Suzy: Are you under 35?
Jerry: (wheezes noisily in the negative)
John: We will now have another brief pause while our guest recovers.
John: Mrs. Brooks, may I present our audience, I mean our panel. Heavenly days.
John: I think we would mislead you, Bennett, if we didn't give you a "no."
Bennett: Oh, heaven forbid!
Larry: This product does something.
Steve: Oh yes!
Bennett: Steve, I can assume this has nothing to do with your writing or publishing activities?
Steve: You may correctly so assume. As John might say if he was here. (laughter from audience)
John: (good-naturedly) Who needs me?!
REVIEW: After nearly a month of very solid performances by the panel, they definitely were due for a poor one and it came on this night as they went a rather paltry 1 for 3 on the evening. The evening got started with a surprise appearance by WML's prodigal son Steve Allen. Interestingly, the panel wasn't blindfolded nor did Steverino sign in as "Mr. X." Instead, they played the regular game and the panel had to guess what their old mate did other than his known occupation of entertainer/author. Unfortunately, they never were able to figure out that in his spare time when he was not hosting WML's sister show, "I've Got a Secret," that he sold motorcycles. Things were even worse in the second game as the panel failed to guess that the lady from San Francisco was a fire eater. They did get close when they figured out that she was an entertainer, but that's all they got. The panel finally got some satisfaction in the mystery guest round as Bennett correctly identified Jerry Lewis. Jerry was on the show to promote his upcoming film "Three on a Couch." Jerry also talked about the fact that he wasn't the only Lewis making it big in show business, as his son, Gary, was in the middle of his chart run with his band the Playboys. That definitely helped to cushion the blow of what had been a very dismal evening. - Sargebri (2008)
A LOOK INTO THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF WML!!! Looking back, this definitely was one of the most interesting WML episodes in history. The past was represented by the appearance of Steverino in the first game; the present was represented by Arlene, Bennett and John; and the future was represented by Larry Blyden, who would go on to host the five days a week WML syndicated version when he took over for Wally Bruner in 1972. Another interesting thing was that for one of the few times in history, the nameplate of one of the panel members only used the first name of a panelist, as was the case with Aileen "Suzy Knickerbocker" Mehle. Of course, when the show moved to syndication, that practice of only putting the first name of a contestant on the nameplate would become standard and would signal the more casual attitude of the syndicated WML. - Sargebri (2008)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Wernet's Dentu-Creme is the opening sponsor tonight.
(2) "LIVE" WATCH: This is the 23rd surviving post-Kilgallen era kinescope of a live broadcast to leave intact the "live" wording on the intro.
(3) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: This is Larry Blyden's second appearance as a guest panelist on "WML?" As with his first appearance, Arlene Francis (who, as in EPISODE #815, is introduced as "The delightful star of stage, screen and television") introduces him, as she would many times over the final three years of the 1968-1975 syndicated version after he took over the reins as host. It should be noted that in New York City, when Mr. Blyden became the syndicated "WML?" host effective with the 1972-1973 season, the program moved to WCBS-TV (Channel 2), after spending its first four years (with original syndicated host Wally Bruner, and on a very erratic schedule) on WOR-TV (Channel 9). That the New York flagship CBS station would air the syndicated show at that point was especially ironic, given that by then it was being taped at the studios of "another network," more specifically, NBC's Rockefeller Center studios. In any case, it had marked the first time WCBS aired the program in the New York market since the "classic CBS" version ended in 1967. But back to tonight's show: In addition, fellow guest panelist Suzy Knickerbocker's nameplate on the panel desk once again reads "Suzy," for the reasons originally given in the notes to EPISODE #804 of February 20, 1966: to keep her nameplate in the same size of type as the other panelists' (and host John Daly's), and thus keep it easier to read, rather than a lowering of the formality guard on the program, which wouldn't take place until the start of the daily syndicated version more than two years after this installment.
(4) "SEE YOU IN THE PAPERS": In reference to the good nights to Suzy Knickerbocker, it should be noted that at the time of tonight's show, the merger of the New York Journal-American, the Herald Tribune, and the World-Telegram and Sun had not been fully consummated, and would not be finalized until August of 1966, with the first edition of the combined (and ultimately very short-lived) "World Journal Tribune" being published in September. The full details of the individual papers' final editions can be found in the notes to EPISODE #813 of April 24, 1966.
(5) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Once again, Milton A. "Milt" Myers is credited as production supervisor, and on the January 5, 2008 airing, GSN ran the ending credits in full screen without the infamous "crunching."
(6) Following the January 5, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the January 29, 1962 edition of "I've Got a Secret" with host Garry Moore, panelists Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson, and magician Michel de la Vega as the celebrity guest. In the context of these two airings, the showing of tonight's "WML?" edition with Steve Allen as a contestant was a bit ironic, given his subsequently succeeding Mr. Moore as "IGAS" host in-between the particular 1962 "IGAS" and 1966 "WML?" episodes shown in 2008 by the cable and satellite channel. - W-B (2008)
Steve Allen sold motorcycles? It is interesting to know of his past interest in cycles. Jerry was quite subdued in his mystery appearance. Jerry was very proud that his son Gary Lewis had sold 10 million records! - ironcreekguy (2004)
The fun tone for this episode was set as soon as Steve Allen walked through the curtain. He ran the panel completely through the ringer, although Larry did come close to figuring out Steve's line. The next contestant also had the panel stumped, although they did identify that her act involved implements. However, the real highlight of the night was Jerry Lewis. Jerry was on the show to promote his latest film "Three on a Couch," which he directed, produced and starred in. Co-starring with him in the 1966 film were Janet Leigh and James Best, who would go on to play the bumbling "Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane" in the 1979-1985 series "The Dukes of Hazzard." Jerry also mentioned his son Gary and his band, The Playboys. Gary Lewis and The Playboys had a string of hits from 1965 to 1966, beginning with the million-selling #1 hit "This Diamond Ring," which was written by Al Kooper. Other hits included "Count Me In," "Everybody Loves a Clown" and "She's Just My Style." As of 2004, Gary still performs with various versions of The Playboys. - Sargebri (2004)
Steve Allen appeared as a regular contestant and the panel was not blindfolded. They were, however, a bit stunned! They had to guess his line as a motorcycle shop owner. - Suzanne (2004)
Tidbits: Happy Father's Day 1966! Larry Blyden used the word "prestidigitation," which means: 1. Performance of or skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with the hands; sleight of hand. 2. A show of skill or deceitful cleverness. - Suzanne (2004)
During the goodbyes, Bennett says to Suzy Knickerbocker (the pen name of journalist Aileen Mehle), "Hope to see you back in the New York papers." This is a reference to the fact that her newspaper, the "NY Journal-American" folded. The "New York World-Telegram" and the "New York Sun" merged with the "Journal-American" and the "NY Herald Tribune" to become the short-lived "NY World Journal Tribune," which closed in May 1967. - Suzanne (2004)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Larry Blyden, Suzy Knickerbocker, Bennett Cerf.
Click "All Episode Notes" to see all the notes, as they don't all show up on the summary overview page.