Comedian Harry Shearer will receive the Ernie Kovacs Award at The Video Association of Dallas’ Dallas VideoFest (DVF) on October 17, 2014. For the past two decades, Shearer has enjoyed enormous success and planted the fruits of his talents in the heads of millions worldwide thanks to his voice work for THE SIMPSONS, where he plays a stable of characters: most notably Mr. Burns, Smithers, and insufferable neighbor Ned Flanders. The award presentation will take place at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Ln., Dallas, TX 75206, on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m.
ERNIE KOVACS AWARD
The Ernie Kovacs Award recognizes the career and talents of some of television’s greatest visionaries. Ernie Kovacs' work in the 1950s and early 1960s summed up the spirit of innovation and the development of the language of television art. VideoFest revived the Ernie Kovacs Award last year. The Kovacs Award was revived last year when “Martin & Rowan’s Laugh-In” creator, George Schlatter accepted his award.
“I was a huge Kovacs fan, watched his morning NBC show whenever I could arrange to be sick and home from school. Adored his ABC primetime show. I was on a panel of Kovac-o-philes at the Egyptian Theater about three years ago when they released a DVD collection of his stuff,” said Harry Shearer.
HARRY SHEARER’S WORK
Harry Shearer’s most recent project is a new TV comedy-drama, six-part series based on real-life recordings from President Nixon’s Oval Office co-written by Shearer and Stanley Kutler. Starring Shearer as Richard Nixon, NIXON’S THE ONE is made by one of the most respected and prolific UK TV production companies, Hat Trick. SkyArts, a British television channel, aired NIXON’S THE ONE earlier this year. For its US release, the show is debuting as a free online series on October 21, 2014 via My Damn Channel: http://www.mydamnchannel.com/channel/harry_shearer_40.
Movie audiences will know Shearer best for his collaborations with Christopher Guest and friends. The most famous of these is the granddaddy of all mock-umentaries, THIS IS SPINAL TAP (with Rob Reiner and Michael McKean). The film revealed the concepts of spontaneously combusting drummers and amps that go up to 11. Spinal Tap, the band, has enjoyed worldwide success performing live, and 5 years ago stole the show at the Live Earth concert at Wembley, London. In 2009, Harry, Christopher and Michael reunited to tour an acoustic version of Spinal Tap songs as themselves in the Unwigged and Unplugged tour (which is available on DVD) and returned as Derek Smalls, Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins to play Glastonbury and Wembley Arena with the volume turned up to 11. Other Christopher Guest collaborations have included: A MIGHTY WIND and FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.
“Harry Shearer is a media Renaissance man. He has created memorial characters on TV, been apart of the most famous fake rock band ever (Spinal Tap), and has a powerful weekly radio show (Le Show). In fact, that show is so cool that a friend used to send me cassettes from Le Show before you could get them on a podcast! After all, it has been on since December 1982!” said Bart Weiss, founder, Video Association of Dallas and artistic director, Dallas VideoFest.
“Like Kovacs, he has shaped a career inside the beast of show business while maintaining a true independent spirit. His latest show, ‘Nixon’s The One,’ is a brilliant blend of real documents of the time and a unique stylized performance creating some very original television content. So Kovacs,” concluded Weiss.
HISTORY OF DVF’S KOVACS AWARDS
The Dallas Video Festival and the Video Association of Dallas announced the first Ernie Kovacs Award at the 1997 Festival. Comedian Joel Hodgson of “Mystery Science 3000” was the first recipient and subsequent annual honorees include “Monty Python’s” Terry Gilliam; “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” writer/performer, Robert Smigel; Paul ("Pee-wee Herman") Reubens; Martin Mull; Texas’ own, Mike Judge; and “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” creator, George Schlatter. Edie Adams came to help host the Kovacs Award every year until her death in 2008.