As the old saying goes, "close" only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes. However, the panel wasn't playing either of those games this evening. Even though they were close in all the regular games, if it weren't for the mystery guest round they would have gone "0" for the night. In the first game, they did figure out that Mr. Haly, not Daly, worked in the circus. Unfortunately, they never did guess that he was a strongman with Ringling Brothers. In the second game, Martin correctly figured out that the contestant had something to do with baseball gloves. Unfortunately, Martin incorrectly guessed that the contestant sold gloves, which was wrong, because the contestant designed gloves. The panel had a better time of it in the mystery guest round as they correctly identified Gordon and Sheila MacRae. Gordon and Sheila were on the show to promote their current engagement at the Waldorf. They showed why they were one of the great musical/comedy acts of the era when they treated the panel, as well as the audience, to their excellent impressions of Perry Como and Dinah Shore. Unfortunately, the panel's good luck was not carried over into the final game. They ran out of time with the female jazz drummer just as they were starting to get close. As a result, she won the full prize by default. Perhaps next week they will hit things dead on target, instead of just being close. - Sargebri
Gordon and Sheila not only appeared on WML as mystery guests this evening, but they also appeared on the show at various times as guests panelists. However, they weren't the only members of the MacRae family to appear as a panelist. The MacRaes' daughter, Meredith MacRaes, would also become a frequent guest panelist on the syndicated version of WML. In fact, Meredith was on the panel the week the syndicated show premiered in 1968. Meredith also become a famous actress in her own right. She was most famous for playing "Billie Jo Bradley" on the 1963 to 1970 rural sitcom "Petticoat Junction." Taking over in 1966, she was the third actress to play the role. She was preceded by Jeannine Riley and Gunilla Hutton, respectively. Interestingly, there was a lot of turnover in respects to the actresses that played the two older daughters, "Billie Jo" and "Bobbie Jo." In addition to the fact that three actresses played "Billie Jo," two different actresses played middle daughter "Bobbie Jo." Pat Woodall played the role from 1963 to 1965 and Lori Saunders played the role from 1965 to 1970. Ironically, the role of youngest daughter, "Betty Jo" was played by the same actress, Linda Kaye Henning, for the entire run of the series. Of course, Linda was the daughter of the show's producer, Paul Henning. - Sargebri
This episode was shown on GSN on January 8, 2006 with a black-and-white promo for GSN's website and no closing credits. - agent_0042
FLIP REPORT: Twice, John flipped all the cards because the panel ran out of time. He flipped them for the first challenger at seven down and for the final challenger at four down. - agent_0042
(1) SHOW ANNOUNCER WATCH: This was the second "WML?" episode on which Johnny Olson was the announcer. His first vocal appearance was on EPISODE #550 of February 5, 1961. Several more episodes will be broadcast before he takes over the job permanently. In the interim, announcer Ralph Paul will be heard.
(2) ABOUT SHEILA MACRAE: In 1966, the same year her daughter Meredith MacRae landed the role of "Billie Jo Bradley" on "Petticoat Junction," tonight's co-mystery guest Sheila MacRae became the fourth and final "Alice Kramden" in musical remakes of old "Honeymooners" episodes that aired on "The Jackie Gleason Show." She will play the role from 1966 until the show's cancellation in 1970. (The other most famous "Alice Kramden," Audrey Meadows, had been a mystery guest on "WML?" EPISODE #272 of August 21, 1955.)
(3) MORE GLEASON CONNECTIONS: Coincidentally, Sheila MacRae was not the only person on "WML?" tonight to have a future connection to Jackie Gleason. Eventual regular "WML?" announcer (and tonight's fill-in announcer) Johnny Olson would also go on to handle announcing duties for Gleason's show, starting with The Great One's return to weekly television in 1962 with what in its first four years was called "Jackie Gleason and His American Scene Magazine" (and in its first two years, based in New York), and continuing until Gleason's show was cancelled. Olson's opening line for the Gleason show - "From the Sun and Fun Capital of the World, Miami Beach" (where Jackie produced his show from 1964 onwards) - was as famous as his opening lines for the many Goodson-Todman game shows which he announced over the decades. - W-B
MARY FETTIG: Twelve years later on the Viacom syndicated version of What's My Line? which was taped on August 23, 1973, What's My Line? featured yet another jazz musician, famed saxophone player Mary Fettig. Larry Blyden was the host along with the panel which consisted of Soupy Sales, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Gene Shalit and Arlene Francis. On January 10, 2005, GSN aired her episode during their "Jerry Orbach Tribute." At the time of the original 1973 broadcast, Mary Fettig was a saxophone player with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Soupy Sales mentioned that Bonnie Wetzel also played bass for Stan Kenton. If Soupy was correct, it would have been in the 1950s. However, Mary told him that there had been a few ladies in other bands, but as far as she knew, she was the first female member to play and travel with Stan's band. Mary, a young-looking twenty years old, spoke of how she came to be hired. Larry gave Mary high accolades when he said, "She was hired, because according to Kenton, she is a Monster Musician. Which means about as big a musician as you can get to be." After her game, she entertained the audience by performing a tune called "Intermission Riff" which was written by Ray Wetzel. In "Bennett Cerf style," Dr. Brothers said that Mary had "sax appeal." - Suzanne Astorino
From the Net: Mary Fettig has toured and recorded with Stan Kenton, Marian McPartland, Tito Puente, and Flora Purim and Airto. She has recorded on numerous albums and CDs, as well as on radio, television and movie soundtracks. She currently performs with Marcos Silva, Dave Eshelman, Ray Brown, and with her own quartet. Her latest CD, "Relativity," was released in April, 2004.
Dottie is a jazz drummer, singer and recording artist. She is the former wife of Jerry Dodgion, alto saxophone and big band musician. They were married from 1952 until their separation in the mid-1970s. - Suzanne
Gordon and Sheila MacRae were married from May 21, 1941 until their divorce on April 15, 1967.
Tidbits: Bennett announced that this was "National Library Week."
Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Martin Gabel, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.
Click "All Episode Notes" to see all the notes, as they don't all show up on the summary overview page.
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