(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)