‘Take a Good Look’ at Ernie

(Above: Edie Adams and Ernie Kovacs in ‘Take a Good Look.’ Source: Wikimedia)

Shout Factory TV has added 10 episodes of the classic Ernie Kovacs game show, Take a Good Look, to its free streaming library.

Take a Good Look, which ran two seasons on ABC (1959-1961), was Kovac’s demented take on the then-popular What’s My Line (1950-1967), in which celebrity panelists tried to guess contestants’ occupations.

In Take a Good Look, the amiable cigar-smoking host — ever the master of the visual gag — would unveil everything from pictures to props to full-blown comedy sketches to help the famous panel divine a secret about the contestant. Frequent guests included a pre-Batman Cesar Romero, Hans Conried, Kovac’s wife Edie Adams, and Carl Reiner.

Here’s a clip featuring Romero with Zsa Zsa Gabor and Mr. Magoo/Gilligan Island’s Jim Backus:

Although Shout Factory TV offers only the first 10 episodes of Take a Good Look (there are 48 in all), the streamer also has 21 free videos in The Ernie Kovacs Collection, a sampling of specials and shows spanning Kovacs’ TV career (you can also find them for free on Tubi). Of particular note is a 1957 episode of Saturday Color Carnival, aka the “Silent Show.” One of the earliest live color broadcasts (on NBC), the show, which is almost completely dialogue-free, was later exhibited at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels.

Here is a short, fuzzy clip from that broadcast:

This year marked the centennial of Kovac’s birth (he was born January 23, 1919). You can read more about this remarkable comedic genius in our Savvy Screener tribute.

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

View All Articles

Leave a Comment