John: That's three down and seven to go, and Bennett, I'm happy to tell you the fly came over with us -- get outta here!
AND NOW, LIVE FROM NEW YORK IN LIVING COLOR!!! Tonight was a very special night in the history of WML as it was finally being broadcast in color. Unfortunately, CBS destroyed the color videotapes, but at least the black and white kinescopes still exist. In any event, the panel celebrated by going a very solid 2 for 3 on the evening. In the first game, Arlene correctly guessed that the young co-ed from New Mexico had something to do with garbage cans, but it was Sue who correctly guessed that the young lady decorated them. In the second game, the panel was absolutely stumped by the 8-year old trick billiard shot artist from Downey, California. In the mystery guest round, Arlene correctly identified Warren Beatty. Warren was on the show to promote the film "Kaleidoscope," which was about to open. There was no time for a fourth game, but this definitely was a great way to kick off the color era of WML. - Sargebri (2008)
It was quite interesting to see Warren Beatty's hairstyle on this episode. He definitely proved that the times were changing by how long his hair was. At the time of his appearance on the show, he was still one of the most eligible bachelors in Hollywood. He remained that way until 1992 when he was finally snared by his "Bugsy" co-star Annette Bening. Also, it is unfortunate that Warren's talented big sister, Shirley MacLaine, never appeared on WML in its entire 17.5 year CBS run. - Sargebri (2008)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the first contestant at seven down. Arlene, however, had identified an association with trash cans, and Sue came up with "decorates." - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: For this first regular color show of the series, the opening sponsor is Bayer aspirin.
(2) "LIVE" WATCH (OR, YOU KNOW IT'S LIVE ONCE MORE WHEN...): The black-and-white kinescope of this first regular color edition is the 27th surviving recording since Dorothy Kilgallen's passing the previous November to maintain the "live" wording intact on announcer Johnny Olson's intro.
(3) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: This is Steve Lawrence's first appearance on the "WML?" panel - indeed, on the show itself - since the seventeenth-season premiere, EPISODE #781 of September 12, 1965. Alas, tonight's episode will also be his final series appearance. Mr. Lawrence was on "WML?" a total of sixteen times since 1958 - four as a mystery guest, and the remaining twelve appearances, including tonight, as a guest panelist.
(4) NOT QUITE, BENNETT: In his introduction of "our panel moderator," Mr. Cerf asserted that viewers will be seeing John "for the first time in full color on television." Technically, that distinction fell on the special (and lost to history) EPISODE #225 of September 19, 1954 - not to mention Mr. Daly's cameo appearance in the debut episode of "Green Acres," "Oliver Buys a Farm," the year before this show. However, in terms of the period tonight's show first aired, most people would indeed be seeing the program itself in color for the first time, as there were more color sets in American households in 1966 than in 1954.
(5) CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: The most recent airing of tonight's show by GSN, on January 16, 2008, had once again utilized the most objectionable "crunching" of the end credit sequence. The last time the end credits were shown in full screen was the previous "regular rotation" airing on August 15, 2004, and before that, on March 21, 2002.
(6) Following the January 16, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the April 16, 1962 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, with the panel consisting this time of Merv Griffin (filling in for Bill Cullen), Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson. The celebrity guest on this "IGAS" episode was Jonathan Winters. - W-B (2008)
(1) TECH NOTES ABOUT "WML?" GOING COLOR: At the point "WML?" made the switch to color, the standard color camera in use by CBS in their network studios was the model PC-60 camera, manufactured by Philips under the "Norelco" brand name and used by the network since they started going color on a full-time basis in 1965. The camera was notable in that it used a new pickup tube called "Plumbicon" (30mm length) which provided a better picture than that elicited by image orthicon or vidicon tubes; although, at the outset, its picture was considered soft and lacking in detail when compared with the picture that came from RCA's TK-41 color cameras, CBS would later patent a device that increased the sharpness of the picture in the Norelco cameras. At the new studio where "WML?" would be based in its final season, the PC-60's were shielded with mumetal so as to counter the magnetic field from subway power transformers that were situated at the rear of the stage. On another level, the PC-60 was attractive to CBS because it wasn't manufactured by RCA, which owned rival network NBC at the time. It was for similar reasons that, in 1962-1963, when their older RCA TK-10 and TK-11 cameras came up for replacement, the network opted to equip their studios with Marconi Mark IV monochrome cameras manufactured in England - which was the main camera in use for the previous three seasons of "WML?" The other development in broadcast technology that tipped CBS's hand in moving towards color was the introduction, also in 1965, of Ampex's "high-band" VR-2000 quadruplex videotape recorder, which replaced the older VR-1000 and VR-1100 models that had been in use at CBS studios until then.
(2) "WML" END CREDITS MODIFICATION AND CREW CHANGES: Though neither this episode nor the next remaining 46 editions of the network run of "WML?" exist in color videotape form, a clue as to one aspect of this final season in its original form can be found on the home page of a tribute to "WML?" in all its incarnations. Seen at the top of the home page are five title variations, the color "WHAT'S MY LINE?" title card with the cartoon detective holding a magnifying glass, at the bottom. The URL for the Jason Colflesh's website is as follows:
The URL of the picture itself is as follows:
As seen at the website above, the color background is light blue with white typesetting, which likely means that this light blue color was also used for the background of all the other end credit graphics. This particular graphic may well have been used as an ad bumper in at least the early years of the 1968-1975 syndicated version of "WML?"
As for the end credit graphics themselves, a few important modifications have been made. The slide card graphic for director Franklin Heller is now represented by a cartoon director wearing jodhpurs and a beret, holding a megaphone in his hand. The caricature of the traffic cop holding a "Stop / Go" sign, which was once applicable to Heller's card, is now applied to the card showing associate director and program staff, while the man in the control room next to monitor images of himself, once applied to that card and the next one detailing production supervisor, technical director, audio and lighting director is now only applicable to the last graphic.
While most of the credited crew remain in place with the switch to color and move to their new studio, a few new names appear for the first time tonight. Barbara Griff is now credited as program staff, a position that had not been seen in the end credits since EPISODE #806 of March 6, 1966, after which Alyce Finell, who was in that role previously, had left the program; while the post of production supervisor is now filled by Sid Sirulnick, who was first seen in that capacity in the final two live episodes of the prior season. Mr. Sirulnick essentially replaces Anthony Boschetti and James Murphy, who alternated over different weeks on most of the last season's shows (although prior to Mr. Sirulnick's first show, Milton A. "Milt" Myers had been in that post for a few episodes). Mr. Boschetti will go on to serve in that position in some episodes within the early years of the syndicated "WML?" - W-B (2006 & 2008)
IN LIVING COLOR - Long-time fans of What's My Line? must have felt like Dorothy did in "The Wizard of Oz." For the first time, those with color television sets would see the show in color. Bennett mistakenly said that this would be the first time that television audiences would see John in color. Several years earlier in 1954, a special edition of the show was broadcast in color. Granted, very few households had color television sets at that time. But, just one year before this broadcast, in 1965, John appeared in the debut episode of "Green Acres," which definitely was in color and was definitely seen by many. WML was not the only show to make the move from B&W to color that season. Pretty much every show that was filmed or shot in black and white up to that point made the move to color as well, including such favorites as "Bewitched" and "I Dream of Jeannie." In fact, one show that also was slated to make the move to color was "The Dick Van Dyke Show." However, series star (and former guest panelist) Dick Van Dyke had decided that he had tired of weekly television, at least, until 1971, when he starred in "The New Dick Van Dyke" show co-starring Hope Lange. - Sargebri (2004)
REVIEW: This was a so-so evening for the panel. After Arlene discovered that the first contestant had something to do with garbage cans, guest panelist Sue Oakland guessed that Mrs. Toppino decorated them. However, the panel was totally stumped by the eight year old pool shark. It was during the questioning of the kid that Bennett got the biggest laugh of the night when he asked the young man, "Larry, does the specialty that you perform require dexterity of some sort? Bennett must have forgotten that he was dealing with a child, and the kid had a look of puzzlement as the question was asked. The boy then turned and asked John in a barely audible voice, "What's that?" and the panel and the audience roared with laughter! Arlene did a good job in guessing Shirley MacLaine's baby brother, Warren Beatty. Beatty was on the show to promote his 1966 film "Kaleidoscope." This was still fairly early in Beatty's career, before he became the international superstar and acclaimed actor he would become starting with the film he made the very next year, the ultra-violent "Bonnie and Clyde." Fast-forwarding a few years, Warren Beatty would be the subject of one of rock music's most famous guessing games. In 1972, many people speculated that Beatty was the subject of Carly Simon's number one single "You're So Vain." Many people also speculated that Mick Jagger was the subject of the song, since he sang backup on it. When all was said and done, this first color episode was a truly fun evening. - Sargebri (2004)
NOW IN COLOR - This episode was announced as the first regular "color" episode of the series. However, the version shown on GSN in March 2002 was shown in black and white. The answer comes from Eric Paddon: "Barring a miracle, you will never see a John Daly WML in color. While the last season was in color, Goodson-Todman only preserved it in B/W kinescope format. I once asked Gil Fates about this, and he said the reason they kept preserving nighttime shows in kinescope format was because CBS only charged them about $10 for a kinescope copy, which was far more economical than keeping color videotape masters." - Suzanne (2004)
Steve Lawrence and his wife Eydie Gorme are opening at the Copa on September 19, 1966. During the goodbyes, Steve Lawrence said, "To all the friends of WML that are celebrating the New Year shortly, have a very happy one." Steve was not speaking of the calendar new year, but of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish spiritual New Year. The date varies according to Hebrew custom, but in 1966, Rosh Hashanah (year 5727) fell on September 15, 1966. Steve Lawrence is of the Jewish faith. - Dave Statter (2004)
Warren Beatty promoted his 1966 film, "Kaleidoscope." He wore thick black-rimmed glasses during his game. This style was very popular at this time. - Suzanne (2004)
It may have been a very fortuitous move that only the black and white kinescopes were saved. Unless great care had been taken, color videotape masters from that time might have deteriorated to such a point that they would be unusable. The WML kinescopes on film, while only in B/W, will be archivally stable for a long time to come. As far as I know, the earliest surviving color videotape is the television special "An Evening with Fred Astaire" from the Autumn of 1958. As for the late 1930s-era color movies from Hollywood, many of them were filmed on 35mm film, so the color is just fine, pristine even. If taken care of properly, color videotape can last a decently long time, but not as long as film. Videotape sheds magnetic particles, and it can shrink or expand, depending on temperature and humidity variables. Film that is in poor condition can be restored so as to be presentable, while videotape usually can not. "Old-fashioned" photographic film is still the most stable medium there is for preserving images, both moving and still. There are early Thomas Edison films from a century ago that use paper-based negatives, and they look just fine. The newer digital computer imaging techniques are even susceptible to degradation. Some of the early Disney Pixar digital films from as recently as the mid-1990s are already showing signs of deterioration. Early NASA videotapes and magnetic data tapes from the 1960s (showing images of the moon, Mars, etc.) have mostly deteriorated to such an extent that they are useless, because they weren't properly stored. Also, the National Archives has large amounts of data on earlier digital media (floppy discs, OCR discs, etc. from the 1970s - 1980s) that are useless, mainly because the hardware to play them on has disappeared. It's a big problem for archivists. Those WML kinescopes may look primitive to us, but for the most part, we have a fairly complete record of the show. If they had decided to spring for the more expensive videotaping (which started to become common circa 1960) we might not have the fun of staying up late and watching the WML gang having a blast. Early videotape reels were often used over and over again, simply because a reel of Ampex or Scotch videotape back in those days cost the station the equivalent of several hundred dollars. The result was that large amounts of rare studio archives got sadly erased in the process. - Gregory Morrow (2004)
For a 1950 to 1967 timeline of the CBS studios used by What's My Line?, see the notes to EPISODE #1. - Suzanne
At the end of the credits, Johnny Olson says, "Miss Francis' gown is from Bonwit Teller. Miss Oakland's gown by Samuel Winston." These clothing credits are new for WML. In 1962, Arlene joined the board of directors of Bonwit Teller, the upscale NYC retail department store. She was the only woman on their board. Bonwit Teller remained in business until 1990. - Suzanne (2004)
GLORIOUS COLOR - Color episodes began broadcasting on a regular basis with this show. This was a result of the show's move to CBS Studio 50, now known as The Ed Sullivan Theater, located at 1697 Broadway at 53rd, NY. There had been one other special "experimental color" episode, EPISODE #225, shown on September 19, 1954. No kinescope of that special color episode exists, either in color or black and white. - Jason Colflesh (2004)
FIRST COLOR EPISODE - This is the first color episode of the series. However, only black and white kinescopes were preserved for posterity. As you can see, the older black and white videotape transfers better to kinescope than the new color videotape does. Now, the kinescopes lack contrast and look worse than they did during the B&W era of WML. The sound quality has degraded also, and sounds more muffled. The same effect happened when "To Tell the Truth" moved to color. The lighting looks too bright and white colors seem to glare. Although a new opening scene and closing credits are used, the graphics are almost identical to the previous black and white version. For viewers back in the 1960s, the credits wouldn't be seen in color until EPISODE #850 on February 19, 1967. - Suzanne (2004)
Tidbits: Oh no! When John told Bennett that the fly came over with them, John was referring to EPISODE #819 on June 26, 1966, when a fly bothered them throughout the entire episode. - Suzanne (2004)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Steve Lawrence, Susan Oakland, Bennett Cerf.
Click "All Episode Notes" to see all the notes, as they don't all show up on the summary page.
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