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Regular Panelist (1950-1967)
Regular Panelist (1950-1965)
Regular Panelist (1953-1954)
Victor Borge: Is it found in a zoo?
John: It might be. I think we have to agree that there would be some zoo that would have it, yes.
Victor Borge: Now, are we to find out what the animal is, or what Mrs. Salomon does with it?
Victor Borge: Both?
Arlene: That's complicated.
Victor Borge: (to Arlene) That's very complicated. (to John) If you tell me what it is, I can tell you what she does with it.
John: (laughing) I tell you what, I'll tell you what she does with it, and you tell me what it is.
Victor Borge: Okay, that's a deal.
John: Okay, I wager that. She raises it. Now you go from there.
Victor Borge: Is it an animal that can be eaten? Is it edible?
John: Yes, it is edible.
Victor Borge: Is it served in restaurants or on menus?
John: Well, we usually put it on a plate.
Victor Borge: It is an animal you find very often in a restaurant. On the table. Cut up?
Victor Borge: So, it's been established that it is an animal with four legs?
Arlene: Anyone you know?
Victor Borge: It couldn't be, he doesn't live in California.
(Victor Borge displays his trademark humor and a new line of questioning in an extensive questioning segment with the hog breeder.)
Victor Borge: (regarding the product) I take it from the audience reaction that it must be something that is -- kind of funny -- in relation to what we we're talking about...
Arlene: What we're we talking about?
Victor Borge: What we will be talking about.
John: I think that's a reasonable assumption, yes, Victor.
Victor Borge: Then, I can go on?
Victor Borge: Well, if I put that product on my head, would you laugh?
Cecile Salomon: Yes.
Victor Borge: (to Mrs. Salomon) If that product... (now, to the panel) I have a whole new approach to this very thing. I hope you're all listening now. (back to Mrs. Salomon) ...if that product were found in my home, would it be suspended from the ceiling, or rather would it be standing on the floor rather than suspended from the ceiling?
John: (repeating to make sure he has it right) If this were found in your home, would it be standing on the ground rather than suspended from the ceiling?
Victor Borge: Yes, because I don't want to get a "no" on "can it be found in the home?"
John: Mrs. Salomon would agree that if this were found in your house, it would be standing on the floor rather than suspended from the ceiling.
Victor Borge: That makes it easy because we just moved into a new house. Is it very pretty to look at?
John: (to Mrs. Salomon) Is it very pretty to look at? I don't think we can give him that.
Victor Borge: Ah, well, then it must be me! (to the panel) Well, at least I know it's not a hat, then!
Steve: I guess, judging by the gasp from the audience, that the girls were on the right track when they said models or something of that sort?
Nils Brekke: Yes.
Steve: Well, then, you sort models.
FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at four down because time was running short. In an unusual move, John actually disclosed to Victor Borge that the contestant raised the animal that she was associated with. Perhaps John did this because he was planning to flip the cards shortly afterwards and had an inkling that the panel wouldn't be able to discern the exact animal. Lastly, John flipped the cards for the mystery challenger at five down because time was again running short. - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight, it's Stopette whose set product placement is in evidence.
(2) Due to a damaged kinescope, and therefore a damaged optical sound track, the sound quality suffers on this kinescope. A "pinched" 50 Hz - 5 kHz audio frequency response is in evidence. Some other "WML?" kinescopes from the 1952-1953 period, as shown on GSN in the past, have sound quality that is as clear as a bell or a whistle, with the full 50 Hz - 15 kHz sound quality that was enjoyed by New York City viewers tuned in to WCBS-TV (Channel 2) from 10:30 to 11:00 PM at the time of original airing.
(3) MYSTERY GUEST: Julius LaRosa, fresh off his biggest hit "Eh, Cumpari" (Cadence 1232), makes the first of two appearances tonight. His second appearance, also as a mystery guest, was on EPISODE #372 of July 21, 1957. His "Julius La Rosa" nameplate on the panel moderator's desk (note the space between his surname) is set in Title Gothic Condensed No. 11, the regular font for the nameplates of the panelists, mystery guests, and Mr. Daly. In the late 1960's and through the 1970's, Mr. LaRosa was a disc jockey at New York radio station WNEW (1130 AM) which was famous for its MOR (middle of the road) format and, over the years, for such personalities as Martin Block, Gene Rayburn, Gene Klavan, and William B. Williams. Of that group, only Mr. Rayburn appeared on "WML?," both towards the end of its CBS run in 1967 as well as throughout its 1968-1975 syndicated run, and Mr. Klavan was the only other person to have a Goodson/Todman association, as he was a panelist on the short-lived "Make the Connection" in 1955.
(4) "WML?" END CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Probably due to the fact that the end credits cut off after the "In Association with the CBS Television Network" slide card, GSN displayed such credits in full screen and with the original sound on May 24, 2008 -- the first time in ages that the cable and satellite channel refrained from its usual temptation to "crunch" the screen. Instead of being grateful, GSN viewers considered this one "crunchless" ending as "too little, too late."
(5) Following GSN's May 24, 2008 airing of tonight's show, the cable and satellite channel ran the October 11, 1965 edition of "I've Got a Secret," which was the first episode of the 1965-1966 season to originate "live from New York"; all the other episodes of this new season up to this point were prerecorded. Host Steve Allen welcomed back the regular gang of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan. The celebrity guest was Peter Falk, then appearing in the ultimately short-lived CBS drama "The Trials of O'Brien" in the title role of attorney "Daniel J. O'Brien." It was another two and a half years from this "IGAS" episode before he first played the character that would make him world-famous, "Lieutenant Columbo," in a 1968 made-for-TV movie called "Prescription: Murder," and it was six years after this 1965 "IGAS" show that Mr. Falk began playing the rumpled detective on a regular basis, in a series of episodes which were part of the "NBC Mystery Movie" along with "McCloud" and "McMillan and Wife." It should be noted that during Mr. Falk's segment, in which baby pictures of the regular panelists were shown, their lower-third overlays were set in the same Headline Gothic font which was used for some "WML?" mystery guests in the 1953-1955 period. - W-B (2008)
REVIEW: For the second time in three weeks, Victor Borge is on the panel and manages to stay in control for about five minutes until his zaniness takes over. He pretty much kept the audience in stitches, especially with the false beard he wore during the mystery guest round. As for the games themselves, the panel had a rather dismal evening. The first game turned out to be the most successful one as Steve, with Dorothy and Arlene's help, correctly guessed at the last possible second that the first contestant ran a modeling agency. Unfortunately, that would be the high point as they failed to guess the second contestant, a hog breeder, in the allotted time and she wound up winning the full prize by default. The same thing happened during the mystery guest round as the panel ran out of time while questioning mystery guest Julius LaRosa. The ironic thing about this was the fact that his name kept popping up during the previous weeks. Of course, this was four months after LaRosa's controversial on-air firing by Arthur Godfrey. After that incident, LaRosa's popularity went through the roof due to the fact that many people felt sorry for him and it wound up causing a great deal of damage to Godfrey, who had been seen as a "Mister Nice Guy." No matter what the reason, the public saw LaRosa's firing as a classless act by someone who many people felt at the time exuded class. - Sargebri (2005)
BREADBOX WATCH!!! Dorothy used the ubiquitous breadbox question in the second game. Also, Victor Borge repeated the question a few minutes later. - Sargebri (2005)
VICTOR BORGE - PART DEUX: The one and only Victor Borge immediately picks up where he left off in EPISODE #192, continuing the jokes and gags that overwhelmingly inspired WML? viewers to request his return to the show. To start things off, after Arlene introduces him by plugging his one-man show at the Golden Theatre, he holds up a cue card in front of his face reading "2 GOOD ORCH. SEATS FROM LAST MONDAY STILL AVAILABLE." Later, when Dorothy calls for a conference, she, Steve and Arlene huddle together. Instead of joining them, Victor turns to his left, with his back to them, and manages to both confer and have an argument with himself. Recalling the very funny game involving Mrs. Ammie E. (Shorty) Greer from EPISODE #192, Victor's wild free guess for the second contestant was, "I think she hunts gorillas in Africa, and eats them!" When John calls on Victor to go first, he falls off his chair. He demonstrates his "whole new approach" to insure getting "yes" answers to his questions. He even manages to "make a deal" with John! So, John tells Victor what she does with the product, and Victor tells him what her product is. Finally, in the mystery guest round, he puts a fake beard on his face after he puts his blindfold on. He then explains his reasoning, "If I'm not going to know who he is, I don't want him to know who I am!" It was yet another great Borge performance! - Garrison Skunk (2005)
NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE LA ROSA FIRING: As previously mentioned on the guide to EPISODE #178, Julius LaRosa's hiring of an agent or manager was not the real reason LaRosa was fired on Godfrey's 1949-1959 television series, "Arthur Godfrey and His Friends." The true story is all but forgotten today in 2005 and it was mentioned very little at the time. I was in my late twenties at the time of the 1953 firing, and the facts were common knowledge among us who worked with show people. The true reason Arthur Godfrey fired Julius LaRosa is because LaRosa was having an affair with one of the other Godfrey regulars, Dorothy McGuire of The McGuire Sisters, who was married. Dorothy McGuire's husband since 1943, photographer John Swope, was away in the military service. LaRosa had pursued her and had began an affair with her. Godfrey, a family man, found out about this and warned LaRosa to end the affair. LaRosa refused to do so and was fired - on air. Godfrey "fell on his sword" and took the bad press rather than explain himself and cause McGuire (and his TV show) further scandal. The true story did leak out to "behind the scenes" people and to show people, and when the true reasons reached the big columnists, they dropped the issue. These influential columnists of the day felt that the truth of the affair was too sensitive to divulge to the public. At least, however, once the journalists knew the true facts, the negative columns against Godfrey stopped appearing in the papers. Certainly much to his dismay, Godfrey never did get public credit for trying to "do the right thing."
Godfrey had his own view of morality and thought that LaRosa should take the blame for the affair, as Godfrey felt LaRosa caused the situation to occur. Who knows? More likely, LaRosa and McGuire were more or less equally at fault. Godfrey (and the Network) wanted his radio and TV shows to be wholesome family fare. Because of this, Godfrey ruled despotically over his employees and invaded their personal lives. This was the way it was at the time. Scandal was to be avoided, because a touch of it ended careers (and hurt ratings). I do give Godfrey credit for personally taking the heat, but the truth would have caused McGuire, LaRosa and the show much more embarrassment. LaRosa actually received a short-term boost to his career due to the public sympathy he received for the firing. By the late 1950s/early 1960s, LaRosa's career faded out, though. Godfrey went on strong until his health problems. Overall, it's hard to know what Godfrey's true motivation for the LaRosa firing was. Possible reasons are:
(1) Godfrey's moral abhorrence of the breaking of marital vows and/or illicit sex?
(2) Godfrey not wanting to see the possible breaking up of a 10-year marriage that had produced two children?
(3) Godfrey feeling sympathy for a Korean War soldier?
(4) Godfrey feeling LaRosa was insubordinate by not following his order to stop the affair? - or
(5) Godfrey's worry about scandal effecting his TV program?
But the truth is the truth. LaRosa was fired for starting an affair with Dorothy McGuire and then not stopping it when Godfrey ordered him to. As one can see, it was a complicated situation. In truth, a "lack of humility" is common to many performers. If "lack of humility" was given today as the reason for a firing, such an explanation would be thought absurd. Godfrey had a personal moral dilemma combined with concerns of what would happen with the Network, sponsors, public opinion, The McGuire Sisters' career and the effect of ratings on his shows and career if the truth got out. He made a choice, the principals kept quiet and while it did have some negative effect on him, he was popular enough to survive it all. - dubchi (2005)
The Official Website of Julius LaRosa
In the section titled "Julie's Story," LaRosa mentions that he was indeed involved with Dorothy McGuire. - Suzanne (2005)
There is more detail about the actual Julius LaRosa firing on EPISODE #178 of October 25, 1953, which was just a few days after LaRosa was fired on October 19, 1953. - Suzanne (2005)
Handsome Julius LaRosa promoted his television series which was not named by John. There seemed to be some confusion, though, as LaRosa first answered "no" as to whether he had a program. John changed the answer to "yes." Since this was so long ago, the program might not be listed on IMDb. Or, the show may have been the 1951-1955 series "TV's Top Tunes" which lists LaRosa as a regular in 1955, which might be incorrect. - Suzanne (2005)
Godfrey fired Julius LaRosa on the air. The reason we don't have kinescopes of this is because he didn't fire him on TV, he only fired him on radio. The TV portion of "Arthur Godfrey Time" / "Arthur Godfrey and his Friends" had ended for the day and the CBS radio program was still on. The radio portion of the actual firing does still exist. The clips (radio and TV both) from that day were both used in the A&E Biography of Godfrey. - Dixon Hayes, 2001 (added 2005)
DOROTHY MATERNITY WATCH 9 of 10: Dorothy Kilgallen is now eight months pregnant. No announcement has been made on WML yet. For the first time, you can notice that Dorothy is heavier. When she feels the first contestant's muscles, we get to see a side view of her. If you didn't know she was pregnant, you probably wouldn't notice anything. Her dark dress also helps to camouflage her condition. But, armed with the knowledge of history, you can tell she is thicker around her middle. Her son Kerry Kollmar will be born on March 19, 1954. - Suzanne (2005)
Tidbits: As John also stated at the end of the previous episode, during tonight's introduction segment, Arlene said that Victor Borge was "called back by popular demand!" - Suzanne (2005)
Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Steve Allen, Arlene Francis, Victor Borge. Bennett Cerf had the night off. He was on a lecture tour in California.
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