Special Guest: Edie Adams
Singer, Actress, Comedienne. Star of Stage, Screen, Television and Night Clubs.
Married to Ernie Kovacs at the time of his death.

All activities are held at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center in Iola, Kansas

Planners & Presenters: Ben Model, speaker and musical performer Hooman Mehran, co-editor of The Chaplin Review, NY, NY, and celebration speaker  
Frank Scheide, Keaton Celebration Committee Eric Grayson and Andrew Horton, PhD, speakers Martha Jett, speaker and committee member David Macleod (London) and Martha Jett (West Virginia)
Bill Shaffer, producer/director PBS station KTWU, Topeka, host and lobby card artist Bill Shaffer, also Keaton Celebration Committee member, with his Friday night lobby card Amy Specht, Piqua, is Keaton Celebration Committee member. Also James Karen, Honorary Council, and his wife Alba Francesca Frank Scheide and Jane Bartholomew, Keaton Celebration Committee members Mary Martin, retired director of the Bowlus Art Center, Iola, with her Keaton service plaque. Mary Martin, Retired Director of the Bowlus, received special recognition for her many years of support to the Keaton Celebration

Ernie Kovacs 1
Melissa Talmadge Cox discusses her hospital work, helping cure children through laughter
Melissa Talmadge Cox is Buster Keaton's granddaughter Bill Shaffer introduces a speaker on the program

Q&A Panel: Moderator is John Tibbetts, David Mcleod is center, Martha Jett is right

Mont Alto members Bruce Barrie, Brian Collins and Susan Hall stand with Keith Goering, Keaton Celebration Committee member, web site developer, and celebration entertainer Melissa Talmadge Cox, Keaton's granddaughter, and Jeanne Keaton Holler, Keaton's first cousin Steve Friedman, NY photographer and Keaton fan Steve tells a touching story about his father's hat Keaton money clip This cigar girl passed out pink bubblegum cigars Iota Nu, some of the wait staff Steve poses the Iota Nu hostesses for a group photo Kovacs This Is Your Life, Buster Keaton
Special Guest:
Edie Adams

Frank Scheide talks with Edie Adams
Edie Adams, Sept. 2004 Edie 1 Edie 2 Edie 3
Edie 4 Bill Shaffer, Edie Adams, Frank Scheide Edie 5 Edie 6
Edie Adams closeup
Edie signs illustration by John Tibbetts Illustration of Edie Adams by John Tibbetts
Edie closeup 2

Mary Martin, Martha Jett and Frank Scheide help Edie display her 2004 Buster Award

Edie Adams was presented the 2004 Buster Award by the Iola Keaton Celebration Committee and the International order of the Damfinos. She is recognized for her continuing work in preservation of early television video programming.

Edie planned her Saturday dialogue on Friday afternoonFans line up to get Edie's autographEdie signing autographs
Edie's entourage: Martha Jett, Ben Model, Robert Arkus and his wife Jeni Rymer
Follow up: Edie Adams died in 2008 at the age of 81. Read her obituary, NYTimes, 10-16-2008
Keaton Fans from France
Vincent Bouillier and Sophie Elie Sophie is a big-time Keaton fan. She enlisted Vincent, who had been to the U.S. before, to travel with her to Iola. The pair flew to New York and drove cross-country especially for the Keaton Celebration
Steadfast Fans and Friends
John from Wichita Ben, from Appleton, WI, and Cookie, from St. Paul Jeff and Cherrie, from Missouri Glory June came to the Celebration with Eric Grayson Nancy Cassoday David Macleod brought his mother again this year, from Britain
Seven ChancesMont Alto playing on Saturday nightMont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, from behind left: Bruce Barrie, horn; Brian Collins, clarinet; KevinJohnson, base; front: Rodney Sauer, piano; Susan Hall, violin.
a groom-to-be? racing dodging boulders 1 dodging boulders 2
Special Saturday night Kovacs treats
Percy 1
1950's Buster 2
Percy 2 aggitated pie-in-the-face 1950's Buster
LIVE: The Nairobi TrioSee No Evil, Hear No Evil, and the High Sign
Miscellaneous Iola and Celebration
Cookie drove from St. Paul in her new Saturn, named MAXSeveral antique autos, including this old Ford truck, were spotted around Iola during the CelebrationOld laundry on the town square closed recently. The weather was perfect!
Ernie Kovocs display case le Roi memoribilia, shared by David Macleod Melissa, David and Mary talk over Keaton lore Edie Adams has many people listening to her reminisce



2004 Schedule:
NOTE: This schedule is subject to change.
See also The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

FRI., Sept. 24, 2004

Beginning 10:00 a.m.
Fred Krebs: "Norman Cousins: The Healing Power of Laughter”
Hooman Mehran:
"Social Blight or Vaudeville Reborn: Chaplin & Keaton's Differing Attitudes Toward the Advent of Television”
Panel discussion & Q&A

Noon Lunch (on your own)

Resuming 1 p.m. :
Andrew Horton : "Keaton & Film/Kovacs & Television: Inventing Humanistic Humor for a New Medium”
Ben Model : "Ernie Kovacs: Sound Into Sight”
Panel discussion & Q&A
Feature: Le Roi des Champs-Élysées (The King of the Champs-Élysées) with Buster Keaton, 1934, in French with NEW English subtitles! Introduced by David Macleod, co-founder of the Blinking Buzzards Society, London, England

Friday Evening of Silent Cinema, 7:30 p.m., with Buster Keaton & Ernie Kovacs
Sneak Preview.
of So Funny, It Hurt—Keaston at MGM, a new mini-documentary created by Kevin Brownlow and his Photoplay Productions in Great Britain. It was narrated and hosted by James Karen and produced for Turner Classic Movies. It will air in December and be part of the Keaton at MGM DVD boxed set to be released by Warners in December 2004 also.
Silent TV segment, in pantomime with sound effects, starring Ernie Kovacs. This short Ernie Kovacs silent piece was from Edie Adams' personal collection and represents the first time Kovacs used this particular character in a skit. He used the character again and expanded on it for a full half hour show which aired in 1960.
Feature: Go West starring Buster Keaton .
with live musical accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

SAT., Sept. 25, 2004

8:30 a.m. Registration (there are no fees)

Beginning 9:00 a.m. 
Welcome, Introductions & Remarks
David Macleod : "What's It All About?"
John Tibbetts : "G.K. Chesterton, Ray Bradbury, and the Gift of Laughter"
Martha Jett : "The Medicine Man: Ernie Kovacs and the Healing Power of Comedy" —with screening of The Medicine Man, a TV pilot starring Ernie Kovacs and Buster Keaton. Filming was completed just hours before Ernie Kovacs' fatal car accident. (This copy was donated to the Keaton Celebration committee by Edie Adams after it was shown.)

11:30 Lunch (on your own)

Resuming 1:20 p.m. :
Eric Grayson : "Moving Images of Ernie Kovacs: Finding the Lost, Preserving the Found
Robert Arkus : Rare Keaton and Kovacs video
Edie Adams : Personal appearance and presentation

Saturday Evening of Cinema, 7:30 p.m. ,with Buster Keaton & Ernie Kovacs
Short:.One Week starring Buster Keaton
with piano accompaniment by Ben Model
to Ernie Kovacs films, including Operation Madball .
Feature:.Seven Chances starring Buster Keaton
with live musical accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Mont Alton Motion Picture Orchestra

  • Fred Krebs, Instructor of History, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS
  • Hooman Mehran, Internationally recognized film historian and author,  New York City
  • Andrew Horton, PhD, the Jeanne H Smith Professor of Film & Video Studies, and Director of the U of Oklahoma Film and Video Studies
  • Ben Model, Musicologist and film historian, Museum of Modern Art, New York 
  • David Macleod, Founder of the Blinking Buzzards, a Buster Keaton Society in the United Kingdom and author of The Sound of Buster Keaton
  • John Tibbetts, PhD, Associate Professor of Film, University of Kansas and author of The Encyclopedia of Novels into Film and His Majesty, The American:The Films of Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (with James Welsh)
  • Martha Jett, documentary filmmaker and Keaton biographer, Co-Chair of Damfinos Keaton Festival, Muskegan, Michigan
  • Eric Grayson, rare film collector
Special Guest
  • Edie Adams, star of motion pictures, television, night clubs, and wife of Ernie Kovacs at the time of his death

































































































































































































Seven Chances 1




Seven Chances 3





Go West 2

Page by Carol Yoho
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Celebration Web Archives:
2005: "Keaton and W.C. Fields".
: "Keaton and Vaudeville".
: "10th Anniversary Celebration"
2001: "2001, a Keaton Odyssey"
2000: "Keaton and Laurel & Hardy"
1999: "Keaton and Lloyd"
1998: "Keaton and Pickford"
1997: "Keaton and Chaplin"
1996: "Keaton and Arbuckle"

Speakers Lists 1993-95

Check the
Kansas Silent Film Festival web site. This is a free event held each February in Topeka, KS..

Visit the Buster Keaton Museum, Piqua, Kansas

Also, visit the site of the
International Buster Keaton Society
. .

The Keaton Celebration is unded by
the Kansas Humanities Council, with help from the Iola Tourism Fund and private donors.

Sponsored by the Keaton Celebration Committee in cooperation with the Bowlus Fine Arts Center.

Photos & graphics © 2004 by Carol Yoho


Seven Chances 2





Go West 1