GOOF: Johnnie Ray's name plaque was misspelled as "Johnny Ray." It has been written that Johnnie was fanatical about the correct spelling of his name. - Suzanne (2005)
(1) STEVE ALLEN WATCH: It is four shows from tonight that Mr. Allen's run as a regular "WML?" panelist comes to an end, as his "Tonight!" show goes "national" on the NBC network on September 27, 1954. In recent episodes, Dorothy introduced Steve as "the host of his own late night show here in New York, five nights a week." Alas, as the experimental color EPISODE #225 of September 19, 1954 has become lost to history, after tonight's episode, GSN viewers will only get to see three more shows during his time as a regular panelist.
(2) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: The main sponsor as displayed on the panel desk this evening is Remington electric shavers.
(3) For the second straight week, and the third time this year, Bennett is decked out in a light-tinted jacket.
(4) "MR. CRY": For the first of two mystery guest appearances by the "Prince of Wails," Johnnie Ray, his nameplate -- misspelled as "Johnny Ray" -- is set in Title Gothic Condensed No. 11. He will again be a mystery guest on EPISODE #366 of June 9, 1957. At the time of tonight's show, Mr. Ray had come off two minor hits, "Such a Night" [Columbia (4-)40200, this would be covered ten years later by Elvis Presley] and "Hernando's Hideaway" [Columbia (4-)40224, from the Broadway musical (and later movie) "The Pajama Game"]. Two years after Mr. Ray's mystery guest spot this evening, in 1956, he had his last major hit with "Just Walking in the Rain" [Columbia (4-)40729].
(5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: On the June 19, 2008 airing of this episode, GSN's devious disregard for the ever-violated viewing audience was once again evidenced by means of a malevolent manifestation of its corruptible "crunching" of the end credits.
(6) ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOSE OF ARLENE FRANCIS: Following GSN's June 19, 2008 airing of tonight's show, the cable and satellite channel repeated an edition of "I've Got a Secret," which was originally telecast "live from New York" on June 6, 1966. Host Steve Allen mentioned Betsy Palmer's upcoming appearance as "Peter Pan" on stage in Washington, D.C., and then introduced the rest of the panel as "Peter Pan himself, appearing this evening as Bill Cullen," "Tinkerbell, appearing as Bess Myerson," and "Captain Hook himself, Henry Morgan." "WML?'s" own Arlene Francis was the celebrity guest on this edition of "IGAS." - W-B (2008)
The summer of 1954 was a severe epidemic year for polio. It would turn out to be a last show of its virulence, because the Salk vaccine made its triumphant debut in April 1955. - stopette (2005)
REVIEW: After having two terrific weeks in a row, the panel was bound for a horrible one and this was it. The were totally stumped by the first contestant who stitched baseballs. The second contestant, a garbage scow captain, also put them through the wringer as well. The critical error came when they decided to concentrate on the product rather than the service he provided. If they had focused more on service, they might have had a chance. Fortunately, they redeemed themselves when they correctly guessed that the mystery guest was "The King of Sobs" Johnnie Ray. Ironically, the first person to question him was the woman with whom he would be forever linked, Dorothy Kilgallen. But, it was Arlene who eventually made the correct guess and identified him. During the post game conversation, Johnnie mentioned his upcoming 1954 film, "There's No Business Like Show Business," in which he starred with Ethel Merman, Donald O'Connor, Marilyn Monroe, Dan Dailey and Mitzi Gaynor. In spite of accidentally first calling it "The Robe," Ray also plugged his appearance at the premiere of "The Egyptian" for which the proceeds would go to the March of Dimes Emergency Fund. Of course, one year later, Jonas Salk would discover the vaccine to the fund's main target, polio. - Sargebri (2005)
THE PRODUCT IS... GARBAGE?: The fact that the panel had a difficult time with the second contestant's line of "Captain of Garbage Scow" was partly John's fault, as he once again led them down the garden path by allowing the panel to believe that the contestant dealt in a product, when it would have been more accurate and fair to say that the contestant provided a service. This has, unfortunately, been the custom in past episodes as well and has generally tripped up the panel pretty consistently. - agent_0042 (2008)
WHEN JOHNNIE MET DOLLY!!! This might have not been the first time that Dorothy met Johnnie Ray, but a few months later, the two of them would begin their disastrous love affair. In addition to Johnnie's open bisexuality, another scandalous aspect to their affair was the fact that Dorothy was 13 1/2 years older than Johnnie. Also, many people have speculated that her breakup with the "Prince of Wails" was one of the leading factors in the worsening of the substance abuse problems that would plague her until her sad passing in November 1965. - Sargebri (2005)
Johnnie Ray walked on stage and signed in using his left hand. He wore a hearing aid in his left ear with a visible wire leading into his coat. His name plate was spelled incorrectly as Johnny. Johnnie promoted the upcoming Tuesday night gala at New York's Roxy Theatre for the 20th Century Fox premiere of their 1954 film, "The Egyptian," which was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. At first, Johnnie mistakenly said the film was "The Robe," which was made in 1953, but the panel corrected him. He apologized and said he was nervous. This premiere gala is being held in conjunction with an emergency March of Dimes campaign. - Suzanne (2005)
Panelist Dorothy Kilgallen was a fan of singer Johnnie Ray, the mystery guest. It has been said that they first met in 1952. Soon after this show, Kilgallen and Ray started a scandalous love affair which lasted several years. - ClayinAlabama (2005)
Tidbits: Newlyweds Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows are on the cover of the TV Guide magazine dated August 21-27, 1954. Dorothy has an article in the September 1954 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. - Suzanne (2005)
Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Steve Allen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.