Tonight's show is special because Steve Allen is back as a guest panelist. Judging from the big hand he gets on his entrance, it's obvious how much both the audience and the panel have missed him and his trademark zany humor. The bright and affable Martin Gabel once again fills in for the vacationing Bennett.
Steve's quick wit enlivens the first round. Martin asks the contestant Fred Pfister, who is Swiss, "May I assume that you have nothing to with cheeses, watches or hotels?" "You’ve got to watch those cheesy hotels!" quips Steve, and gets a huge laugh. Later, he asks, "Well, Mr. Pfister, how’s your sister?" and, "Are you the head galondesproong or something?" It's good to have him back!
The panel loses this round, but everybody's laughing too hard to care. After Pfister's line is revealed, he mentions that, as an official Olympic timer, he uses a Longines stopwatch. Then it's Arlene's turn: "You have to wear Longines when you go skiing!" More laughter.
The second contestant, Oren Lyons (aka Jo-Ag-Quis-Ho, “Sun Making Tracks Through the Snow” in Iroquois). He designs Valentine cards. (His line is timely as this episode originally aired on Valentine's Day). Martin gets the biggest laugh in this round when he asks if the product is used "for sporting purposes."
The panel once again loses, but the round was great fun.
Horror movie star Peter Lorre (1904-1964) is the mystery guest. He answers questions "mm-hmmm" in high voice and smokes a cigarette. After determining that he is not a woman, not a leading man and not a singer or dancer, the panel is stumped. Suddenly Arlene brightens. She had seen Lorre's picture in the Sunday New York Times. She asks, "Are you a sad-eyed, innocent villain?" Lorre answers in his own distinctive mournful voice, "Yes, I'm afraid I am."
The diminutive (5' 5") Hungarian-born actor is in town to promote his latest film, "Scent of Mystery," which is in Smell-O-Vision. "Scent of Mystery" was the first and last feature film to use this now-forgotten gimmick. Scents placed on a rotating drum were released in the theatre during certain scenes. Each release was triggered by a cue point in the film. When asked, Lorre confesses that he knows very little about how it works. Like many classic horror stars, Lorre is gentle, courtly and mild-mannered offscreen. He even kisses the ladies' hands when he exits.
This was a very entertaining show, thanks mostly to the presence of Steve. He'll be back next week. Hooray!