Ernie Kovacs

American Actor, Comedian and Gameshow Host

Ernie Kovacs


Ernie Kovacs, a pioneering figure in the realm of television, left an indelible mark with his innovative approach to comedy and game shows. This biography delves into Kovacs’s early life, his groundbreaking work in television, and his role as the host of “Take A Good Look,” a game show that reflected his unique comedic sensibilities. Additionally, we’ll explore his involvement in other game shows, including “Gamble on Love,” “One Minute Please,” and “Time Will Tell,” all on DuMont.

Early Life:

Ernie Kovacs was born on January 23, 1919, in Trenton, New Jersey. Raised in a Hungarian-American household, Kovacs developed an early fascination with performing arts and humor. His journey into entertainment began in radio, but it was television where he would make an indelible impact.

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In 1959, Ernie Kovacs became the host of “Take A Good Look,” a game show that defied conventions and showcased his distinctive comedic style. The show, which aired on DuMont, featured celebrity panelists attempting to decipher and make sense of surreal and often absurd clues presented through short films, sketches, and animation.

Kovacs’s role as the host was crucial in maintaining the show’s offbeat and unpredictable atmosphere. His wit, charm, and willingness to embrace the unconventional contributed to the show’s appeal. “Take A Good Look” became a platform for Kovacs to experiment with visual gags, wordplay, and absurd humor, setting it apart from traditional game shows of the time.

Ernie Kovacs Take a Good Look

Other Gameshows:

Ernie Kovacs’s influence extended beyond “Take A Good Look.” His creative spirit led him to host other game shows on DuMont, including “Gamble on Love,” where engaged couples answered questions for prizes, and “One Minute Please,” a rapid-fire quiz show. Additionally, Kovacs hosted “Time Will Tell,” a game that involved predicting future events.

Each of these shows reflected Kovacs’s willingness to push the boundaries of the medium. “Gamble on Love” tapped into the burgeoning trend of relationship-focused game shows, while “One Minute Please” showcased Kovacs’s rapid-fire wit and intellectual humor. “Time Will Tell” added a speculative and futuristic element to the game show landscape.

Legacy and Impact:

Ernie Kovacs’s legacy lies in his fearless experimentation and innovation in the nascent days of television. “Take A Good Look” not only revealed his comedic genius but also highlighted his ability to engage audiences in unconventional ways. Kovacs’s influence on the game show genre went beyond the traditional question-and-answer format, paving the way for future hosts and creators to think outside the box.

While “Take A Good Look” met an untimely end with the demise of DuMont in 1959, Kovacs’s impact endured. His comedic stylings influenced a generation of comedians and television creators, and his willingness to blend humor with the unexpected left an imprint on the evolving landscape of game shows.


Ernie Kovacs’s journey in the world of game shows, epitomized by “Take A Good Look” and his other ventures on DuMont, showcases his unparalleled creativity and willingness to defy conventions. Kovacs’s legacy extends beyond the confines of the television screen; it represents a bold exploration of what comedy and entertainment could be in a rapidly evolving medium. His influence on game shows and television as a whole remains a testament to his enduring impact on the art of laughter and visual storytelling.