Ernie Kovacs was an American comedian, actor, writer, and director.
Kovacs's visually experimental and often spontaneous comedic style influenced numerous television comedy programs for years after his death. Many individuals and shows, such as Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, Saturday Night Live, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Jim Henson, Chevy Chase, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Dave Garroway, and many others have credited Kovacs as an influence. Chevy Chase thanked Kovacs during his acceptance speech for his Emmy award for Saturday Night Live.
While Kovacs received an Emmy nomination for best performance in a comedy series during 1957, his talent was not recognized formally until after his death.
The 1962 Emmy for outstanding electronic camera work and the Directors' Guild award came a short time after his fatal automobile accident.
Kovacs also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in television.
Ernie Kovacs was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987.