Plot: Take a Good Look is a game show hosted by Ernie Kovacs, in which he provides clues to the identity of a special guest, which a panel will use to try to guess the identity of a special guest. This guest is not a famous person in the usual sense, but has been involved in some kind of situation that has made them notable. Perhaps they’ve set a record of some kind or hold an unusual job, each has some kind of accomplishment or trait of note. Kovacs provides the clues to the panel, which houses three celebrities and the more rounds the famous folks are stumped, the more money our special guest is given as a prize. Now this seems simple enough, but of course, Kovacs’ clues aren’t always the most direct or helpful…

Entertainment Value: I was surprised to see Take a Good Look released on DVD, as it is a fairly obscure television show, despite Ernie Kovacs’ presence. This is a game show at heart, but make no mistake about it, Kovacs makes sure this is one of the more surreal, off the wall game shows around. The clues he provides are sometimes helpful in a roundabout kind of way, but often he just serves up odd or baffling clues. These never fail to be humorous however, as the panel struggles to make sense of the strange clues and Kovacs’ taunts. So yes, this is a game show, but it is more entertainment than most of this kind. You could almost watch this as a kind of anti-game show, as it is clearly set up to stump the panel and make them look a little foolish, all while Kovacs delights in the confusion. The shows also feature some of the most outlandish product placement you’ll ever witness, as Kovacs take every possible opportunity to promote Dutch Masters cigars, including live commercial segments.

This release from Shout Factory collects almost the entire run of Take a Good Look, though a small number of episodes have been lost to the ravages of time. So some are just gone forever, but at least the 49 surviving episodes have all been gathered up here in one collection. The visuals of this black & white game show are simple, so it was never going to be a feast for the eyes, but this release presents more than solid treatments. A little worn at times, but considering the age of the materials and low profile of the show itself, these episodes look quite good. And with seven discs to hold the episodes, it ensures compression is never a concern. As for recommendations, this show is of more value to fans of Ernie Kovacs more than anyone else, though if you appreciate the stars of this era, it is fun to watch who turns up on the panel. I think Kovacs alone brings enough entertainment to make this is a worthwhile pickup for his fans, so don’t overlook it just because it happens to be a game show.

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