter (1984)

The story of Ernie Kovacs, a talented radio and TV presenter and entertainer ahead of his time, who tried to make his shows as innovative and quirky as budget and censorship would allow. Ignored during life, celebrated after death.

Director:

Lamont Johnson

Writer:

April Smith
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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Goldblum ... Ernie Kovacs
Melody Anderson ... Edie Adams
Madolyn Smith Osborne ... Dorothy Kovacs
John Glover ... Pierre Lafitte
Cloris Leachman ... Mary Kovacs
Joseph Mascolo ... Richards
Jordan Charney ... Harry Ascot
Francis X. McCarthy ... Judge (as Frank McCarthy)
Lois De Banzie Lois De Banzie ... Mrs. Enke
Murphy Dunne Murphy Dunne ... Leon Lane
Steven M. Porter ... Rusty Valentine
Edie Adams ... Mae West
Fran Bennett Fran Bennett ... Miss Deal
Weldon Bleiler Weldon Bleiler ... Bum Detective (as Weldon Boyce Bleiler)
Bryan Englund Bryan Englund ... Cab Driver
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Storyline

The story of Ernie Kovacs, a talented radio and TV presenter and entertainer ahead of his time, who tried to make his shows as innovative and quirky as budget and censorship would allow. Ignored during life, celebrated after death.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ernie Kovacs See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ABC Circle Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Great little movie made for TV--Nostalgia City!
23 July 2000 | by paluskaSee all my reviews

I just happened upon this great little 1984 made-for-TV (ABC) movie starring Jeff Goldblum who is dead-on Ernie Kovacs. Great direction, music and even a cameo by Edie Adams (Ernie's widow, by whom this story is based)playing Mae West. Plus just watching all the 1950s cars go by. Nostalgia city!

Not only is the direction by veteran Lamont Johnson wonderful, but the casting by Lynn Stalmaster is just superb! The two Kovacs daughters are delightful (especially the younger's reply at the end to Ernie's admonition about still sucking her thumb!).

The picture captures the wacky, frenetic pace--and true life--that was Ernie Kovacs. How to film all this, with kids screaming "they want their mommy," and yet keep Goldblum and the Edie Adams actress true to their characters is marvelous.

Special commendation, too, to a real pro: Cloris Leachman, who plays Ernie's mother. Her walking around with no underwear and just long-sleave men's shirts, while speaking with a thick Hungarian accent and broken English, is just spellbinding.

Don't miss this great little movie when it's on: I had wanted to watch it because I thought it was a 2-hour Biography on A&E; instead, as a movie made for TV, it was almost a better biography (save for no beginning about Ernie or his tragic death in a car accident and later great help by Edie to pay all of his IRS and other debts).


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