John Daly incorrectly said that Johnny Mercer was a 2-time Oscar winner. At this time, Mercer was actually a 4-time Oscar winner, and was evidently too humble to correct John. Mercer had won the following songwriting Oscars to date: 1947 Oscar for "On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe" - 1952 Oscar for "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" - 1962 Oscar for "Moon River" - 1963 Oscar for "Days of Wine and Roses" - Suzanne
Bennett: (to John) Goodnight, Ringo.
John: Don't tempt me! Goodnight, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us on What's My Line?
Dorothy and Arlene: (disputing that mustard is a solid) That's not a solid!
John: Sure it is. It's a semi-solid.
Dorothy: It's goopy!
Jane: (after Bennett retells his 'Heart grow, Fonda' pun/story) Yes, he told me that one.
John: That's the trouble, you'll hear it over and over and over again.
John: And now, we come to the special part of the program when the panel must re-mask. How's that for manufacturing language, Bennett? Your dictionary to the contrary not withstanding, are the masks all in place?
John: Well then, will the mystery guest enter and sign in, please?
John Charles Daly, himself with thinning hair, nevertheless likes to poke gentle fun at his colleague Bennett Cerf, whose pate is more bald than is John's. Tonight, after learning that the amazingly popular Beatle wigs are a mere $2.98 each, Dorothy says, "I'll get two of them, then." And John says, "Actually, Bennett, you know, on these cold nights, uh ... " Bennett enjoys the joke as much as anyone, and John includes himself in the jab when he continues, " ... and just in case anybody misunderstands, if they work, Bennett, I'll get one, too!"
Arlene: Well, Mr. Kantor, the audience is wonderfully entertained by whatever the product is. Is it a product that would be seen on the person?
Arlene: Ah, would it be seen from the waist up?
Arlene: Is it possible it would be seen from the neck up?
Arlene: Would it be seen in the area of the head?
Irving: Yes, it would.
Arlene: Now, we've had an awful lot of publicity in this town about a group that's come from England. Now, I may be all off the track here, but if you are responsible in anyway of increasing the popularity of the Be-Beatle wig, we're in big trouble. (audience laughs and applauds)
John: Um, Miss Francis, may I ask you, what is your question?
Arlene: My question is - do you have anything to do with the Beatle wig?
Irving: Yes, I do.
Dorothy: And now, I would like to present What's My Line?'s answer to the Beatles, Bennett Cerf.
Bennett: And here is our hirsute and undeniably handsome moderator - John 'Ringo' Daly.
John: Bennett, you obviously have the Beatles on your mind.
Bennett: They were on Ed Sullivan.
John: (to the camera) We had the Beatles next door tonight. You want to talk about obstacle courses, this has been a real obstacle course this evening!
Arlene: Why don't you sing one more for the road as you go out, Johnny?
Johnny: (singing) It's quarter to threeeee.
OTHER ED SULLIVAN GUESTS THAT FATEFUL NIGHT!!! Even though everyone remembered the appearance of the Fab Four, there were other guests on the Sullivan show that same night. Charlie Brill and his wife Mitzi McCall were a budding improvisational comedy team in the style of Mike Nichols and Elaine May. They were on the verge of breaking into the big time when they had the misfortune of being booked on Sullivan the same night the Beatles made their debut. Needless to say, their act went over like a lead balloon due to the fact that their comedy was geared more towards adults rather than the teenagers that packed the theater that night. As a result, they blamed the Beatles for their careers not taking off the way they had hoped. However, they still would go on to have some success and would be fixtures on television and even appeared on several game shows as panelists. Also, another young guest on that show would gain success just two and a half years later. Performing that same night were two members of the cast of the classic Broadway musical "Oliver." One was Georgia Brown who played the role of "Nancy." Joining her on stage that night was a young man by the name of David Jones. Of course, David would be better known as Davy Jones and would later be one of four young unknowns to be cast in the 1966-1968 Beatles inspired sitcom, "The Monkees." In fact, the Monkees were nicknamed the Pre-Fab Four (Prefab - as in prefabricated) because they were a manufactured group inspired by the original Fab Four. - Sargebri
Indeed, it was because of the Monkee Davy Jones that another budding young British singer born as David Jones would change his name to David Bowie. - W-B
Another person who shared billing with The Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show" that 1964 evening was Frank Gorshin. - Suzanne
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the second contestant at just one down, but he jokingly admitted that it was just to give him some exercise. He flipped them all for the final contestant at six down. The panel had nearly guessed his line, but time ran out. - agent_0042
"CAPITOL" CONNECTIONS: Ironically, tonight's first mystery guest, Johnny Mercer, was a co-founder of the Capitol Records label in 1942. The other founders included songwriter Buddy DeSylva and record store owner Glenn Wallichs. The irony in this is that Capitol is the label to which The Beatles were signed by the time of their landmark appearance earlier tonight on "The Ed Sullivan Show." So it's safe to say that the contestant who followed Mr. Mercer was hardly the only person to have some Beatles connection, whether directly or indirectly. In addition, at the time of tonight's show, guest panelist Bobby Darin was also signed to Capitol, hence he too had an indirect connection to the Fab Four in that sense. - W-B
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE!!! This was the night the Beatles made their historic appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." This not only signaled the arrival of the "mop tops" in America, but it also was the first shot fired in the British Invasion, when any musical act with a British accent became an overnight success. Beatlemania had definitely arrived and was here to stay. There are a couple of theories as to why the Beatles broke as big as they did. One theory says that when the Beatles arrived, America was still in mourning over the assassination of President Kennedy and needed something to help brighten the mood, and the "Fab Four" with their wonderful personalities did that and more. A second theory says that the Beatles sound helped to resurrect rock and roll from the dead. During this so-called "dead" period, many of the biggest stars in rock and roll had disappeared for one reason or another. Elvis Presley had entered the Army. Jerry Lee Lewis had been banned because of his controversial marriage to his teenage cousin. Little Richard had become a preacher. Chuck Berry had been arrested and imprisoned for a Mann Act violation. And tragically, three of rock's biggest stars (Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper) had been killed in an airplane crash. It was also during this "dead" time that popular music was dominated by several manufactured teen idols, including Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell and Fabian. It was felt that these surrounding events caused rock music to go into a sharp decline, and when the Beatles arrived, it was reborn. However, this second theory was quickly debunked, because during that period, popular music saw the rise of Motown, producer Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" and the Beach Boys. Ironically, tonight's mystery guest Bobby Darin was an early rocker, but after his rock and roll period, he soon shifted to singing pop ballads, which established him as probably the first real pop chameleon. - Sargebri
REVIEW: On this particularly historic evening, the panel essentially batted .500. The panel was totally stumped by composer Johnnie Mercer, who was preparing for the premier of his latest musical, "Foxy," starring Bert Lahr. (Lahr will appear as a mystery guest two episodes later, also promoting "Foxy.") The big mistake the panel made was in erroneously assuming that Mercer was a performer and not a behind-the-scenes person. In fact, Arlene thought that Mercer actually made a mistake and called Mercer "Bert Lahr." However, Arlene made up for her earlier gaffe when she correctly guessed that the second contestant made Beatle wigs. Bennett also was successful when he guessed that the second mystery guest was Jane Fonda. This, of course, was several years before Jane earned her infamous nickname of "Hanoi Jane," which she earned during a trip to North Vietnam when she made several radio broadcasts blasting the United States for attacking Vietnam. She also was used for several "Photo Ops" including one where she was sitting behind an anti-aircraft gun which was probably used to shoot down American bombers. Unfortunately, the panel ran out of time when they were questioning the mustard salesman and he wound up winning the full prize by default. - Sargebri
GSN broadcast this episode on December 29, 2004 as part of a week-long celebration of the release of the new Bobby Darin biopic, "Beyond the Sea," starring Kevin Spacey. This was the second of Bobby's five "What's My Line?" appearances to be aired during the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. - Garrison Skunk
This episode was next aired by GSN in regular rotation on May 30, 2006. - W-B
When Bennett states that John "always gets ham and eggs" no matter what he orders in French, this is a reference to Bennett's long-standing and oft-stated "Ham and X" puns which refer to John Daly (ham) and X (eggs). In prior years, Bennett has told this pun when WML has had a contestant who has signed in as "Mr. X." Bennett has stated to John, "You look like Ham and X." - Suzanne Astorino
ABSINTHE - The explanation behind Bennett's pun: Absinthe is a strong pale-green liqueur flavored with the herbs wormwood and anise. In addition to alcohol, it contains the psychoactive substance thujone. The source of thujone is the wormwood, from whose scientific name (Artemisia absinthium) absinthe derives its name. This bitter substance is fairly addictive, and will cause enlargement of the heart in chronic users. It is now prohibited in many countries because of its toxicity. - Suzanne
Read more about this episode here!
Bobby Darin on 1964 WML
Bobby Darin (5/14/1936 - 12/20/1973)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Bobby Darin, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.
Arlene introduces Bobby Darin as being in town for the Heart Association, and Bobby plays the game extremely well! Host John Daly comments that he had to run an "obstacle course" to get to the studio because The Beatles were making their first United States appearance next door at the Ed Sullivan Theatre. Songwriter Johnny Mercer is the first mystery guest, and promotes his new Broadway musical "Foxy." To commemorate The Beatles debut in America, the show's second contestant is Mr. Kantor of the Lowell Toy Company, manufacturer of the Beatles wigs, which are selling for $2.98 each. Mr. Kantor states that they are selling "like mad," and his company is manufacturing over 20,000 wigs a day! John Daly suggests to Bennett that he might want to wear a Beatles wig on cold nights. The second mystery guest is Jane Fonda. She says she sounds too much like her father Henry Fonda when attempting to disguise her voice, and discusses her new film, "Sunday in New York." Bennett makes a terrible pun about making the "heart grow fonda," and Jane states, "he told me that before." The first time Bennett told Jane Fonda the "absinthe makes the heart grow, Fonda" joke/pun was on January 13, 1963 when Jane was a guest panelist. - Jim's TV Collectables
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