Seeing examples of silent, or "Old Time", movies on television was not an uncommon sight in the 40's and 50's. Most any local and network kiddie shows would feature 1 and 2 reel comedies featuring the likes of Snub Pollard, Harry Langdon, the Tons of Funs, Chaplin, Our Gang and Mickey(Himself) McGuire. The problem was that most were savagely edited down and sans the Title Cards. This rendered them difficult to follow, sometimes, seemingly senseless.
Then, in 1960, SILENTS PLEASE appeared on ABC Television Network. What a relief this was. The series was a brilliantly conceived and executed half hour. Each episode centered itself on a particular artist or sometimes a particular silent feature such as Keaton's THE GENERAL or The YANKEE CLIPPER. There was always plenty of background information supplied by the excellent narration of Mr. Paul Killian. The series whetted the curiosity, ultimately leading to viewing the full length films.
One thing, though if this writer's memory is correct, SILENTS PLEASE was re-broadcast the following year. It was slotted on Thursday as a Summer replacement for Ernie Kovacs' TAKE A GOOD LOOK game show spoof. It was at this time that Mr. Kovacs hosted the episodes as an in studio M.C. He would have a short commentary, always delivered in his super relaxed, laid back manner. He was also prominent in the award winning commercials of sponsor, the makers of Dutch Masters and Muriel cigars. These were written and produced by Ernie Kovacs, and were among the most entertaining on TV.
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