Percy Dovetonsils...Thpeaks

Percy Dovetonsils...Thpeaks

by Ernie KovacsErnie Kovacs


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Out of all the skewed and visionary comedy that Ernie Kovacs created in the '50s and early '60s, his effete poet Percy Dovetonsils is among the most enduring. Percy must have been among Kovacs' favorite characters to perform, since he recorded an entire album of Dovetonsils' whimsical odes, Percy Dovetonsils … Thpeaks, in 1960. However, the album was lost for nearly half a century until it was rediscovered in 2008 when the Ernie Kovacs Collection DVD set was being researched and compiled. Due to label conflicts, the album was shelved and the master tapes were given back to Kovacs, who donated them to a Hollywood hospital. In 1967, his widow, singer Edie Adams, regained the tapes and added them to her comprehensive archive of the comedian's work. Despite its long journey to release, Percy Dovetonsils … Thpeaks retains all of its mid-century wit and boasts smooth audio quality as Kovacs performs some of Percy's best-known poems, including "Ode to Stanley's Pussycat" and "Lament from a Germ's Eye Viewpoint." Combined with the gentle piano accompanying him, Dovetonsils' lisped musings (muthings?) are often more smile-inducing than laugh-out-loud funny, but the subtler side of Kovacs' humor shines through on "Happy Birthday to a Bookworm" and "Ode to Whistler's Mother," while "Some Pertinent Thoughts of Julius Caesar While He Was Being Assassinated" is a winner just for its title. Along with the thorough and fascinating liner notes -- which reveal, among other things, that Percy was born in the early '50s when Kovacs' assistant presented him with a pair of gag eyeglasses -- … Thpeaks also includes bonus tracks taken from audio recordings of Kovacs' CBS television series Kovacs Unlimited. Among the best of these is "At Home with Lorelei Latour," which casts Dovetonsils as a fawning entertainment journalist and serves as a reminder that celebrity excess and the fascination with it is hardly new. Along with The Ernie Kovacs Collection, Percy Dovetonsils … Thpeaks is another welcome step in making Kovacs' humor widely available to new generations.

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