FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at eight down because time ran out. As John noted, the panel came quite close to guessing this contestant's line, but then "got off on a sticky wicket." In the second game, John flipped the remaining cards for the pair of contestants at three down. Dorothy had correctly guessed this one, with some assistance from Burgess Meredith, but John awarded the full prize anyway, saying that they "had a wonderful time." - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight's sponsor is the Remington "Rollectric" shaver for men. - W-B (2005)
(2) BURGESS MEREDITH - PART I: The veteran actor makes both his first and last CBS "WML?" appearance on tonight's show. He will, however, be a mystery guest on the syndicated version, within Week #80 which was taped on April 23, 1970. This was during Wally Bruner's time as host, and besides Arlene Francis who was the only other person besides Mr. Meredith to appear in both this 1956 episode and the 1970 installment, the rest of the panel on the later occasion consisted of Soupy Sales, Joanna Barnes and Gene Rayburn.
(3) BURGESS MEREDITH - PART II: Mr. Meredith's "WML?" appearance tonight came nearly ten years before he landed his signature role as "The Penguin" on the 1966-1968 "camp" TV series "Batman" and the 1966 theatrical feature release of the same name. It was also 20 years from tonight, in 1976, that Burgess took on the role of "Mickey Goldmill" for the first "Rocky" movie; he also played that character in "Rocky II," "Rocky III" and "Rocky V."
(4) CHARLES LAUGHTON - PART I: This was the first of two "WML?" appearances, both as a mystery guest, by the legendary British actor. This was one year before he played the role of "Sir Wilfrid Robarts" in the 1957 movie version of Agatha Christie's "Witness for the Prosecution." This picture starred former "WML?" mystery guest Tyrone Power (in his last film) as "Leonard Vole." Marlene Dietrich, who played "Christine Vole," made her only "WML?" appearance as a mystery guest on the May 20, 1952 premiere of the short-lived radio version. However, neither Mr. Laughton's wife, Elsa Lanchester (who played "Miss Plimsoll") nor the film's director, Billy Wilder, ever appeared on "WML?"
(5) CHARLES LAUGHTON - PART II: It was a little more than two and a half months prior to tonight's show, on September 9, 1956, that Mr. Laughton guest-hosted an edition of "The Ed Sullivan Show" that marked the first of three appearances on the program by Elvis Presley. On that episode, Mr. Presley performed "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender" and "Ready Teddy." (Ed Sullivan himself had been off the show that night because he was recuperating from a very serious auto accident that occurred a few weeks before.)
(6) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Following the travel arrangements plug for American Airlines, the full end credit sequence was shown from start to finish -- but one had to squint to see it, on GSN's October 11, 2008 airing of this episode, due to the cable and satellite channel's relentlessly repellent "crunching" of the screen.
(7) SPEAKING OF GENE RAYBURN: The October 11, 2008 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by the May 25, 1954 edition of "The Name's the Same," with host Robert Q. Lewis, the panel of "the creator of the comedy art known as Droodles" Roger Price, "our favorite Miss America" Bess Myerson, "the man with a grin" Gene Rayburn and "lovely radio and television actress" Joan Alexander, and celebrity guest Rory Calhoun. Coincidentally, this "TNTS" episode aired exactly two and a half years to the day before the 1956 "WML?" episode shown by GSN just prior on that 2008 occasion. - W-B (2008)
REVIEW: After a rough start, the panel had a pretty decent evening. In the first game, the panel came close, but was stumped by the head of the U. S. Mint. It might have been risky for Wm. Brett to come out without the panel being blindfolded, but the gambit worked and he totally fooled them. In the second game, Dorothy, with some help from guest panelist Burgess Meredith, correctly identified the husband and wife pub owners from England. In the mystery guest round, Arlene correctly guessed that the evening's guest was Meredith's co-star from the play "Major Barbara," former Oscar winner Charles Laughton. - Sargebri (2005)
U.S. MINT: W. H. Brett was confirmed as the 26th Director of the United States Mint in July 1954. He served until January 1961. On August 23, 1957, he also makes an appearance on "To Tell the Truth." - Suzanne (2005)
TO TELL THE TRUTH: Tonight's first guest, W.H. Brett, will again appear on a Goodson-Todman game show as one of the contestants on the August 13, 1957 edition of "To Tell the Truth." Host Bud Collyer was back in harness, while Ralph Bellamy (who sub-hosted the previous two weeks) returned to his position on the panel alongside Polly Bergen, Kitty Carlisle and Hy Gardner. The first game featured William H. Brett and two impostors; the second game featured Tanya Villa (approximate spelling; a former member of the Yugoslavian Olympic team whose main athletic activity was swimming; she escaped from behind the Iron Curtain and hopes to become a U.S. citizen) and two impostors; and the third game featured Quignon Robert Wong (approximate spelling; a Wall Street stockbroker) and two impostors. This episode of "TTTT" was last aired by GSN on January 2, 2009. - W-B & Suzanne (2009)
MYSTERY GUEST: Charles Laughton promoted his appearance in the Broadway comedy, "Major Barbara" with co-star Burgess Meredith. This show ran from October 30, 1956 to May 18, 1957, with a total of 231 performances at the Morosco Theatre at 217 W. 45th Street in New York City. The theatre was built in 1917 and demolished in 1982. - Suzanne (2005)
Tidbits: During John's introductory speech, a thud is heard. John quickly weaves it into his introduction by describing the sound as "a set that's coming apart." - Suzanne (2005)
Burgess Meredith (11/16/1907 - 9/9/1997)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Burgess Meredith, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.
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