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Regular Panelist (1950-1967)
Regular Panelist (1951-1967)
Regular Panelist (1950-1965)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at eight down because time was running short. The panel had identified this contestant rather quickly as being a hunter, but they were unable to identify the type of game that he hunted. In the mystery guest round, John flipped the remaining cards for mystery challenger Margaret O'Brien at five down because time ran out. This was a rare instance where the panel was pretty much stumped on a mystery guest, though John gave Arlene credit for "picking up clues" that might have led her to figure it out, had there been more time. The panel was, in part, fooled by Margaret O'Brien's excellent vocal disguise, a strong Cockney accent. All mystery guests were paid an unpublicized fee of $500 for their appearance, regardless of the result of the game. - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: The main sponsor for this evening is Helene Curtis. And this was the debut of Peter Ustinov on the panel. Between now and EPISODE #831 of September 18, 1966, Mr. Ustinov will be on the program nine times -- six (including tonight) as a guest panelist, and three as a mystery guest. While his surname is properly pronounced "YOU-stinov," on most shows -- including this episode -- John Daly pronounces the actor/writer/director's surname as "OO-stinov."
(2) MARGARET O'BRIEN: This was the former child actress' second and final "WML?" appearance -- and her only "WML?" appearance to survive on kinescope today, as her first appearance, on EPISODE #39 of February 25, 1951, is among the 100-plus episodes of the 1950-1952 period that no longer exist. (Fortunately, a kinescope does exist of her August 23, 1955 appearance on "The Name's the Same," as seen on GSN on November 27, 2008.) Miss O'Brien did much television work in 1957, and in fact, on December 4, 1957, appeared in a "Kraft Television Theatre" production called "Come to Me," the teleplay of which was co-written by occasional "WML?" guest panelist and mystery guest Peter Lind Hayes. Other dramatic anthology programs in which Miss O'Brien appeared this year included "General Electric Theatre," "Suspicion," "Climax!," "Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre," and "The Christophers."
(3) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Again, the end credits tonight are truncated, only going up to executive producer Gil Fates' art card. And as usual, GSN added its own truly tacky truncation -- more infamously known as their "credit crunch" -- on its December 2, 2008 airing of this episode.
(4) "TNTS," WE HARDLY KNEW YE: GSN's December 2, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the final episode of "The Name's the Same," which originally aired on October 7, 1955. The host for this swan song was Clifton Fadiman, the panel consisted of Roger Price, Audrey Meadows, Mike Wallace and Joan Alexander, and the celebrity guest was Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman Gil Hodges. This "TNTS" series finale previously aired on GSN on July 16, 2007, right after "WML?" EPISODE #789 of November 7, 1965 which was Dorothy Kilgallen's swan song. - W-B (2008)
Below is a list of key "The Name's the Same" personnel, and what became of them since the series' 1955 cancellation. - W-B (2008)
ROBERT Q. LEWIS - One month after Mr. Lewis' run as "TNTS" host ended in 1954, he began a run of nearly four months as a "What's My Line?" alternating guest panelist with Fred Allen, before Mr. Allen was named a permanent panelist effective with EPISODE #242 of January 23, 1955. "Q-sie" continued his run with his own TV and radio shows for the balance of the 1950's, and as that decade gave way to the 1960's, RQL became more known as a substitute host whenever the regular host was off (a prime example was on "To Tell the Truth" on which Mr. Lewis frequently substituted for Bud Collyer). His last regular game show hosting gig was the 1964-1965 ABC series "Get the Message," on which he replaced previous host Frank Buxton. Mr. Lewis continued to appear in films and on TV up to his death from emphysema on December 11, 1991 at age 70.
DENNIS JAMES - At the time of his 1954-1955 run with "TNTS," Mr. James continued as commercial spokesperson on another Goodson-Todman show, "Two for the Money." In later years, he would be Kellogg's commercial spokesperson early on in its alternating sponsorship of "WML?," which was effectively his only connection to that series, as he never appeared on "WML?" as either a panelist or mystery guest. He would be known for hosting other game shows such as "Haggis Baggis" (1958-1959); "P.D.Q." (1965-1970); the nighttime syndicated version of the revival of "The Price Is Right" (his run lasted from 1972 to 1977); one week of the daytime version of "TPIR" (for the week of December 24, 1974, the only time regular host Bob Barker missed a series of tapings); and the 1974-1975 version of "Name That Tune." For many years, Mr. James was the host of the annual United Cerebral Palsy telethon. He died on June 3, 1997 from lung cancer at age 79.
BOB AND RAY - After their disastrous run as "TNTS" hosts ended, Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding began a run on NBC Radio's "Monitor" which lasted several years and netted them a Peabody Award in 1957; one famous artifact from their stint with the program was a publicity photo with "Miss Monitor," Tedi Thurman, who did regular weather features. In 1971-1972, they appeared on Broadway in "The Two and Only," followed by an afternoon drive show on WOR (710 AM) in New York from 1973 to 1976. In 1979, they did a TV special with "Saturday Night Live" regulars Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner, called "Bob & Ray, Jane, Laraine & Gilda." Bob and Ray continued to do occasional TV and radio up until 1987. Mr. Goulding died in 1990; Mr. Elliott made occasional appearances on TV until 1999. Bob's son, Chris Elliott, has made a name for himself via frequent appearances on David Letterman's shows, the TV sitcom "Get a Life," and films such as "Cabin Boy."
CLIFTON FADIMAN - Nearly three years after "TNTS's" demise, "Kip," as he was nicknamed, became the second of three substitute panel moderators in the history of CBS "WML?," hosting EPISODE #410 of April 13, 1958 and EPISODE #411 of April 20, 1958. Mr. Fadiman distinguished himself from the other substitute hosts for the following reasons: (a) he was the only one to guest host more than once, and (b) he was the only guest moderator who was never a panelist or mystery guest on "WML?" Mr. Fadiman also appeared on the first two episodes of Jerry Lewis' ill-fated 1963 ABC two-hour talk/variety show. Like Bob and Ray, Mr. Fadiman also appeared on NBC Radio's "Monitor." His last hosting gig was as the second host of the 1963-1965 series "Alumni Fun." "Kip" died on June 20, 1999 of pancreatic cancer at age 95.
THE KEY PANELISTS:
JOAN ALEXANDER - The only "TNTS" panelist to have been on for the whole of its 1951-1955 run, Miss Alexander had two more children with her second husband, the chairman of World-Wide Volkswagen, Arthur Stanton, after the birth of first son Adam (her second of four children) within the last months of "TNTS's" run. After over a decade out of the spotlight, Miss Alexander resurfaced in 1966 as the voice of "Lois Lane" on the cartoon series "The New Adventures of Superman" which lasted until 1970; for this, she was reunited with her old co-star (and "To Tell the Truth" host) Bud Collyer from radio and 1941-1943 theatrical cartoon days. As of December 2008, she is one of an ever-dwindling handful of "TNTS" panelists to still survive.
ABE BURROWS - The playwright continued to work in the years following the end of his stint as "TNTS" panelist. One of the more infamous projects with which he was associated was the ill-fated 1965-1966 sitcom "O.K. Crackerby!" (co-created with TV Guide critic Cleveland Amory), which was named among "The Worst TV Shows Ever" in the 1980 book of the same name. Mr. Burrows directed and co-wrote the 1962 Broadway hit "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," for which he won two Tony Awards. He died on May 17, 1985 after a long illness at age 74. His son, James Burrows, became a noted writer, producer and director in TV, notably of such shows as "Cheers" and "Caroline in the City."
MEREDITH WILLSON - In the years since his run as a "TNTS" panelist, Mr. Willson wrote the songs and lyrics for two musicals that first made a splash on Broadway and then were made into movies: "The Music Man" (for which he also wrote the book) and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." He died on June 15, 1984 at age 82.
CARL REINER - Already known at the time of his stint as "TNTS" panelist for his work with Sid Caesar on "Your Show of Shows" and "Caesar's Hour," the "bright young comedian" (as he was introduced on the program) went on to the proverbial "bigger and better things" over the years. One of the more famous was as creator and producer of the 1961-1966 TV series "The Dick Van Dyke Show," on which Mr. Reiner played the tyrannical boss "Alan Brady." Carl also had a run from 1964 to 1965 as host of the ill-fated CBS game show "The Celebrity Game," an early effort from Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley Productions. He reunited with Mr. Van Dyke behind the scenes for the 1971-1974 series "The New Dick Van Dyke Show." Among the better-known movies Mr. Reiner wrote and/or directed were "Oh God!" (1977), "The Jerk" (1979) and "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" (1982). His son, Rob Reiner, followed in his father's footsteps as an actor, writer and director, after his breakout role as "Mike Stivic" on the 1971-1979 series "All in the Family."
GENE RAYBURN - It was with "TNTS" that Mr. Rayburn became a mainstay with Goodson-Todman, through certain shows he hosted ("Make the Connection," "Choosing Up Sides," and the 1962-1969 and 1973-1982 versions of "Match Game") and others on which he was a panelist ("WML?" in two of its final CBS episodes in 1967, as well as throughout its 1968-1975 syndicated run; the CBS and syndicated "To Tell the Truth"; "He Said, She Said"; and "Tattletales"). Outside the G-T universe, he was announcer on "The Steve Allen Show" from 1956 through 1960, and also turned up on game shows for other production companies (hosting the 1958 series "Dough Re Mi" for Jack Barry-Dan Enright Productions and the short-lived 1972 show "The Amateur's Guide to Love" for Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley Productions, as well as appearing on the Peter Marshall version of Heatter-Quigley's "The Hollywood Squares" on at least three occasions between 1968 and 1972). In addition, he was a long-running "communicator" on NBC Radio's "Monitor" from 1961 to 1973; he was one of several G-T personalities to have been associated with the 1955-1975 radio program (others included Arlene Francis, Henry Morgan, the aforementioned Bob and Ray, Garry Moore, Ed McMahon, Joe Garagiola and Bill Cullen). Mr. Rayburn was the first host of the 1985 version of "Break the Bank," but was fired after 13 weeks; this was around the time "Entertainment Tonight," on its birthday segment, mentioned his age, and forever after he blamed the show for his inability to find much work afterward. Mr. Rayburn died of congestive heart failure on November 29, 1999 at age 81.
BILL STERN - The influential radio sportscaster was in the middle of his run with ABC at the time of his 1953-1954 run as "TNTS" panelist; his ABC stint lasted until 1956. Both that and his earlier run with NBC had come to an end in relation to a long addiction to painkillers that followed in the wake of an auto accident in 1935 which led to his left leg above the knee being amputated. After kicking his painkiller addiction, Mr. Stern retired from television and became a commentator for Mutual Radio from the late 1950's into the 1960's. He died on November 19, 1971 at age 64.
BESS MYERSON - The next major gig for Miss Myerson after the end of her run as "TNTS" panelist was an eight-year run (1959-1967) as panelist on "I've Got a Secret." The rest of her trajectory can be found in the notes to EPISODE #246 of February 20, 1955.
AUDREY MEADOWS - At the time of her "TNTS" panel stint in its last months on the air, Miss Meadows was already known as "Alice Kramden" on "The Honeymooners" sketches on "The Jackie Gleason Show." In fact, the first of the "Classic 39" episodes aired on October 1, 1955, only six days prior to the "TNTS" series finale. In the 1960's, Audrey was in three movies: "That Touch of Mink," "Take Her, She's Mine," and "Rosie!" She also reprised her "Alice Kramden" role for a musical "Honeymooners" episode on Gleason's "American Scene Magazine" in 1966, and again for four hour-long specials produced and aired between 1976 and 1978. Miss Meadows continued to act in television until her death from lung cancer on February 3, 1996 at age 73.
MIKE WALLACE - Mr. Wallace had some game show experience as host of "The Big Surprise" in 1955, and was a rotating panelist in the early months of Goodson-Todman's "To Tell the Truth." But it was beginning in 1956 that Mike began on the road to serious news for which he would ultimately be known, first on a local New York news/interview program called "Night Beat," then on the nationally-broadcast ABC series "The Mike Wallace Interview." Mr. Wallace joined CBS News in 1963, and was the first anchor of the "CBS Morning News" from its 1963 debut until 1966. After two years of field reporting, including covering the early months of Richard Nixon's ultimately successful 1968 run for the Presidency, Mr. Wallace was tapped in 1968 to co-host "60 Minutes" with Harry Reasoner. While the program's co-hosts changed over the years, Mike stayed with the broadcast until his retirement in 2006. His son, Chris Wallace, has followed in his footsteps, as a news reporter and anchor at NBC, ABC and, as of December 2008, Fox News.
REVIEW: This would have been one night the panel probably would have preferred to stay home if it wasn't for the fact that they had so much fun tonight. It also was a night with a very international flavor as both regular contestants were from countries other than the United States. In the first game, the panel was totally stumped by the female fire eater from France. It also provided the first bit of wild humor when Bennett asked if her service had anything to do with food or drink, and then playfully disputed her "no" answer to his question. In the second game, the panel had a little bit better luck with the crocodile hunter from Bulawayo, Rhodesia, Africa. They were able to figure out that he was a hunter, but they never figured out that he was a precursor to Australia's famous Steve Irwin by 40 years. The fun really picked up in the mystery guest round. The night's guest, Margaret O'Brien, really had the panel in stitches with her rather boisterous Cockney accent. In fact, it even had the normally formal Peter Ustinov, who was the guest panelist for the night, also going Cockney. Unfortunately, the time ran out during the round and Miss O'Brien won by default. And so, Ducks, even though it was a rather disappointing night for the panel, it still was a very fun night for all. - Sargebri (2005)
BULAWAYO, RHODESIA: The crocodile hunter was from the nation of Rhodesia in Eastern Africa. Rhodesia was, along with South Africa, an international pariah due to its policy of apartheid. In fact, it would take until 1980 for them to gain their independence and for the Black majority to finally gain power. - Sargebri (2005)
It is surprising that no one wished anyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
For the past month (4 episodes or so) Dorothy has seemed much more serious and uninterested in the whole game.
I will never forget Arlene saying: "What I like is an impartial wild animal!!"
Do we have to separate them? moment: Dorothy asking Margaret O'Brien, "Do you weigh over 135 pounds?" to which Margaret replied (using a cockney accent) "I wouldn't say so, but bloomin' clever you are, ain'tcha?" to which Dorothy does NOT smile!
At one point Margaret O'Brien answered, "I was pretty young then, but I'm older now." To which Arlene sighed and replied, "It happens to all of us." She got a big laugh!
- fiveninegal (2003)
Peter Ustinov (4/16/1921 - 3/28/2004)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Peter Ustinov, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.
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