The contestants on this quiz show had been involved in notable news events. Films clips or recordings of the event were shown; if they were unavailable, Kovacs and the three actors would ... See full summary »




1961   1960   1959  


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Complete series cast summary:
 Himself - Host / ... (4 episodes, 1959-1960)
Bob Lauher ...
 Himself (4 episodes, 1959-1960)
 Herself / ... (3 episodes, 1960)
Peggy Connelly ...
 Herself (3 episodes, 1960)
 Himself (3 episodes, 1959-1960)
 Himself (2 episodes, 1959-1960)


The contestants on this quiz show had been involved in notable news events. Films clips or recordings of the event were shown; if they were unavailable, Kovacs and the three actors would act out the event. The panelists had to guess who the contestant was. Written by J.E. McKillop <>

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Plot Keywords:

quiz show | non fiction | See All (2) »


Family | Game-Show





Release Date:

22 October 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Edited into Ernie Kovacs: Television's Original Genius (1982) See more »


Rialto Ripples Rag
Written by George Gershwin
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User Reviews

Mediocre Panel/Game Show? or a True Example of Television Art? Yeah, maybe it's Both!
21 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

TV Guide's Critic & Reviewer, Cleveland Amory, once made the statement on the TONITE SHOW that there were (up to then, 1968) 3 truly creative individuals on television. He named Mssers Dave Garroway, Steve Allen and Ernie Kovacs. A great complimenter to all, and surely one that would be hard to dispute.*

Mr. Kovacs, the last man on our list, had been around TV since the earliest days. He had done several series, and ha worked with a lot of talented stars, including Edie Adams (Mrs. Kovacs) and prolific author and monologist, Jean Shepherd.

So, it was in 1959 that he got the opportunity to do a sort of Panel Quiz show entitled, TAKE A GOOD LOOK, which had a natural of a Kovacs' sponsor, the makers of Dutch Masters and Muriel Cigars.**

The show went something lika thisa: A Contest/Challanger would come on, take seat next to M.C. Kovacs and the secret news event or odd feat of challenger would be revealed to audience, not to panel members. Then there would be a series of 3 video taped sketches featuring Ernie and his repertory company of actors and (gorgeous)female actresses.*** After each clue was shown, panelists would ask some questions, all the while attempting to ascertain the secret or the identity of the contestant.

Sounds really good, no? Well, quite frankly,the answer's NO!! It was a sort of lame knockoff of WHAT's MY LINE?, nothing better.I wouldn't be writing this if it were just to review another game show.

What made this so memorable and a real 'don't miss'*** program was the talent of Mr. Ernie Kovacs. His clowning with regular panelists Edie Adams, Ceasar Romero, Hans Conreid and others. All who worked there appeared to be friends off set as well as on.

But the greatest ingredient of all was that Kovacs sense of humor and the truly original approach that he had to rendering the information into the short 'clues'.It has been told by many, including his good friend, Jack Lemmon, that Ernie loved the silent film comedians like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Harry Langdon, Laurel & Hardy, etc. He was just old enough to be able to truly appreciate the sheer beauty and pure hilarity of a sight gag, pantomime, body language and subtle (and not so subtle)changes of facial expressions. The influence of all these elements were apparent in Ernie's stage presentation, for even though so much of his humor is verbal, it is always so beautifully framed by his physical comedy.

Which now brings us up to a most interesting aspect of the Kovacs Art. After having been on the TV for approximately a decade a new innovation came along. In 1958, Video Tape came into general use on the networks. Now with this development, a program could be pre-recorded on video tape and shown later,as often as desired, all the while having no discernible difference to the 'live' look. Previously a system commonly used was called 'Kinoscope', which was a fast developing film process which had the down side of having a gray, streaky and washed-out look to it.

But Ernie's genius lied in the Aristic, not the Scientific. Ernie was the first one to see what were the possibilities of using tape, not just as a record-playback medium, but also a medium used to tell a story by editing and cross cutting, just as one would edit film into a movie. Like a master film maker ( Buster Keaton), Kovacs knew that the camera's eye could be to used to fool one, and reveal the deception (or not) when it was suitable to the story or to a particular gag.

Mr. Ernie Kovacs was a real high roller, bon vivant, spending his earnings as quickly as they came in. Often times they'd be used to create just one sight gag. A good example is one of Mr. Kovacs as a used car salesman, striking the roof of a car as part of a sales pitch, only to have the auto fall into the ground before our very eyes.It's a scene not forgotten!

Ernie was a true Artist, the kind of guy of which it is so often said, "He was ahead of his time!!", only this time it is absolutely the truth. He was ahead of his time in life and in his death, for he was taken from this world all too early. He died of injuries resulting from an auto accident on Janury 13, 1962, just 10 days short of his 43rd birthday.

* To this list, I would respectfully submit the name of Soupy Sales, for he was certainly creative with the camera work, sound effects and off camera sound gags.

** Having a cigar manufacturer as a sponsor was perfect for any Kovacs, as Ernie was never without a stogie, albeit one just a trifle more expensive than a Dutch Master.

*** Curiously, Ernie got by on TV, but never had a really big following. Those who were his audience, were very faithful, even to the point of being what we now call a'cult following'.

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