John Daly accidently gives away the identity of the mystery guest Steve Allen. More detail under "Notes."
Buddy: I see you have a good, clear skin, which means you're out-of-doors quite a bit. A good, clear eye, which means you get good, fresh air. You're wearing a pin on you of an oak leaf, which was probably given to you because it has something to do with your life and therefore I would say that you are a forest ranger. Is that right? (loud laughter from John and audience)
Bennett: Miss Caywood's had a tough time -- the Kansas City team's almost as bad as the Mets, isn't it?
John: Please, Mr. Cerf.
Arlene: Miss Caywood is our guest.
John: Not only that, the Mets are a New York team. We never speak -- we just say they did better this year than they did last year.
(John accidently gives away the identity of the mystery guest Steve Allen.)
Dorothy: Are you a performer in show business?
Steve: (in a loud stage whisper) Yessss.
John: Mr. Allen? Uh...
(loud "oohs" and other mutterings from the audience)
John: Mr. Cerf?
Bennett: I'll make believe I didn't hear that.
John: You can't! Let's stop kidding. I...
Bennett: Are you a comedian?
Steve: (using normal voice) I'm not as funny as John is right now.
(loud laughter and applause from audience)
Bennett: Good night, Mr. Allen -- I mean, Mr. Daly.
REVIEW: The secret word for the night was FOREST RANGER. The reason for this was that in the first two games, Buddy would jokingly either guess or ask if the contestants were forest rangers. Also, it would play a big part in one of the most embarrassing moments in the career of John Charles Daly. In the first game, baseball fan Bennett correctly guessed that Betty Caywood was a baseball announcer. In fact, when Miss Caywood said she worked in radio and that she was from Kansas City, Missouri, Bennett was able to put two and two together and make the correct guess. In the second game, the panel was absolutely stumped by the lady who worked in the box office where Arlene's play "Beekman Place" was going to open that coming Wednesday. However, that proved to be the lull before one of the funniest moments in the history of WML took place. When prodigal son Steve Allen walked out for the mystery guest round, he signed in as "Forest Ranger" and promptly took his seat. After Dorothy asked her question and Steve gave her a "yes" answer, John did as he usually does and moved to Bennett. However, when he called for Bennett, John referred to Bennett as "Mr. Allen" rather than "Mr. Cerf." That let the cat out of the bag and John immediately turned several shades of red. He later admitted that when Steve signed in as "Forest Ranger," it threw him and stayed in the back of his mind, probably adding to his slip up. He also admitted that that kind of slip was the one thing he had been afraid of ever since the start of the series. Steve then joked that rather than he replacing Garry Moore as host of "I've Got a Secret," he should replace John, because John might be looking for another job. However, in spite of the egg on his face, John took it in stride and they all got a big laugh out of it. In the final game, the panel ran out of time while questioning the cheesecake maker, and he won the full prize by default. However, not even that could dampen what turned out to be one of the classic moments in the show's 14 years on the air. - Sargebri (2006)
As was mentioned in the aborted mystery guest round, Steve had just replaced Garry Moore as host of "I've Got a Secret" following Garry's retirement as host. Steve would host the show until its cancellation in 1967. Steve also would host the syndicated version as well. - Sargebri (2006)
A SLOW CURVE: If the panel had been looking for hints, they might have made more of John's comment at the top of the show that there were some "slow curves" coming up. This could have led them in the direction of the first contestant's occupation. - agent_0042
BETTY CAYWOOD: Although it wasn't mentioned on the show tonight, Miss Betty Caywood wasn't just any baseball commentator. In fact, she was the first ever full-time color commentator for Major League Baseball, a role that was not again filled by a woman (Suzyn Waldman) until 2005. - agent_0042
FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining card for the first contestant at nine down, but Bennett had guessed her line. John flipped them at two down for the final contestant because time ran out. Interestingly, John did not flip them for Steve Allen, despite his faux pas. John was probably still too rattled. Of course, this is truly a case of Whose Line is it Anyway? rather than What's My Line? in that the points don't matter, because the mystery challenger always receives the same prize of $500, regardless of the outcome, but this appearance fee was unknown to the public. - agent_0042
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight's episode was sponsored by Procter & Gamble's Crest Toothpaste ("with Fluoristan"). It is the second such episode, as they had previously sponsored EPISODE #715 of May 31, 1964.
(2) "LIVE" WATCH AND "WML?" ANNOUNCER "OLD HOME WEEK": The kinescope copy of tonight's live broadcast is the 22nd known surviving episode on which the word "live" was edited out of the intro. Also, tonight, regular 1955-1961 "WML?" announcer Hal Simms substitutes for current regular announcer Johnny Olson.
(3) FORGOTTEN SOMETHING? - Neither the panel's nor Mr. Daly's desks have any nameplates on display tonight - taking the recent set design overhaul and streamlining to a particular extreme. The nameplates will return - the new studio set was still a work in progress at this point. - W-B (2006)
During the introductions, Mr. Cerf introduced Mr. Daly as "our devious, debonair, dashing panel moderator." Mr. Daly's immediate response was, "Well, at least he made me 'DDD' and not 'DDT.'" DDT is the acronym for Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, a pesticide which had achieved widespread infamy by 1964, due chiefly to Rachel Carson's controversial 1962 book "Silent Spring." In spring of 1963, CBS aired a documentary on the dangers of DDT titled "The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson." In April 1964, just six months before this WML episode, Carson died of breast cancer at age 56. Footnote: the US government would ban the agricultural use of DDT in 1972 due to its health and environmental hazards. - obbor (2004)
This had to be one of the funniest episodes in the history of the series. To see the normally unflappable John Charles Daly make a major screw-up was a historic moment in television. Even with the blunder, Steve Allen was his usual funny self. It really was a fun show and the hot one on this particular evening was Bennett. He jokingly, but correctly, predicted that Daly would call for a conference when Betty Caywood walked out on the stage. He also was the one who correctly guessed that she was a broadcaster for the then Kansas City Athletics (aka the A's). The Athletics later moved to Oakland, CA. Within eight years of this broadcast, they would win three straight World Series titles from 1972 to 1974, and would win an additional one in the earthquake-interrupted series in 1989. - Sargebri (2004)
OOPS! MAJOR RARE GOOF BY JOHN DALY! John Daly accidently reveals the identity of the mystery guest! He starts the questioning normally by saying, "We'll begin with Dorothy Kilgallen." Dorothy asks a question and receives a "yes" from Steve Allen. Next, Mr. Daly simply says, "Mr. Allen.... OH!" There is a pause. Mr. Daly says, "Mr. Cerf." Bennett pauses and then says, "I'll pretend I didn't hear that." Mr. Daly says, "You can't!!!" Bennett still asks, "Are you a comedian?" Things melt down after this. Laughing, the panel now takes off their blindfolds and discusses John's "faux pas," as Steve termed it. Steve knew that this was the first time this had ever happened to John. John expressed his fear that he'd always been afraid that someday this might happen! John explained that he was still laughing over Steve's sign-in of "Forest Ranger." Steve then humbly says that it's all his fault. Steve was there to promote his new hosting duty on "I've Got A Secret." Even for the next and final contestant, John was still obviously flustered, because he announced, "our final panelist" when the final contestant signed in. - Suzanne (2004)
Tidbits: Arlene's play "Beekman Place" is now moving to Broadway! It opens on Wednesday, October 7, 1964 at the Morosco Theatre, and runs for 29 total performances. John states that he and the rest of the panel will be attending her opening. - Suzanne (2004)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Buddy Hackett, Dorothy Kilgallen, 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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