Shout! Factory Kicking Off Kovacs Celebration Early

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is getting a head start on the celebration of Ernie Kovacs’ upcoming birthday.

January 23, 2019 will be the 100th birthday of the late, great entertainer, and in honor of the occasion, Shout! Factory is releasing a new box set this week featuring Kovacs’ most memorable moments in Ernie KovacsThe Centennial Edition.  The nine-disc collection is scheduled to be released Nov. 13.

The in-depth retrospective 22 hours of Kovacs’ comedy culled from his many moments on television, including, but not limited to, his his local and national morning shows, his prime-time TV work, his ABC specials and the rare color version of his silent show Eugene 3.  Also included in the set are highlights from his hit series Take A Good LookA Pony For Chris and the pilot for the series Medicine Man, which co-starred Buster Keaton.

Along with the primary content, the collection also features an extensive list of bonuses, which are listed below.

  • 1987 ATAS Hall Of Fame Induction
  • Andy McKay 8mm Home Movies
  • Audio Lost
  • Baseball Film
  • Charlie Clod In Brazil
  • Dutch Masters Commercials
  • Ernie’s Opening Monologue
  • Home Movies: Golf With Edie And Ernie
  • Howard, The World’s Strongest Ant on “A Hot Date” and “Howard’s Campground”
  • Interview: Algernon Gerard, Archaeologist
  • Interview: The World At Your Doorstep
  • Introducing Coloratura Mimi Cosnowski
  • Irving Wong: Tin Pan Alley Songwriter
  • J. Burlington Gearshift
  • Making Of “Baseball Film”
  • Martin Krutch, Public Eye
  • Matzoh Hepplewhite
  • Miklos Molnar’s Glue
  • Muriel Cigars Commercials Featuring Edie Adams
  • Original Theatrical Trailers: “Wake Me When It’s Over” And “Five Golden Hours”
  • Our Man In Havana” Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Percy Dovetonsils : “Ode To A Housefly”, “Ode To Electricity” and “Ode To Stanley’s Pussycat”
  • Remembering Ernie With George Schlatter And Jolene Brand
  • Rock Mississippi In “Fingers Under Weskit”
  • Silents Please
  • Skodney Silsky, Hollywood Reporter
  • Strangely Believe It: Writers To Blame
  • Superclod Test
  • Surprise Audience Member
  • Take A Good Look: “Clues” and “Sales Film”
  • The Kapusta Kid In Outer Space Meets Olivia Scilloscope
  • The Mysterious Knockwurst
  • Trailer For “Operation Mad Ball” – “It Happened To Ernie” 

Limited Edition sets of never-Before-Available-Or-Seen lithographs are also available in celebration of Kovacs’ career starting at $250 for the unframed pictures.  Professionally-framed lithos start at $1,000.

Courtesy: Shout! Factory


Courtesy: Shout! Factory

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:





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PBS’ Vietnam War Docu-Series Is A Timeless Look At A Critical Conflict

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

The clock is ticking on the year.  In a little more than 24 hours, 2017 will finally winding down and the world will be looking forward to 2018.  Before those final hours pass by, there’s still work to be done from Phil’s Picks in the year-ender department.  That work includes year-enders for the year’s top new box sets for grown-up audiences.  In saying grown-ups, that does not necessarily mean solely that the material is inappropriate for younger viewers, but that it might simply not appeal to younger viewers because of the issue of their ability to relate to the material in question.

PBS and Shout! Factory dominate this critic’s list this year with a rather wide array of titles with PBS’ new miniseries doc The Vietnam War taking top honors.  Whether or not one is a military or even history buff, this set is a must see.  Period.  The fourth season of PBS’ British import crime drama Endeavour is also on the list alongside new releases such as Shout! Factory’s Green AcresThe Complete SeriesThe Good PlaceSeason 1 and Ernie Kovacs retrospective Take A Good Look.  Smithsonian Channel even gets some nods with the first two seasons of Air Warriors and the first season of Sports Detectives.  Even mpi Media Group’s Gerry Anderson collection The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson is on this critic’s list.

As with every previous list from Phil’s Picks, this list features this critic’s Top 10 New Grown-Up Box Sets plus five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Developing this list was anything but easy, but every title included was well deserving of its place in the list.  that being said, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Grown-Up DVD/BD Box Sets.


  1. The Vietnam WarA Film By Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
  2. EndeavourSeason 4
  3. Green AcresThe Complete Series
  4. Sports DetectivesSeason 1
  5. Mystery Science Theater 3000 Vol. XXXVIII
  6. Mystery Science Theater 3000 Vol. XXXIX
  7. Ernie KovacsTake A Good Look
  8. The Good PlaceSeason 1
  9. The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson
  10. Air WarriorsSeason 1
  11. Air WarriorsSeason 2
  12. Just Shoot MeThe Complete Series
  13. Ned & StaceyThe Complete Series
  14. IceSeason 1
  15. From Dusk Till DawnSeason 3

That’s it for this list, but still not it for this year’s new DVD and BD titles.  Still up for grabs are spots on Phil’s PIcks 2017 Top 10 New Family DVD/BD Box Sets.  That list is nearly compiled and will be posted ASAP, so stay tuned!

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‘Take A Good Look The Definitive Collection’ Is A Must See For Any Student, Lover Of The Broadcast Arts, History

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/ABC

ABC’s classic panel game show Take A Good Look is one of the most important yet underappreciated programs in broadcasting history.  Shout! Factory will prove that this fall when it releases the program’s most comprehensive collection to date in the form of Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection in stores and online.  The seven-disc collection presents 49 episodes from the short-lived late-night series.  The episodes presented here are collectively the set’s most important element, and for multiple reasons, too.  They will be discussed shortly.  The liner notes included with the set are just as important to the set’s presentation as its episodes and will be discussed later.  The set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is clearly important in its own right to the set’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection proves in the end to be an important watch for any lover and student of broadcast history.

Shout! Factory’s forthcoming Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection is an important collection for any lover and student of broadcast history to own.  It brings to light a program that is one of the industry’s most important yet underappreciated game shows as is evidenced through its episodes.  While the series ran for a total of 53 episodes over two seasons on ABC, only 49 of those episodes have ever been available, and Shout! Factory has made all 49 of those episodes available here, giving audiences here the fullest run of the show possible.  This is only one part of what makes the episodes so critical.  The show’s very format presented in these episodes is important to discuss, too.  That is because of the influence that it clearly has played on so many series since.  One part late night talk show and one part light-hearted panel show, one can easily see (and hear) the series’ influence on the likes of Whose Line Is It Anyway, National Public Radio’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and even so many of today’s late night talk shows.  Even CBS’ classic Saturday morning cartoon series Garfield & Friends paid tribute to Take A Good Look in one of its U.S. Acres shorts.

On yet another level, the episodes featured here are important to note because of their historical and cultural importance.  Audiences will see here that along with the fun games, the episodes also feature the original Dutch Masters cigar ads that ran with the show in its original run.  It reminds audiences on one level of a time when tobacco companies were allowed to advertise on a wider scale than they can today.  On another level, the ads will surprise audiences in the fact that they apparently even targeted children.  One of the ads encouraged children to buy Dutch Masters cigar boxes for their fathers as Father’s Day gifts.  That in itself is certain to generate plenty of discussion as will some of the other ads featured here.

While the ads included with the set’s featured episodes add their own depth to the episodes’ presentation, they are not the last important part of what makes the episodes so important.  The episodes’ production values are just as important to note as the ads and the episodes’ content.  The production values (its audio and video) make watching the episodes like opening a virtual time capsule of sorts.  That is because audiences get here, the episodes’ original audio and video playback.  In other words, no effort was taken to re-master the episodes in regards to the audio or video.  In this case, this is a great thing.  That is because it shows how far television production technology has come since television’s golden age.  In turn, it shows how much production values have improved as a result of those technological advances.  Considering this element, the ads that run with the episodes, the show’s clear influence as a result of its format and the full episode listing, it becomes clear why the episodes featured here are so important to the overall presentation of Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection.  The whole of those aspects leads the episodes collectively to form a solid foundation for the set; a foundation on which is strengthened even more through the bonus liner notes included with the set.

The liner notes included with this collection, composed by film & TV historian Ben Model, enhance the set’s presentation even more because of the depth of information provided therein.  Audiences learn through Model’s notes that apparently host Ernie Kovacs, who was known largely for other film and television work, that he apparently was not fond of Take A Good Look.  Just as interesting to learn is why exactly Kovacs even agreed to host the show and the possible reason that the show even managed two seasons.  These tidbits and so much more paint a vivid picture for the series even before audiences put in the first disc.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear why the set’s bonus liner notes prove to be just as important to this set’s presentation as its episodes.  The liner notes are not the last of the set’s most important elements either.  Its packaging rounds out its most important elements.

The packaging used for this set is everything that audiences have come to expect from Shout! Factory in regards to its box sets.  Each of the set’s six discs is placed on its own plate inside the set’s box, protecting the discs from each other and also minimizing the box’s size as much as possible.  The set’s episode listing is printed clearly on the inside of the box’s art, too and includes the episodes’ air date, guest name and the episodes’ specific discs.  That listing once again provides a clear guide for audiences as they select the episodes that they want to watch, proving once more why this set deserves such high praise.  When this is considered along with the set’s in-depth liner notes and just as deep episodes, it becomes perfectly clear why this set in whole is such an important collection for any lover and student of television history.  What’s more, it becomes just as clear why Take A Good Look is itself such an important part of not just television history but broadcast history in whole.  Keeping all of this in mind, one can’t help but agree that this set deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new DVD/BD box sets for grown ups.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming release of Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection is a must see for any lover and student of the broadcast arts and their associated history.  That is due to episodes that show their own depth and value along with liner notes and production values that are just as critical as the set’s episodes.  Keeping all of that in mind, the set in whole proves that it deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new DVD/BD box sets for grown-ups.  It will be released in stores and online Oct. 17 and can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:










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MVD Unearths A Rare TV Gem With Edie Adams Box Set

Courtesy:  MVD Visual/MVD Entertainment Group

Courtesy: MVD Visual/MVD Entertainment Group

Television has come a long way since its infancy.  To a minor extent, the road that the television industry has travelled has led to a positive progression in terms of its programming.  Sadly though, television programming for the most part has greatly regressed as the years have passed.  Thankfully though, there are those companies out there that have made a point of keeping alive the memories of television’s golden era.  One of those companies is MVD Entertainment Group.  MVD Entertainment Group recently teamed up with Ediad Productions to release Edie Adams’ beloved sketch/variety show, Here’s Edie in a complete four-disc box set.  Here’s Edie did not last long in its original broadcast on ABC.  It only ran for two years and twenty-one episodes.  Despite this, it remains today, one of the most beloved series from television’s greater days.  MVD Entertainment Group and Ediad Productions went to painstaking lengths to bring this classic series back to audiences.  Each of the series’ episodes is presented in this set exactly as it originally aired.  That is the first positive to the set.  Considering that over half a century has passed since the show’s original debut, the footage looks and sounds impressive.  Just as interesting about this set is the companion booklet included as part of the set’s packaging.  It provides viewers of all ages a history of how Here’s Edie came about and a full episode guide.  This does a great amount in terms of setting up the episodes and making them even more valuable.  The last piece of this set to be examined is its packaging.  MVD and EdiAd again are to be commended for this aspect of this new box set, too.  The discs, which spell out Adams’ first name, are wisely packaged.  The discs are protected from one another.  And the overall packaging is ergonomic.  When audiences take into account everything noted here, they will agree that this box set is a must see for anyone that has any interest in this golden piece of television history.

Here’s Edie was hardly the longest running sketch/variety show on television during its run.  It only ran for two seasons and twenty-one episodes from 1962 to 1964.  This aside, it is still one of the most beloved pieces of programming from television’s early era.  Those charged with maintaining the footage and transferring it from its original tapes to DVD are to be commended.  There are some very minor inconsistencies with the audio and video within certain episodes.  But one must take into account just how old the footage is before criticizing this.  As few as they are, it only serves to make the overall product that much more impressive.  Just as impressive is the fact that Ediad and MVD have also made sure to include in each episode, Adams’ ads for Muriel cigars.  Because of the change in this country’s culture, something as minor as this is just as important as the footage itself.  That’s because it serves to show a different cultural climate.  It’s part of the whole that makes this set the important historical video documentation that it is in the long run.  And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg that makes this box set so impressive.

The episodes themselves contained within this box set are the most important aspect of the overall presentation.  That goes without saying.  There is much more to examine to truly appreciate the set’s importance, though.  The bonus booklet included in the box set is, believe it or not, important in its own right.  That’s because of the breadth of information that it provides to viewers.  It starts off by offering a relatively in-depth look at how Here’s Edie came to be.  It’s a moving story of success through loss.  Also included in the set’s bonus booklet is an in-depth episode guide.  It gives a short but concise summary of each episode.  Throughout it all, there are photos taken from random episodes, promotional pictures, and even quotes from some of the biggest names in movies and television explaining her influence on their own careers.  The quotes alone go to prove how important Adams remains today.  The episode summaries and pictures serve to make the episodes themselves all the richer.  And along with the episodes, it serves to make the box set as a whole all the more entertaining.  The positives don’t end there, either.  In examining the whole presentation, one must also examine the packaging of this four-disc box. 

Far too few individuals give packaging the slightest notice when it comes to DVDs and Blu-rays.  They tend to take it for granted, for lack of better wording.  But it’s just as important as the rest of a release’s presentation.  The packaging for this set makes the whole thing complete.  Each of the set’s four discs are placed on their own insert within the box.  It greatly reduces the chances of them being scratched and in turn, preserves them for potentially another generation if they are properly cared for.  Collectively, the four discs spell out Edie’s name.  It’s a fun addition to the overall presentation that will bring a smile to any viewer’s face.  It’s the final touch on a box set that is a must see for anyone that has any love for classic television.  Here’s Edie is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct from the MVD Entertainment Group website at  More information on this and other releases from MVD Entertainment Group is available online at,, and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at