REVIEW: This was a very special night for WML. Not only did the prodigal son, Steve Allen, and his charming wife, Jayne Meadows, appear on the show, it also was a night that featured a very special surprise for Arlene. As for the panel's performance, they had a very respectable night, going 2 for 3 on the evening. Unfortunately, the proceedings didn't start too well, as the panel was totally stumped by the man who made powder puffs. Jayne did a commendable job during her initial turn by finding out that the man had something to do with cosmetics, but the panel was thinking more along the lines of products such as lipstick, eyeliner or mascara. The panel was more successful in the second game as Arlene correctly guessed that the lady from Syracuse was a window washer. The mystery guest round turned out to be the highlight of the evening as Arlene's fellow cast mates from the play "Dinner at Eight" all appeared on the show. Unfortunately, Jayne voluntarily disqualified herself because she saw a couple of the cast members in the hallways prior to the show and made the connection. Once Arlene realized who the guests were, she deferred to Steverino and Bennett to finish out the game. Finally, it was Bennett who correctly guessed that they were the main cast members from Arlene's play. After the game, Arlene was asked by John to come to center stage to introduce the cast, which she did. When Arlene returned to her seat, Bennett told her to stand up and take some bows herself. Arlene got choked up after this and was really touched by all the sincerity. That definitely was a nice way to end the show. - Sargebri (2008)
WML CONNECTIONS: Three of Arlene's "Dinner at Eight" co-stars had, or were about to have, some connection to WML in one way or another.
1) Including tonight, Walter Pigeon appeared three times as a mystery guest and three times as a guest panelist.
2) Pamela Tiffin (who also worked with Arlene in the 1961 classic Cold War comedy "One, Two, Three") would appear on the show as a guest panelist a few months later in a rather bizarre fashion. During her appearance on EPISODE #853 of March 12, 1967, Pamela Tiffin looked at best uninterested in working on the show and at worst she looked as if she had imbibed some substance before the show aired. Needless to say, she wasn't asked back after that appearance.
3) June Havoc's sister, Gypsy Rose Lee, appeared as both a mystery guest and a guest panelist. A few months after this episode aired, she would have one of the most infamous guest panelist stints in the show's history when she made a rude remark about Bennett and Random House. She did this when she introduced Bennett on EPISODE #854 of March 19, 1967 by saying, "And now, the man who was too short-sighted to publish any of my books, Bennett Cerf." The panel rarely spoke to her that evening and she was never invited back. - Sargebri (2008)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the second contestant at eight down. Arlene had stated, "You are not a window washer," prompting the remaining cards to go over. John flipped all the cards for the nine mystery challengers after the game was over, as none were flipped during their game. He commented that "all the cast" had been elicited, when it wasn't actually the full cast. Mystery challengers typically received a $500 appearance fee, though it's unknown whether the group split the fee or if they each received $500. Most likely, they all received $500. - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) "LIVE" WATCH: The kinescope copy of tonight's live transmission is the 29th surviving such show from within the post-Dorothy era to keep the "live" wording intact on announcer Johnny Olson's intro.
(2) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: Tonight, Jayne Meadows becomes the third female guest panelist in the post-Kilgallen era - and the second if not counting regular guest panelist Phyllis Newman - to be introduced first and sit on the far end of the panel. It should be noted that prior to the beginning of the "curtain entrance" era in 1955, there were some instances of female guest panelists introduced first, whenever Miss Kilgallen was off; but for several years from about 1955-1956 until after Dorothy's passing, Arlene Francis was usually introduced first whenever Dolly Mae was on vacation, or assignment, or otherwise indisposed, as well as the usual procedure of Miss Francis' alternating with the "Voice of Broadway" columnist in taking the far seat on the panel desk.
(3) One of the co-stars of "Dinner at Eight" alongside Arlene was Mindy Carson. Miss Carson was a pop singer of the late 1940's and into the 1950's who had recorded for such labels as RCA Victor and Columbia. Among her better known hits were the double-sided smash "Candy and Cake" / "My Foolish Heart" (RCA Victor 20-3204, 1950), and "Wake the Town and Tell the People" (Columbia [4-]40537, 1955). She also had a minor hit with a novelty duet with Guy Mitchell, "('Cause I Love You) That's a-Why" (Columbia [4-]39879), in 1952. Like most pop singers who became famous in the pre-rock 'n' roll era, Miss Carson's run on the charts faded after the mid-to-late 1950's (one of her last significant chart entries was a cover of Ivory Joe Hunter's "Since I Had You Baby," released on Columbia [4-]40789 in 1956), and she then appeared in various Broadway productions over the next several years, including the aforementioned "Dinner at Eight" revival.
(4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: The overly odious "crunching" procedure for the end credit sequence was once again applied by GSN on its most recent airing of tonight's show on January 18, 2008.
(5) Following the January 18, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the April 30, 1962 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore. The panel on this edition consisted of Alan King (filling in for Bill Cullen who was still on vacation), Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson, and the celebrity guest was noted opera singer Helen Traubel. The first guests were the famed Tin Pan Alley songwriters and brothers Charles Tobias, Harry Tobias and Henry Tobias. - W-B (2008)
Howard E. Pomerantz later became President of Victoria Vogue, Inc., a cosmetic manufacturer. He served in that capacity from 1975 to 1985, and then retired. Sadly, he passed away on December 24, 2000. - Suzanne (2004)
One of the cast members of "Dinner at Eight" is June Havoc. She was the sister of Gypsy Rose Lee and was the child actress known as "Baby June" who is immortalized in the 1962 musical "Gypsy." She's not to be confused with June Haver, who was married to Fred MacMurray. - georob (2004)
This was a so-so performance for the panel, at least until the eight mystery guests arrived. Jayne put in an impressive performance during the first game as she questioned the powder puff maker. She was able to narrow him down to the cosmetics field, but she and the rest of the panel were all over the map as they tried to guess what kind of cosmetic he made. They were slightly misled that the item was a cosmetic, rather than an accessory to a cosmetic, and perhaps Mr. Daly should have clarified matters. For the next contestant, they did a respectable job, but Arlene made a mistake when she said the female window washer wasn't one. However, the highlight of the night was when Arlene's co-stars from the play "Dinner at Eight" surprised her. Jayne had seen two of the cast members outside the studio, and disqualified herself from this round, because she "put two and two together." In addition, Arlene had an idea who it was also, so she deferred to Steve and Bennett. Bennett was the one who guessed that it was the cast. After the round, Arlene stepped from behind the desk and introduced each cast member. Despite the fact that they didn't do a good job with the regular contestants, they had a wonderful time with Arlene's co-stars. - Sargebri (2004)
The nine mystery guests are the stars from the cast of the Broadway revival of "Dinner at Eight" which will open on the Tuesday after this broadcast, September 27, 1966, at the Alvin Theatre. Panelist Arlene Francis is the 10th star of that play. The comedy ran for 127 total performances, closing on January 14, 1967.
Tidbits: We see a new sponsor, Prell Shampoo Concentrate, which was sold in a plastic see-through tube resembling the shape of a tube of toothpaste. Random House just published their Unabridged Dictionary. It contains 260,000 words. - Suzanne (2004)
Panel: Jayne Meadows, Steve Allen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.
Click "All Episode Notes" to see all the notes, as they don't all show up on the summary overview page.