Television: Utility Expert

Ernie Kovacs, 38, is the one television comedian who finds most of his tee-hee in TV itself. He is a big (6 ft. 2 in., 200 Ibs.), messy, cigar-frazzling buffoon who uses cameras, sets, sound effects to make rowdy electronic fun. He may duel and play poker with himself or shoot a hole through his head and blow smoke through it. Once he appeared to viewers inside a huge bottle, holding an umbrella to keep off the rain. He was slowly submerged, then he tapped the bottle with a hammer; and glass, water and Kovacs spilled onstage. Curling his lip over...

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