Sadly, exactly six years later on 9/3/1967, the last WML would be aired on the same month and date as tonight's show of 9/3/1961. - ymike673
Arlene: And now the Mount Kisco kid and distinguished squire of Random House, Mr. Bennett Cerf.
John: (trying to justify flipping of cards for the final challenger) You win on technicalities. I don't know what technicalities I'm going to invent there.
In the conversation following the identification of the pig farmers in game two, John asks the contestants if it's a lucrative occupation. Seeing their hesitancy, Bennett comments, "John, I wonder if the ladies remember that old Moran and Mack routine. You remember, they bought pigs for $5 in the spring and fed them all summer and then sold them for $5 in the fall? And Moran said, 'You can't make any money that way!' And Mack said, 'We found that out!'"
Moran and Mack could be called the precursors to Amos and Andy. They were two blackface comics, also known as "The Two Black Crows" who were popular in the earliest part of the 20th century. Their routines were immortalized on phonograph records beginning in 1927, and they became popular around the country.
Bennett got the gist of the joke correctly, but he reversed the characters. Although the joke was surely told many different ways over the years, the routine on one vintage recording goes like this:
Moran: "We used to buy young pigs in August and then we'd sell 'em in April."
Mack: "What did you pay for the pigs in August?"
Moran: "A certain amount."
Mack: "Yes, I know. But how much?"
Moran: "Uh, four dollars each."
Mack: "And what did you sell 'em for in April?"
Moran: "Uh, four dollars each."
Mack: "You paid four dollars in August and sold 'em in April for four dollars?"
Mack: "Well, you can't make any money that way."
Moran: "No ... we found that out!"
To hear the entire Two Black Crows routine to which Bennett refers, along with the routines of other vaudeville stars, go to http://dvautier.home.comcast.net/records/records.htm
and search for "Two Black Crows - Part Two - Goofer feathers, olives and the business of selling pigs." - Lee McIntyre
This was a very remarkable night for the panel as they all returned from their various vacations. In fact, John remarked at the end of tonight's broadcast that their vacations probably played a huge factor in their performance as they essentially had a perfect night. The night began with a bang when Dorothy immediately guessed that the 14 year old contestant was a Senate page. She probably was tipped off to his occupation when the audience chuckled when she asked the young man if he worked for a non-profit organization. John definitely felt sorry that the young man didn't stay onstage longer, so he flipped the remaining cards. In the second game, Arlene had the occupation of the two ladies from Louisiana narrowed down to having something to do with pigs. However, it was Bennett who correctly said that the women raised them. As with the first game, John flipped over all the cards, probably because Bennett spoke out of turn when making his guess. In the mystery guest round, Dolly Mae almost got another one when she guessed that the film Ben Gazzara was in was "The Young Doctors." However, she made a big boo-boo when she incorrectly guessed that Ben was his film co-star, Frederic March, to which she promptly received a "no" reply. However, Martin was able to make the correct guess and made the proper identification. After the game, John explained that the reason Ben was on crutches was due to his breaking his leg while playing softball with his team, the Tuna Fish Terrors. The final game was a classic Martin Gabel performance as he did a solo in guessing that the young lady, who was about to start college, was a lifeguard. John admitted that he thought that the panel wouldn't guess she was a lifeguard, due to the fact that her tanned complexion would make it so obvious that the panel probably wouldn't guess she was a lifeguard. However, Martin was able to see right through their imaginative sense of humor. That performance definitely made this a very special homecoming. - Sargebri
As John had mentioned, the previous few weeks' worth of episodes had been videotaped several weeks in advance to allow Arlene to work on the film "One, Two, Three" while still being "seen" on the show. This also allowed Bennett, Dorothy and John to take well deserved vacations. In later years, this would become standard practice as several "summer" shows were taped in advance to allow the panel to take vacations or to pursue their regular careers. - Sargebri
FLIP REPORT: Dorothy correctly identified the first challenger as a page boy and then John prompted her to identify that he worked in the U.S. Senate. John then flipped all the cards at two down. John also flipped all the cards at seven down for the challengers in the second game. Bennett stated out of turn that he thought they raised pigs. When Dorothy incorrectly identified the mystery challenger Ben Gazzara, John flipped two cards instead of one. Martin Gabel identified the occupation of the final challenger almost right away, but John flipped all the cards anyway, wildly claiming "technicalities." - agent_0042
(1) Coincidentally, tonight's episode of September 3, 1961 - the first new live episode of the season after the last few weeks having been pre-taped - aired exactly six years to the day before the very last network "WML?" installment, EPISODE #876 of September 3, 1967. That final episode also went out live after the usual pattern of pre-taped summer shows that had aired over the preceding weeks. Also coincidentally, three of tonight's panelists - Arlene Francis, Martin Gabel and Bennett Cerf - would be on the panel of the very last episode six years in the future.
(2) Yet another new Kellogg's opening sequence debuts with tonight's episode, the fourth since the cereal maker began sponsoring "WML?" on an alternating basis in 1958.
(3) In her introduction of Bennett, Arlene calls him the "Mount Kisco Kid" - a double pun on O. Henry's "The Cisco Kid" and on Arlene and Bennett's both residing in Mount Kisco, NY. - W-B
Ben Gazzara promoted his 1961 movie "The Young Doctors." He hobbled in on two crutches. He explained that he had been playing softball for recreation, and had broken his leg! - Suzanne
Tidbits: Many "welcome backs" were said by the panel, and John explained the fact that the prior several episodes had been prerecorded.
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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