As a teenager
Ernie Kovacs (January 23, 1919 – January 13, 1962) was an American comedian, actor, and writer. Kovacs' uninhibited, often ad-libbed, and visually experimental comedic style came to influence numerous television comedy programs for years after his death in an automobile accident. Many iconic and diverse shows are credited with having been influenced by Kovacs, such as Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, Saturday Night Live, The Uncle Floyd Show, Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street, The Electric Company. Kovacs was killed in an automobile accident in Los Angeles in the early morning hours of January 13, 1962. While Kovacs and his wife, Edie Adams, received Emmy nominations for best performances in a comedy series in 1957, his talent was not formally recognized until after his death. The 1962 Emmy for outstanding electronic camera work and the Directors' Guild award came a short time after his fatal accident. A quarter century later, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Kovacs also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in television. In 1986, the Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media) presented an exhibit of Kovacs' work, called The Vision of Ernie Kovacs.