A trove of video material of comedian Ernie Kovacs has been acquired by the Library of Congress, where it will be preserved.

Kovacs appeared on all three major television networks in the 1950s and 1960s, including a series of monthly specials for ABC and morning shows on CBS and NBC.

He was considered an innovator with a surreal sense of humor that influenced Monty Python, David Letterman and Pee-Wee Herman.

Kovacs died in a car crash in 1962. His widow, Edie Adams, made a point of trying to preserve his work. The Library of Congress acquired the material from her son, Josh Mills.

Mike Mashon heads the library's moving image section. He says the collection is a valuable addition to the library's holdings from early American television.