‘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.

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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.

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