REVIEW: This had to be one of the wildest episodes in the history of WML. Sitting on the panel this evening were long-time favorite Alan King and, filling in for a missing Dorothy, Carol Channing, who gave one of her customary long-winded intros for Bennett. Unfortunately, this also was one of the poorest showings for them as they went an embarrassing 1 for 3. Only Bennett's correct identification of the mystery guest saved the panel from being completely shut out. The first game was highly unusual due to the fact that only Arlene was blindfolded. The reason for this was because the first contestant, Lillian Briggs, was Arlene's trombone teacher. Lillian was preparing Arlene for her role in the play "Mrs. Dally Has a Lover." The panel was completely stumped and Arlene was genuinely surprised when Lillian's identity was finally revealed. In the second game, John threw in the towel and flipped the remaining cards because he felt that the panel wouldn't be able to guess that the contestant made mini-submarines. The panel's luck did improve with the mystery guest round as Bennett was able to correctly identify Art Carney. Art was on the show to promote "The Odd Couple," which was just starting its Broadway run. John also talked about how he and Art had worked together previously. This helped to ease the blow of what was a very poor night, gamewise, for the panel. - Sargebri (2006)
During the post-game chat following the mystery guest round, guest panelist Alan King joked that "The Odd Couple" should have starred New York City Mayor Wagner and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Ironically, Bennett's wife, Phyllis Cerf, would marry Mayor Wagner a few years after Bennett's 1971 death. Sadly, the same weekend this episode aired on GSN in 2006, Phyllis Fraser Cerf Wagner died following a fall at the age of 90. - Sargebri (2006)
As Art Carney mentioned, at the time of his appearance on the show, he was appearing in the classic comedy "The Odd Couple." Art played the role of neat freak "Felix Unger." Interestingly, the two actors that followed him in the role would also appear on WML. Jack Lemmon, who appeared as both a mystery guest and guest panelist, took over for Art when the play was adapted into a successful motion picture. However, the most famous "Felix" was long-time WML favorite Tony Randall, who took over the role on the classic 1970-1975 television version. - Sargebri (2006)
KILGALLEN WATCH!!! Dorothy was missing this evening. However, there was no explanation as to why she was not on the show. Within a matter of months, Dorothy would be gone from the show forever, due to her unexpected and tragic death. - Sargebri (2006)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining card for Arlene's jazz trombone instructor at nine down. She essentially stumped the panel. John flipped all the cards for the second contestant at four down. The guest's occupation, a manufacturer of midget submarines, was declared a "tough one" and time was running short. - agent_0042 (2006)
(1) MORE ABOUT TONIGHT'S "WML?" SPONSOR: While Bristol-Myers corporation, the maker of Bufferin, is sponsoring "WML?" for the first time tonight, this is not the first time they have sponsored a Goodson-Todman show. During the 1959-1960 period, the company had alternated with Winston cigarettes as sponsors of "I've Got a Secret." When "IGAS" episodes from that period were aired by GSN in the spring of 2006, prior to the debut of the newer version of "IGAS," only the Bristol-Myers sponsored episodes were shown, because of the channel's ban on showing episodes of old game shows sponsored by cigarette makers.
(2) "LIVE" WATCH: Tonight's edition is the 42nd known surviving kinescope of a live broadcast to cut the word "live" out of the intro.
(3) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: For the second straight week, News Gothic Bold is the overlay typeface used for occupations and mystery guest names. As was mentioned in the notes to the previous EPISODE #755, this font pointed to the future as it would come to be used for overlays (and also the end credits) on the syndicated "WML?"
(4) Following GSN's November 27, 2006 airing of this episode, the channel aired a rare surviving episode of the 1962-1969 NBC version of "The Match Game" which was originally aired on July 28, 1964. The black & white vintage episode featured Jayne Mansfield and Orson Bean as the celebrity panelists. The only things this version and the raunchier 1973-1979 CBS incarnation (and its parallel syndicated run which aired in various forms from 1975 until 1982) had in common, outside of their both being Goodson-Todman productions, were host Gene Rayburn and announcer Johnny Olson. This broadcast was likely shown because the evening before, GSN premiered its special The Real Match Game Story: Behind the Blank -- a retrospective documenting the program's history and featuring rare interviews. - W-B (2006)
ARLENE MEETS HARVEY PHILLIPS: On a future syndicated episode of What's My Line? taped on August 9, 1973, Arlene's former trombone lessons are mentioned. Appearing on the syndicated show that day in the first game was a tuba instructor named Harvey Phillips (Harvey G. Phillips) from Bloomington, Indiana. At the time, he was a music professor at Indiana University. In addition, he had also made several recordings. Host Larry Blyden said Phillips had been called "The most famous living tubist in the world" and showed his most recent LP titled "Harvey Phillips plays Alec Wilder's Tribute to the Phillips Family." He said that the renowned Phillips played both classical and jazz tuba. After his round, Arlene was brought up on stage and was required to make some musical sounds come out of the tuba! She made a valient try! Arlene again used the term "embouchure" when she was first told she would be playing the tuba. GSN aired this rare syndicated episode on February 12, 2005 as part of their tribute to the actor Ossie Davis, who had recently passed away. In addition to the moderator Blyden, the panel consisted of Soupy Sales, Ruta Lee, Leonard Harris and Arlene Francis. - Suzanne Astorino (2005)
John Daly mentioned that he and Art Carney worked together years ago on a radio program called "Report to the Nation." It was a serious political program, a dramatic reenactment of wartime events using a full orchestra and a regular group of actors. John Daly also mentioned this 1940s program on EPISODE #577 of August 20, 1961, when mystery guest Mitch Miller was present. - Suzanne (2004)
"Oops" on Arlene's part! As she is introducing Alan King, she makes the mistake of introducing him as "Alan Dale," who is a recording and television star of the day. She was so embarrassed! King then walks out and jokingly calls her "Dorothy." King, at this point, was starting to come into his own as a panelist. He was proving that funnymen such as himself, Joey Bishop and Buddy Hackett, could do a good job without taking over control of the show. Carol Channing was her usual zany self as she gave her usual extended introduction to Bennett, which caused him to ask if the half hour had ended yet. The first game was interesting because Arlene was blindfolded due to the fact that the first contestant, Lillian Briggs, was teaching Arlene how to play the trombone for an upcoming play she would appear in, "Mrs. Dally." Art Carney promoted his current play, "The Odd Couple." When this play was made into a film, Carney was replaced by Jack Lemmon. Of this role switch, Lemmon has said, "It wasn't done with Art Carney because he didn't have enough clout as a movie star. It's not fair, but it happens all the time." Also, another interesting fact is that all three actors who played the role of "Felix Unger" (Carney, Jack Lemmon and Tony Randall) have all recently appeared on WML in 1965. At the end of the show, Bennett paid tribute to his fellow panelists by saying that they were three of the funniest people around today. - Sargebri (2004)
As mentioned on the show, Art Carney originated the role of Felix Unger in the 1965-1967 Broadway production of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple." This popular comedy ran for 966 total performances. Studio execs thought Carney wasn't profitable enough, so Jack Lemmon was hired for the 1968 film role. There is also mention of Carney's gift for impressions of famous figures (especially FDR) which is a talent he has previously displayed on What's My Line? Although not mentioned on this episode, it has been said that Carney was hired to fill in for FDR's famous radio "Fireside Chats" (1933-1944) when FDR was ill or absent. - TheAngelTorgo
In the first game, we see something rare for WML, where only one panelist is blindfolded and the rest are not. (This unusual circumstance will also happen again on April 10, 1966, when only Jayne Meadows will be blindfolded because the contestant is her husband Steve Allen's secretary.) On this episode, however, it is only Arlene Francis who is blindfolded for the first game. This was necessary because the contestant was her trombone teacher. Arlene looked unhappy when she was told to put on her blindfold, because she was truly puzzled. Alan King almost disqualified himself from this round. He felt he might know who the contestant was, as he stated he had seen her before. Finally, he asks her if she is "the hypnotist" and she replies "no." Although not specifically mentioned, he was undoubtedly thinking she was "Miss Pat Collins, The Hip Hypnotist" who was a contestant on EPISODE #563 of May 7, 1961. Both Lillian and Pat were attractive blond women. Regarding her trombone lessons, Arlene stated that she had a "sore embouchure" and pointed to the area over her lips. The embouchure is the shaping of the lips to the mouthpiece of a wind instrument. The term is also used to refer to the mouthpiece itself. Players also refer to the "embouchure muscles," an informal name for the muscles surrounding the mouth. - Suzanne Astorino (2004)
Tidbits: We see a new sponsor, Bufferin by Bristol-Myers. Dorothy Kilgallen is absent tonight. Although her absence is noted, no specific reason is given as to why she is missing from the panel. We find out more about her mysterious disappearance on the following episode. - Suzanne (2004)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Alan King, Carol Channing, Bennett Cerf.
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