Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Good look

Remember when I said that old game shows never die? Sometimes even the shows that nobody remembers still live on.

Case in point: a DVD set of Take a Good Look, Ernie Kovacs' 1959-61 parody of the Goodson-Todman panel shows. For those less ancient than moi, Ernie Kovacs was a fixture on fifties TV. He got a reputation as a madcap comic genius, and once in a while he could actually be funny. But his material tended toward the coy and specialized, and he never really achieved major success.

Take a Good Look is a good example of his weaknesses and strengths. As Wikipedia notes: "The clues were presented by way of props and short video clips that had no cast, but eventually went exclusively to films of short comedy blackout gags (starring Kovacs and a regular cast of Peggy Connelly, Jolene Brand, and Bobby Lauher) that pertained only vaguely to the person about whom guesses were being made."

The show pertained only vaguely to the viewing audience as well, and it lasted just two seasons (well, more like one-and-a-half.) You can sample a bit on YouTube, sponsored by Dutch Masters. If they can make a DVD set out of this, you know that old game shows will always be with us.

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