GOOF: Gisele MacKenzie's overlay screen misspelled her name as "Giselle MacKenzie." - W-B (2009)
FLIP REPORT: In the night's first game, John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at eight down because time was running short. The panel correctly guessed this contestant's product, "baby carriages," but stumbled when it came to guessing that he made this product. In the night's mystery challenger round, John flipped the remaining cards for mystery challenger Gisele MacKenzie at eight down, again because time was running short. All mystery guests were paid an appearance fee of $500 that was undisclosed to the general public, however, it was highly unusual for the mystery challenger round to be ended due to time. - agent_0042 (2009)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: This evening, Kellogg's offers the "Best to You" in its capacity as primary sponsor. In later years, Kellogg's would expand this motto to "The Best to You Each Morning!"
(2) FROM THE "FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME" DEPARTMENT: Tonight's show marked the debut "WML?" appearances of actress and "I've Got a Secret" panelist Betsy Palmer; actor Laurence Harvey; and singer Gisele MacKenzie. The only ones to appear on "WML?" again after tonight were Miss Palmer and Mr. Harvey, and of those two, only Betsy made a return appearance as a guest panelist. Miss MacKenzie never made any further appearances on "WML?"
(3) MORE ABOUT BETSY PALMER: In later years, Miss Palmer would be associated with "WML?" in different forms. She was a mystery guest on the 1968-1975 syndicated "WML?" on at least three occasions and, in 2008, was a panelist and mystery guest on the "WML? Live on Stage" theatrical production in New York. (On the March 24, 2008 stage show, where Miss Palmer was a panelist, the first guest of the evening was the first contestant in "WML?'s" history, Pat Finch, who signed in as Patricia Porterfield.)
(4) OTHER "IGAS" CONNECTIONS: Though Betsy Palmer and Henry Morgan were the only members of the "classic" panel of "IGAS" to have been guest panelists on "WML?" (among extant episodes), a few other panelists from the early years of "IGAS" had filled in on the "WML?" panel from time to time over the years, most notably Faye Emerson, Laraine Day and Jayne Meadows. And then, of course, Jayne's husband, Steve Allen, regular "WML?" panelist from 1953 to 1954 and occasional guest panelist to the very end, was host of "IGAS" from 1964 to 1967, as well as hosting the 1972 syndicated version. Bill Cullen was a "WML?" guest panelist once, but unfortunately, his lone turn in that capacity fell during the 1950-1952 period when the majority of "WML?" kinescopes were destroyed, and thus are lost to the ages today. Bess Myerson (the closest to a "grande dame" on "IGAS") was the only one of the major "IGAS" panelists never to appear on "WML?" during its 1950-1967 CBS run (though she and John Daly worked together as commentators on the Miss America Pageant for a few years); however, she was a mystery guest once on the syndicated incarnation in 1973.
(5) LAURENCE HARVEY: At the time of his only "WML?" guest panelist appearance, Mr. Harvey was in the middle of filming his role as "Weston Liggett" in the 1960 Elizabeth Taylor movie "BUtterfield 8." Before that, Laurence was part of the all-star cast of John Wayne's "The Alamo," where he played "Colonel William Travis." Both films came out within a month of each other in the fall of 1960.
(6) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: The two regular contestants' overlays were set in the usual Futura Demi Bold; however, in the case of mystery guest Gisele MacKenzie, not only was her lower-third overlay hand-painted, but her first name was misspelled as "Giselle" and the "ac" in her surname was in capital letters.
(7) ROOM AT THE 'TOP: Washington, D.C. television station, and CBS affiliate, WTOP-TV (Channel 9), for which second contestant Morna Campbell worked, was owned by The Washington Post at the time of tonight's show, and was the linchpin of what, in 1961, became Post-Newsweek Stations. In July 1978, Post-Newsweek engaged in a swap with the Evening News Association, owners of WWJ-TV (Channel 4) in Detroit (as well as of the Detroit News); after the switch, WTOP became WDVM-TV (for the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland), while WWJ, under Post-Newsweek ownership, adopted its current call letters of WDIV. Today, the Washington station is owned by Gannett, and has been known since July 4, 1986 as WUSA; it is still affiliated with CBS. (As a side note, the current WWJ-TV in Detroit, on Channel 62 and owned by CBS, is of no relation to the old WWJ.)
(8) MYSTERY GUEST IRONY: There was an ironic significance to Betsy Palmer's incorrect assumption that mystery guest Gisele MacKenzie was Dorothy Kilgallen, since it was nearly eleven months from tonight's show -- on EPISODE #550 of February 5, 1961 -- that Dolly Mae did in fact make a mystery guest appearance on the show, after one of her hospital stays in connection with a longtime struggle with substance abuse. What's more, at one point in her mystery guest spot, Miss Kilgallen attempted a French accent -- another irony, given Miss MacKenzie's French-Canadian background. And to top it off, EPISODE #550 was also sponsored by Kellogg's.
(9) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Once again, on its March 28, 2009 airing of this episode, GSN sprung its overbearing and underhanded "credits crunch" twice in a row: in the first seconds of the good nights (albeit with the vintage audio retained), and of course during the closing credits (with the original audio, as usual, blotted out in favor of one of the cable and satellite channel's own nauseating program promos). Speaking of closing credits, the cutoff point was the art card crediting set designer Willard Levitas, from which the production crew on the original episode inexplicably dissolved to a still of Garry Moore, either in connection with his variety show or with "IGAS."
(10) The March 28, 2009 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by the January 21, 1960 edition of "To Tell the Truth," hosted by Bud Collyer, with the panel consisting of Polly Bergen, Arthur Schwartz, Kitty Carlisle and Tom Poston. The first game featured Joyce Case (spelling verified; an airline stewardess for Central Airlines and "stunt pilot extraordinary," per Mr. Collyer's superlatives; as Bud was reading the affidavit, a film of one of Miss Case's airline stunts, where she was piloting a vintage 1932 Great Lakes biplane, registration tail number N23U, was shown; she was also the AAA Women's Aerobatic Champion) and two impostors; the second game featured Curtis Roos (aka Curtis A. Roos, spelling verified; he worked for the United States General Services Administration with the title of Director of Real Property Disposal, and was in charge of disposing of surplus government property; at the time of this "TTTT" episode, he was supervising the government's attempts to sell Ellis Island) and two impostors (as a side note, while this was not mentioned in the affidavit that Mr. Collyer was reading, among those who bid on Ellis Island was Jerry Damon, a staff announcer for NBC in New York; Mr. Damon went on to be an announcer for the 1964-1965 American version of "That Was the Week That Was," which had some Goodson-Todman connections in the form of "IGAS" panelist Henry Morgan, and daytime "TTTT" panelist/later "WML?" guest panelist Phyllis Newman; Mr. Damon's involvement with "TW3" led to his being incorrectly classified as a "comedian" in some reference books and on the Web); and the third game featured Irene Morden (a big game hunter who was the first American to hunt in the Crimean game preserve in the Soviet Union) and two impostors. - W-B (2005, updated 2009)
WELCOME HOME BENNETT!!! This was Bennett's first night back after being away for over a month. However, while Bennett returned, Dorothy was away covering the Finch trial in Los Angeles. Most likely, Dorothy's absence had something to do with the panel's poor game playing ability this evening, as they went 0 (zero) for the night. In the first game, guest panelist Laurence Harvey correctly figured out that his fellow countryman, Mr. Graham Lines, had something to do with baby carriages. Unfortunately, he didn't fully identify the contestant's line by figuring out that he sold them. In the second game, the panel was absolutely stumped by the very attractive female newscaster from Washington, D.C. Of course, it was hard to believe that she worked as a newscaster, since it was still a male-dominated field, and this was a few years before women such as Barbara Walters and Connie Chung became household names. In the mystery guest round, the panel ran out of time and Gisele MacKenzie wound up stumping them. In fact, she so thoroughly put them through the ringer that Dorothy's replacement for the night, "I've Got a Secret" panelist Betsy Palmer, thought she was Dorothy Kilgallen. Bennett, also confounded, thought she was Genevieve. Laurence Harvey, also fooled, thought she was his "Room at the Top" co-star, Simone Signoret. Gisele was on the show to promote her upcoming Wednesday appearance on "The Perry Como Show." The real thrill of the night came when John had a very enjoyable reaction to Gisele kissing him. He kissed her back and then struck a triumphant pose. This definitely helped ease the pain of a very bad night. - Sargebri (2005)
HARVEY FAMILY: Despite the panel's bad game-playing performance, Laurence Harvey did a fairly good job on the show as a rookie guest panelist. He asked good questions and he brought a nice sense of humor to the panel. However, he wasn't the only famous member of his family. His daughter, Domino Harvey, would later become a Ford model. Yet later, in an unusual move, she became a bounty hunter. Sadly, Domino died of a drug overdose on in July 2005. A movie based on her life called "Domino" featuring Keira Knightley was released the year of her death. - Sargebri (2005)
BETSY PALMER: As was mentioned at the opening of the show tonight, Betsy Palmer was currently a regular panelist on Goodson-Todman's other game show, "I've Got a Secret." She had the distinction of being a member of the best-known version of the IGAS panel in the history of the show. Her panel mates were Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan. Betsy and Morgan were the only two members of that panel to ever make an appearance on the WML panel. Bill did appear on WML, but only as a mystery guest. Bess never made an appearance of any kind on WML. - Sargebri (2005)
Dorothy Kilgallen was in California covering crime news of the trial of Barbara Finch, who was murdered in 1959. The famous case involved Barbara's husband, the respected Dr. Bernard Finch, and the doctor's mistress, Carol Tregoff. Dr. Finch claimed he shot Barbara accidentally. However, two and a half months earlier, Barbara had told her lawyer of her fear of being killed by her husband. Dr. Finch and Carol Tregoff were both convicted of second degree murder. - Suzanne
(2003) Laurence Harvey (10/1/1928 - 11/25/1973) Betsy Palmer (11/1/1926 - 5/30/2015)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Laurence Harvey, Betsy Palmer, Bennett Cerf.