Ah, THIS series takes me back to my childhood!
Ernie Kovacs, television's first true Renaissance Man, was not only a gifted actor, comedian, musician, and writer, but also was an unabashed fan of silent film, and he created "Silents Please" to share his love with a generation who had never experienced films without sound.
Sponsored by Muriel Cigars (remember Kovacs' wife, Edie Adams, bumping and grinding, while whispering, "Why don't you pick one up, and SMOKE it, some time?"), Kovacs would appear, in the same library setting he'd utilize for many of his comedy sketches, smoke a cigar, and introduce the evening's silent feature, in much the same manner as Bob Dorian would later do for American Movie Classics, and Robert Osborne, for Turner Classic Movies. Occasionally, a guest would join him to offer their insights, but this was really his segment, and his pleasure in discussing the featured film was obvious.
The films would, by necessity, be edited, and, in place of narration 'cards', writer/producer/film historian Paul Killiam would provide commentary, where necessary.
Unlike Jay Ward's "Fractured Flickers" (which people often confuse with "Silents Please"), no attempts to satirize the films were made (surprising many critics, expecting to find Kovacs' famous wit more in evidence). With it's straightforward approach, the series was far ahead of it's time.
With Kovacs' tragic death in a car accident, in early 1962, "Silents Please" would only have a limited television run, but it is fondly remembered!
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