JOHN'S BOYHOOD COMMENT: As the Marist nun leaves the stage, John makes an interesting statement when he comments that he had been educated by Marist Brothers while a boy at a college in South Africa. Indeed, John was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1914 and attended the Marists Brothers College in Johannesburg until he was ten. (To many people, the use of "college" in the name of an elementary school is unusual.) John's family then moved to the United States and he was brought up in the Boston area, attending, as he often noted, the Tilton School in New Hampshire. Later, he continued his education at Boston College. - brklnbern (2009)
FLIP REPORT: In the night's first game, John flipped the sole remaining card for the first contestant at nine down. Bennett correctly figured out this contestant's line, but John flipped the card out of respect for the nun, stating, "I think you really should have the whole bundle." In the night's second game, John flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at seven down because time was running short. The panel was on the correct track by figuring out the guest's product was a green vegetable, but due to the shortage of time, they never figured out that he dealt with pickles. - agent_0042 (2009)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND ANNOUNCER WATCH: Tonight was Sunbeam's time as chief sponsor, and announcer Hal Simms has apparently settled full-time on the "award-winning panel of 'What's My Line?'" wording, which will be used right up to (and including) EPISODE #582 of September 24, 1961.
(2) STANLEY KRAMER - PART I: This was the only CBS "WML?" appearance of the noted film producer/director. (He would be a mystery guest at least twice on the syndicated "WML?," in 1969 and 1973.) While Arlene mentioned "On the Beach" in her introduction of him, Mr. Kramer was at work putting together his next motion picture, "Inherit the Wind," which was filmed in the last three months of 1959 and released in November 1960. The movie's star, Spencer Tracy, never made any appearances on "WML?" In addition, it was three months after "WML?'s" CBS run ended in 1967 that Mr. Kramer's "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" was released; Mr. Tracy's other co-stars in that film, Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier, likewise were never on "WML?"
(3) STANLEY KRAMER - PART II: A later film produced and directed by Mr. Kramer was "Bless the Beasts & Children" (1971). The title song had been sung by the Carpenters, and was released as the B-side of one of their big hits from that year, "Superstar" (A&M 1289). But another minor piece from the composers of the movie score, Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr., went even further in later years. Part of the soundtrack to "Bless the Beasts & Children" was an instrumental piece called "Cotton's Dream" which, in a slightly rearranged version, became the theme music for a new soap opera that debuted on CBS in 1973 (and is still on the air as of 2009) called "The Young and the Restless." In the summer of 1976, that melody was used in a video montage of floor exercises from Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci as broadcast on ABC's "Wide World of Sports." (Miss Comaneci, however, never performed to that piece, but rather to piano music which included "Yes Sir, That's My Baby.") This led to a further retitling of the tune as "Nadia's Theme (The Young And The Restless)," which was released as A&M single #1850 in 1976 and made the Top Ten on the singles chart. (First pressings solely credited Mr. Botkin as the artist, until legal action led to the amending of the artist credit to both Mr. De Vorzon and Mr. Botkin.)
(4) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: Only the regular contestants' overlays used the standard Futura Demi Bold; for mystery guest Nelson Eddy's second and final "WML?" appearance, his lower-third overlay was hand-painted.
(5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: With the days of airline travel arrangement plugs now past, the full end credits sequence was shown tonight, which was the perfect opportunity for GSN to impose its pushy and nagging "crunching" of the screen on its March 23, 2009 airing of this episode.
(6) The March 23, 2009 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by the December 17, 1959 edition of "To Tell the Truth," with host Bud Collyer and the panel of Polly Bergen, Don Ameche, Kitty Carlisle and Tom Poston. The first game of this episode (which was sponsored by first-timer Paper-Mate pens) featured Commander Malcolm Ross, United States Naval Reserve (a balloonist with the Navy whose most recent trip at the point of this "TTTT" episode took place on November 28, 1959, when he and physicist Charles B. Moore traveled up to 89,000 feet on a Strato-Lab IV balloon while performing a spectrographic analysis of the planet Venus), and two impostors; the second game featured Eleanor Moses (spelling verified; an airline stewardess from Alaska who was a member of the Athabascan Indian tribe; she was on a national goodwill tour as Ice Cream Queen, and had been Miss Alaska in the 1958 Miss Universe pageant) and two impostors; and the third game featured Mr. Rollie Newman (or possibly Raleigh Neuman; approximate spelling; a professional hunting guide who was International Duck Calling Champion in 1956 and International Goose Calling Champion in 1959) and two impostors. - W-B (2009)
AU REVOIR BENNETT!!! This was Bennett's last night on the show before he went on a well deserved vacation, and what a way to go out, as he was the only one who made correct guesses. In the first game, John didn't say if the first contestant was salaried or self-employed due to the fact that she was a nun, which made the game all the more difficult. However, Bennett made the last second save when he guessed that she was a dentist. After the game, John related his school days in his native South Africa when he was educated by the Marist Priests, the male counterparts of Sister Mary Christina's order. John also flipped over the remaining card as a show of good sportsmanship. Unfortunately, the good fortune didn't carry over into the second game, as the panel ran out of time, so the pickle packer won the full prize by default. Their luck improved in the mystery guest round as Bennett correctly identified legendary baritone Nelson Eddy. Eddy was on the show to promote his upcoming engagement at the Empire Room at the Waldorf. He also provided a little humor as he did his best Edd "Kookie" Byrnes impersonation. This definitely made Bennett's farewell party something special. Too bad he would have to miss the show's milestone episode next week, EPISODE #500. - Sargebri (2005)
RESPECTFUL MISS KILGALLEN: It was cute to see Dorothy do a little curtsy for Sister Mary Christina. Of course, Dorothy, being the good Catholic girl she was, did that as a sign of respect. She also did something similar when Bishop Fulton J. Sheen was a mystery guest a few years earlier in 1956. As he was exiting the stage, she bowed and kissed his ring. It was also refreshing to see the entire panel, including the distaff members, stand up as Sr. Mary Christina exited the stage. - Sargebri (2005)
NELSON EDDY - PART I: Nelson Eddy promoted his appearance at the "Empire Room" located in the famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. He said his success was in part due to his band members, Gale Sherwood (vocals) and Theodore Paxson (on piano). - Suzanne (2003)
NELSON EDDY - PART II: During Nelson Eddy's game, a reference to his television series, "77 Sunset Strip," was made by guest panelist Stanley Kramer. Both John and Nelson mentioned the word "cookie," and Eddy soon thereafter took a comb from his jacket pocket and proceeded to run it through his hair. Everyone on stage was so out of touch that no one realized the fellow they were talking about was called "Kookie" (which rhymes with spooky) not cookie. On the 1958-1964 show, Edd Byrnes played the part of "Kookie," a parking lot attendant who continually combed his hair. Indeed, Byrnes' character (and his habit) became so popular that he teamed with Connie Stevens on a top ten record called "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb." Nelson Eddy later mentioned that he had practiced all day using a very low voice as a disguise but changed to a very high one for the show at the direction of the production staff. He evidently was a very accommodating fellow. It was unusual for the mystery guest to mention that the staff had been suggesting vocal disguises for the guests. - brklnbern (2009)
Stanley Kramer (9/29/1913 - 2/19/2001)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Stanley Kramer, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.
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