Ernie Kovacs: Can you fold this product?
Bill Cameron: Fold?
Ernie Kovacs: Yeah. one week, somebody's going to say "yes" and then I quit.
Bennett: No, that's one down and nine to go.
Bill Cameron: No.
Ernie Kovacs: You can't fold it?
Bennett Cerf: You can't fold this product. It's not money.
Arlene Francis: What is your preoccupation about folding things, Ernie?
Ernie: I don't know, I-- maybe it's just that I wanna fold-- I'm, uh, approaching that period of my life.
(Though Ernie's comment about quitting was apparently in jest, Ernie will finally get a "yes" answer to his question on EPISODE #384, which is two episodes from now. Then, three more episodes after that, he makes his final appearance.)
FLIP REPORT: For this very special episode, Bennett Cerf took full advantage of his chances to flip the cards. In the second game, he flipped the remaining cards for Henry J. Kaiser, the night's first mystery challenger, at six down because time ran out. In the final game of the evening, Bennett then flipped them for the night's second mystery challenger, Julie London, at eight down, once again due to a shortage of time. - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) GSN AIRING TALLY: After the April 2, 2003 and July 10, 2005 airings of tonight's show, GSN's next "regular rotation" airing was on November 24, 2008.
(2) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: For this, the first of four "WML?" editions where panel moderator John Charles Daly was away, the main sponsor was the Remington "Rollectric" shaver for the second straight week -- and again, while "Remington Rollectric" was on the panel desk billboard, the sign-in board advertised "Remington Electric Shavers" on top. And this was not to be the last time guest panelist Cesar Romero sat in on a show where Mr. Daly was off; the future "Joker" of the 1966-1968 "Batman" TV series was also on the panel of EPISODE #410 of April 13, 1958, when Clifton "Kip" Fadiman guest-hosted.
(3) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: The first contestant's overlay was set in Futura Medium, while the upper-third overlay for first mystery guest Henry J. Kaiser, seen as he was signing in, was in the "last-minute" font. However, his occupation overlay, as well as second mystery guest Julie London's lower-third, were set in the regular Futura Demi Bold.
(4) HENRY J. KAISER: A few years from his mystery guest appearance tonight, the industrialist added another feather to his cap: broadcast mogul. It all started in his base of Hawaii, in 1958, when he purchased Honolulu television station KULA-TV (Channel 4, now KITV); under his reign, the station was known as KHVH. Mr. Kaiser sold KHVH in December of 1964, in order to raise capital to start up a group of UHF (ultra-high frequency) independent commercial television stations in the "mainland" (continental United States), all run under the aegis of Kaiser Broadcasting. The first two stations, launched in 1965, were WKBD-TV (Channel 50) in Detroit and WKBS-TV (Channel 48) in Philadelphia (licensed to suburban Burlington, NJ). The next station, launched in late 1966 in partnership with the Boston Globe, was WKBG (Channel 56) in Boston. (After the Globe sold its 50% stake in WKBG back to Kaiser in 1974, WKBG's call letters were changed to the current WLVI.) The final two stations, launched in early 1968, were KBHK (Channel 44, now KBCW) in San Francisco and WKBF (Channel 61) in Cleveland. In 1971, Kaiser purchased Los Angeles-area station KMTW-TV (Channel 52, Corona, CA), which was renamed KBSC (it is now Spanish-language Telemundo affiliate KVEA), and in 1972 the company acquired a majority stake in Field Communications' WFLD (Channel 32) in Chicago. In 1975, the Kaiser/Field operation shut down WKBF (whose Channel 61 frequency would later be taken over by WCLQ, which is now Univision affiliate WQHS-TV), following the merger of the operation of WUAB (Channel 43) with that station's then co-owner, United Artists Broadcasting. The following year, in 1976, KBSC was sold to Oak Broadcasting. Kaiser's run as a broadcaster came to an end in 1977 when the company was acquired outright by Field Enterprises and consolidated under the banner of Field Communications, and WUAB was sold to Gaylord Broadcasting. The remaining stations -- WFLD, WKBS, WKBD, WLVI and KBHK -- remained part of the Field staple until 1983, when infighting between heirs of the Field fortune (which also included the Marshall Field's department store chain and the Chicago Sun-Times) led to Field Communications' liquidation. In short order, WFLD was sold to Metromedia; WLVI went to Gannett Broadcasting; WKBD was acquired by Cox Enterprises; and KBHK changed hands to United Television. The big loser in Field Communications' dissolution was WKBS; after Field's asking price was not met, the station went off the air for good on August 30, 1983, and its license was returned to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The current Channel 48 -- WGTW (which first signed on in 1992) -- is of no relation to the former station of that same dial position. Of the surviving original Kaiser stations, only WKBD has retained its original call letters.
(5) JULIE LONDON: This was the first of three mystery guest appearances by the legendary actress/singer of "Cry Me a River" fame. Rare is there a case of a mystery guest stumping the panel every time he or she appeared on "WML?," but Miss London managed to achieve this in all of her appearances as made between now and 1961. It was Miss London who first put Liberty Records on the map in 1955 with the aforementioned "torch" number, followed by a series of albums released between then and 1969 (her last LP for the label included a cover of the Ohio Express' 1968 "bubblegum" hit "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy").
(6) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Following the art card showing "WML?'s" mailing address to send requests for studio audience tickets, the end credits sequence only goes up tonight to the "In Association with the CBS Television Network" art card, before showing the first part of the animated "CBS eye within an eye" ident. But while the last part was a treat for the audience on GSN's November 24, 2008 airing of this episode, the cable and satellite played their usual cruel trick of showing the whole sequence in its customary insensitive and uncaring "crunched" manner.
(7) BACK-TO-BACK "WML?" GUEST MODERATORS: Following the November 24, 2008 airing of tonight's "WML?" show with guest host Bennett Cerf, GSN ran the July 19, 1955 edition of "The Name's the Same," with host -- and future two-time "WML?" guest panel moderator -- Clifton Fadiman. On this episode, Mike Wallace was the only regular on the panel; the rest were substitutes, constituted as Hans Conreid, Laraine Day and Denise Lor. The celebrity guest was Joe E. Brown, whose "TNTS" appearance fell exactly two years, six months and eight days after his "WML?" mystery guest appearance on EPISODE #137 of January 11, 1953. - W-B (2008)
GUEST HOST BENNETT CERF: This is Bennett Cerf's first and only appearance as a guest host on "What's My Line?" He filled in while John Daly was in Europe for twelve days with his job with ABC News. Bennett seemed very uncomfortable and joked that he would be glad to get back to his regular panel seat next week. Bennett didn't particularly do a bad job, he just didn't do a stellar job. He basically came across as "sweet," although on a few occasions his sarcastic - and at times rude - sense of humor emerged. His self-admitted nervousness prevented him from interacting more with the panel, so his moderator performance was basically methodical, dry and businesslike. With more practice, he probably could have been an effective moderator. Since he's our Bennett, we'll give him an "A" for effort. - Suzanne (2005)
GSN aired this special rare "guest host" episode on April 2, 2003 and again on July 10, 2005. The 2003 airing was shown out of episode sequence order as part of an April Fool's Day stunt that GSN inexplicably pulled. (The calendar air date of April 2, 2003 was actually their programming day of April 1, 2003.) On that date, GSN bounced ahead a year in time to air this episode. After it was shown, GSN then bounced back to EPISODE #326. When they then worked forward to this episode in May 2003, it was skipped, causing many fans to miss it. On the same 2003 April Fool's Day trick, they also altered the programming of "To Tell the Truth." In 2005, thankfully, the "WML?" programming order was not switched. - Suzanne (2005)
A Brief History of the Kaiser/Fraser Automobile by John MacDonald: In 1945, California industrialist Henry J. Kaiser partnered with automobile executive Joe Frazer to respond to the American consumer's postwar demand for cars, mounting the last real American challenge to Detroit's Big Three automakers. They produced such cars as the 1949 Kaiser Vagabond, 1948 Frazer Manhattan, 1953 Kaiser Manhattan two-door sedan, the Dragon sedans, Henry J compact coupes and some modified Henry J race cars. The Kaiser and Frazer Manhattan series were mainstays of the company lineup. Kaiser and Frazer automobiles were manufactured at Kaiser's Willow Run, Michigan factory from 1946 to 1955, when declining sales forced the closing of Kaiser's domestic operations. At that time production was moved to Argentina and Brazil, where the company turned out a series of sedans, trucks and Jeeps until the company was sold to a combine of Ford and Renault owners in the late 1960s. - Suzanne (2005)
More here: http://oldcarandtruckpictures.com/Kaiser/
REVIEW: As was mentioned the previous week, this was a pretty historic occasion as John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly missed his first broadcast after 381 episodes and replacing him this night was none other than Bennett Cerf. Of course, this meant that Bennett finally got to see how much hard work it was for John to moderate the show. Also, Bennett's absence from the panel probably had something to do with the dismal night that they had. In the first game, they were totally stumped by the man who sold plastic toothpicks. It was also during this game that Dorothy had what only could be termed "a blonde moment" as she seemed to zone out when it came to her turn. The second game was quite interesting in the fact that usually when there are two mystery guests, the first one usually comes out at the beginning of the show. However, for some reason, the first mystery guest came out in the second game. This break in rhythm might have had something to do with the panel's failure to guess industrialist Henry Kaiser. In the mystery guest round, with their confidence already shaken, the panel made it a perfect night for Bennett by failing to identify Julie London, who was on the show to promote her upcoming appearance on "The Big Record" later that week. During the good nights, the panel - and especially Bennett - seemed relieved that John would be back next week and things would return to normal. - Sargebri (2005)
FORD EDSEL: During the game with Mr. Kaiser, Arlene asked if he were Edsel Ford. This was a reference to the fact that that year, 1957, a new car from Ford hit the market, the infamous Edsel. That car turned out to be one of the biggest flops in the history of America. Even though it was later thought to be a good car, especially with many innovations that it brought, the car was doomed by the advertising campaign that tried to portray the car as something that it wasn't. - Sargebri (2005)
GUEST PANELIST Cesar Romero did a pretty decent job this evening. Even though he didn't really ask that many questions, he did ask good ones. Eight years later, Romero would take on his most famous role - that of "The Joker" on the 1966 to 1968 camp classic "Batman." However, what a lot of people remember about Romero's portrayal was the fact that he wouldn't shave off his trademark mustache. Instead of shaving it, he covered it with the Joker makeup. - Sargebri (2005)
MYSTERY GUEST Miss London is best remembered for her 1955 hit single, "Cry Me a River," which sold over three million copies. She was named one of Billboard's most popular female vocalists for 1955, 1956 and 1957. Several years after her appearance on the show, Julie London took on the role of "Nurse Dixie McCall" on the classic 1972-1977 medical drama "Emergency!" One of her co-stars on that show was her husband Bobby Troup, who wrote the song "Route 66," which was a huge hit for Nat King Cole in 1946. It was very ironic that London and Troup worked on that show together, because it was produced by Miss London's ex-husband, "Dragnet" star Jack Webb. - Sargebri (2005)
Public Service Announcement: Prior to game 2, Bennett delivered a PSA requesting donations for the Community Chest division of the United Funds. - Suzanne (2005)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Dorothy Kilgallen, Ernie Kovacs, Cesar Romero.