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Regular Panelist (1950-1967)
Regular Panelist (1951-1967)
Mystery Guest #2
Guest Panelist (1st Game Only)
Frank: Doesn't anybody drink in your family?
John: That's three down and seven to go. Frank Sinatra.
Frank: (to the final contestant) Do you drink, kid? (loud laughter)
Arlene: He has no questions.
John: That's four down and six to go.
Frank Sinatra: (Jokingly chastising Mia Farrow for tricking him) Naughty! Naughty! Naughty!
THE NIGHT HELL FROZE OVER!!! When the evening started, it seemed like a typical episode for WML. The only thing that was different was that the boss, Mark Goodson himself, was sitting in this evening. However, all that changed when the first mystery guest came out; one Francis Albert Sinatra, the Chairman of the Board himself. The panel, of course, was blindfolded. The game started out normally, with Arlene and Phyllis asking the usual questions that would be asked of a mystery guest. However, Mark repeatedly asked some very bizarre questions and Bennett voluntarily disqualified himself for reasons he explained later, so it was only the distaff panelists who were asking all the serious questions. Eventually, it was Arlene who correctly identified "Old Blue Eyes." After the identification was made, Mark confessed that he knew that Frank would be on the show and that was the reason he had been asking all the weird questions. Mark said that Frank's appearance was many years in coming. In addition, Mark said that not only was Frank the first mystery guest, but Frank was also going to replace him on the panel. After things settled down, the show resumed with the first regular contestant. In that game, Bennett correctly guessed that Miss Castle was a barber. It was later revealed that she was the barber of WML's prodigal son Steve Allen. Also, she was a songwriter and one of her songs was just recorded by the Monkees, whose self-titled television show was the big hit of the 1966/1967 television season. In the second mystery guest round of the evening, Phyllis figured out that it was none other than the then current Mrs. Sinatra, Mia Farrow. However, Phyllis allowed Frank to make the identification. When he finally did so, he teasingly said to Mia, "naughty, naughty," called her a "sneak," and then he asked her why she wasn't at home. During the post game chat, it was revealed that Mia was up for the part of "Peter Pan" in a film that was supposed to be directed by former WML guest panelist Mel Ferrer. Unfortunately, the film was never made. In the final game of the evening, Arlene correctly guessed that the young boy from New York was an opera singer. Unfortunately, her identification came after all the cards had been flipped and he won the full prize by default. After the game tally, the panel went an impressive 3 for 4 this evening. However, this show will forever be remembered as the night Frank Sinatra finally appeared on WML. - Sargebri (2008)
FRANK AND FAMILY: It was quite interesting that Frank Sinatra finally showed up after all the years that WML had been on the air. Most people suspect that he finally agreed to appear for one simple reason; it was a year and two weeks after the death of his former friend and later enemy, Dorothy Kilgallen. Of course, while Dorothy was alive, Frank never made an appearance on the show because of their feud, which often times was very nasty, with Frank making very low comments about her. In fact, on one occasion, Frank did a very tasteless thing by sending Dolly Mae a tombstone. Another ironic thing was the fact that Mia's mother, Maureen O'Sullivan, was the mystery guest the night of Dorothy's memorial show. Also, Mia and Maureen weren't the only members of the O'Sullivan/Farrow family to appear on a Goodson-Todman panel show. A few months prior to Mia's appearance on WML, her brother, John Charles Farrow, appeared on "To Tell the Truth" as an imposter claiming to be Olympic Gold Medalist Don Schollander. Speaking of the Farrow family, Mia's younger sister, Prudence Farrow, was the subject of one of the Beatles' most popular songs, "Dear Prudence." That song was meant as a slap at Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was supposed to be a great spiritual leader, but was actually lusting after Mia and Prudence during the time the sisters and the Beatles were on retreat with the guru in India. - Sargebri (2008)
ANOTHER SIGN OF THE TIMES!!! Phyllis Newman became the latest lady to break the fashion barrier when she showed up on stage wearing a pantsuit, joining Arlene and Carol Channing as the only female panelists, up to that point, to wear slacks. Also, a few weeks later, Suzy Knickerbocker would appear on the panel wearing slacks. One look at contestant Lynn Castle this evening and you could see how much the times and the fashions had changed from the early days of the show. - Sargebri (2008)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the final contestant at seven down because time was up. Arlene guessed an association with opera after the cards were over. - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) "LIVE" WATCH: Tonight's show - the first live edition in nearly two months, since EPISODE #833 of October 2, 1966 - is the 31st surviving kinescope copy of the post-Kilgallen era to maintain the complete "live" wording on announcer Johnny Olson's intro.
(2) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: This evening, Phyllis Newman is introduced first for the seventh time since Dorothy's passing. Also, in no small part due to the switch in panel lineup following the first mystery guest round, there are no nameplates on the panel desk tonight. Only Mr. Daly's desk has maintained his own nameplate.
(3) "IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR" - INDEED: 1966 was one of the high points of Francis Albert Sinatra's illustrious career. Earlier in the year, the "Chairman of the Board" scored a #1 hit with "Strangers in the Night" (Reprise single #0470), which originated from the movie "A Man Could Get Killed," whose main stars, James Garner and Melina Mercouri, were once "WML?" mystery guests, as was co-star Anthony Franciosa. Around the time of tonight's show, "Ol' Blue Eyes" had another Top 10 hit, "That's Life" (Reprise 0531). One of that song's co-writers, Kelly Gordon, went on to co-produce Bobbie Gentry's #1 single from 1967, "Ode to Billie Jo" (Capitol 5950). In addition, "That's Life" had previously been recorded, earlier in 1966, by O.C. Smith who himself would have a smash hit in 1968 with "Little Green Apples" (Columbia 4-44616). In between "Strangers in the Night" and "That's Life," Mr. Sinatra had another Top 30 single, "Summer Wind" (Reprise 0509), whose English lyricist, the legendary Johnny Mercer, was yet another former "WML?" mystery guest. Less than three years from tonight's show, Frank would be one of the first of many singers to record "My Way" (Reprise 0817, 1969), whose English lyricist, Paul Anka, was himself a former guest panelist and mystery guest on "WML?"
(4) MORE ABOUT FRANK SINATRA: Mr. Sinatra's ultimately ill-fated marriage to Mia Farrow was considered highly controversial at the time, not only due to the massive age difference between the two, but also due to the fact that Miss Farrow was younger than his first two children, Nancy and Frank Jr. (Only Tina Sinatra, his youngest daughter, was slightly younger than Mia.) His "May-December" marriage even brought about a sarcastic retort from one of his former wives, Ava Gardner, whose only "WML?" appearance, as a mystery guest, was on EPISODE #172 of September 13, 1953.
(5) LYNN CASTLE: There was a very peripheral connection between the first regular contestant, Lynn Castle, and Frank Sinatra. This was due to Miss Castle's having recorded for Lee Hazlewood's LHI label, as noted elsewhere below. Mr. Hazlewood, as explained in the notes to EPISODE #826 of August 14, 1966, had worked with Frank's daughter, Nancy Sinatra, as producer, writer and occasional duet partner. Mr. Hazlewood also co-produced (with Jimmy Bowen, who worked with "Ol' Blue Eyes" on his own forays into the singles charts) Frank and Nancy's #1 duet "Somethin' Stupid" (Reprise 0561, 1967).
(6) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: The outrageously offensive "crunching" of the end credits continued apace on GSN's January 24, 2008 airing of this show, which was first transmitted one year and 19 days after Dolly Mae's tragic death.
(7) Following the January 24, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the June 18, 1962 edition of "I've Got a Secret" which was the 10th anniversary show. This episode led off with host Garry Moore operating an RCA TK-11 camera (not so steadily) and introducing the "classic '60's" panel lineup of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson. It was presumably beginning the next season that this iconic camera (and its predecessor, the TK-10) which symbolized and signified American television's so-called "Golden Age" was replaced with British-made Marconi Mark IV cameras, which were in all likelihood ordered by CBS as much for its not being manufactured by RCA as for its providing a better quality picture than the earlier RCA cameras. - W-B (2008)
Lynn Castle, Songwriter - John Daly mentioned that Lynn Castle was also a songwriter, and that one of her songs had been sung by The Monkees. A net search reveals that The Monkees recorded the song "Teeny Tiny Gnome" on August 23, 1966, in RCA Victor Studio B, Hollywood, CA. Micky Dolenz was the lead singer on this song which was produced by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, and written by Wayne Erwin and Lynn Castle. This must be the song Mr. Daly was referring to. However, the story doesn't end here. While the song was intended to provide comic relief on The Monkees' second album, 1967's "More of The Monkees," music supervisor Don Kirshner decided that this song was not suitable for release. Consequently, the Boyce & Hart produced Erwin/Castle tune lingered in the can until The Monkees' 1987 LP, Rhino Record's "Missing Links" (Vol. 1) which was a collection of rare and unreleased studio tracks from 1966-1968. The lyrics to "Teeny Tiny Gnome" are below. - Suzanne Astorino (2004)
Lynn Castle, Fuzz Guitar Player? - It also appears that Lynn Castle may have a brush with performing or singing. Another net reference showed that a 1966 single was released on the LHI Records label (catalog number 17003) by the group "Lynn Castle with Last Friday's Fire." The recorded songs were "Rose Colored Corner" backed with "The Lady Barber." The 45-RPM record was produced by Lee Hazlewood. It now appears on a compilation LP titled, "Fading Yellow, Vol. 6." If this is a coincidence, it's a mighty big one. A 2001 usenet post described this record as a "great two-sider femme tripper driving fuzz on a-side, dreamy organ flower haze on the flip." - Suzanne Astorino (2004)
Lyrics to The Monkees "Teeny Tiny Gnome"
written by Erwin/Castle
Kickin' stones on an old dirt road
Feelin' dejected and all alone
When I looked up ahead thought my mind I'd blown
On a giant toadstool sat a teeny tiny gnome
He was all involved in a game of solitaire
Said "Hello" with a smile just like I wasn't there
I kicked dirt some more
He said, "Please don't start a fight"
Found a church key in his pocket, he opened up his pipe
He blew some silver circles
Wound his fingers in his beard
And from that pipe came magic music
Like I'd never heard
As the notes came floatin' in I pricked up both my ears
I walked up to the drive-in, hadn't felt so starved in years
A rabbit waiter took my order and quickly disappeared
He said, "The party's over, please come back in a thousand years"
REVIEW: This was an interesting broadcast due to the fact that it was Phyllis' turn to show her fashion forwardness by wearing a very attractive pantsuit and black go-go boots. Producer Mark Goodson commented on it as he sat next to her, by saying that Phyllis was part of the "Yeah Yeah" generation and that Arlene was more of the "Waltz" generation. Phyllis thus became the third female panelist following Carol Channing and Arlene to break tradition and wear slacks while sitting on the panel. As far as the show was concerned, the panel had a very good night. Arlene was able to guess that Frank was the first mystery guest. Bennett really was the star, as he guessed that Lynn Castle was a barber, and not just any barber, as one of her clients was old friend Steve Allen. (Obviously, Jayne Meadows wasn't the jealous type!) The audience roared as Frank's current wife, Mia Farrow, took her place next to John as the second mystery guest. Of course, Frank's marriage to Mia was very controversial at the time. In fact, it was almost as controversial as his marriage to Ava Gardner. What made it controversial was the fact that there was nearly a thirty year age gap between Frank and Mia. They married in June of 1966 but wound up divorcing two years later. Mia wasn't the only famous member of her family. Her mother, Maureen O'Sullivan, was the original "Jane" in the "Tarzan" series. Maureen also appeared as a mystery guest numerous times on WML, including Dorothy's memorial show. Mia's brother, John Charles Farrow, was a contestant on Goodson-Todman's other panel show, "To Tell the Truth," appearing as an imposter claiming to be Don Schollander, a man who won four gold medals at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. However, the most famous of Mia's siblings has to be her sister Prudence Farrow, who was the subject of the Beatles' song "Dear Prudence," which appeared on the group's classic 1968 album "The Beatles" (aka "The White Album"). After divorcing Frank, Mia would later marry composer Andre Previn. The two of them would have three children of their own as well as adopt three children, including a daughter named Soon-Yi Previn. Of course, several years later, Soon-Yi would be at the center of a major controversy herself, as she would begin an affair with Mia's then-lover, former WML guest panelist/mystery guest Woody Allen. Oh, the crazy lives of the rich and famous! - Sargebri (2004)
MUSIC NOTES: As was mentioned earlier, Don Kirshner, the musical supervisor for The Monkees, refused to release the comical song "Teenie Tiny Gnome" on the group's second album. This was just another hint of the growing dissension between Kirshner and the group he helped to create. Things came to a head a year later when the band wanted to record the song "Valleri" written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, as well as Neil Diamond's "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You." However, Kirshner had other ideas as he wanted the group to record a song that had been written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich entitled "Sugar, Sugar." This created a huge row between the group and Kirshner, which led to Kirshner being fired as the show's musical supervisor. Not only did "Valleri" become a major hit for The Monkees, reaching #3 on the Billboard charts in 1968, it also was their final major hit single. Ironically, Kirshner did find a group to record "Sugar, Sugar," albeit a fictional one. In 1969, Kirshner became the musical supervisor for the animated "Archie" series and a major feature of the show was that Archie and the gang "performed" songs on the show. "Sugar, Sugar" (Calendar 63-1008) eventually became a million-selling #1 single featuring Ron Dante as "Archie" and co-composer Ellie Greenwich supplying backing vocals. In fact, the song became the top selling single for all of 1969. In addition, Mr. Kirshner was also the musical supervisor for the 1970-1974 series "The Partridge Family," and the host of "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" which ran from 1973 to 1982. As for Mr. Dante, he also sang all the parts on The Cuff Links' 1969 hit "Tracy" (Decca 32533), and in the 1970's was co-producer of Barry Manilow's big hits including "Mandy," "I Write the Songs," and "Looks Like We Made It." - Sargebri (2004) with additional info by W-B (2008)
FINALLY, FRANK IS ON THE PANEL!!! - For several years, every member of the Rat Pack, except for one, has appeared on the panel. Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop all were mystery guests on the show. Sammy, Pete and Joey also served on the panel. The one exception was the leader of entertainment's most famous clique, Francis Albert Sinatra. Perhaps the main reason for his resistance to appear was his feud with onetime friend Dorothy Kilgallen. We'll never know. Ironically, Frank finally appeared on the show nearly one year after Dolly Mae's death. Certainly, his appearance made many people ask, "What took so long?" Frank seemed to have a genuinely good time on the show, both as a mystery guest and as a guest panelist. He had fun and asked several wild questions. Many of his questions and spontaneous jokes referred to drinking, and the audience laughed. During Frank's game as the first mystery guest, while he was being questioned, Arlene asked if he had just been elected Governor of California. This was a reference to the fact that in November of 1966, future president and former WML mystery guest Ronald Reagan was elected as Governor of California, a job he would hold for eight years. The connection here is that Frank would later be accused by poison-pen gossip columnist Kitty Kelley of having an affair with Nancy Reagan, an allegation which was denied. - Sargebri (2004)
Tidbits: We see a new sponsor, a brand new product called Tegrin, which is a skin cream for "3-way relief from the symptoms of psoriasis." This was an excellent episode! - Suzanne (2004)
Explanation of panel change: WML producer Mark Goodson started out as a guest panelist. The first game featured mystery guest Frank Sinatra. Mark played the game, and asked Frank goofy questions which were obviously targeted strictly for laughs. After the game, Mark said, "John, I have to make a confession here," and admitted that he knew about Frank's identity in advance and was just playing along for fun. He explained that this was Frank's first-ever appearance on WML, and that he and Frank had worked out a "plot" whereby Frank would then take Mark's place on the panel. So, immediately after his game, Frank did just that. He walked over and sat down as a guest panelist for the remainder of the show, replacing Mark Goodson. Mia Farrow, who was Mrs. Frank Sinatra at the time, was the second mystery guest. Sinatra finally identified her by asking, "You got the same name as mine?" He peeked from under his blindfolds to make sure. He mockingly pointed his finger at her and chastised her by saying, "you naughty naughty" and called her a "sneak." He said that he had assumed Mia was watching the show at Bennett Cerf's house with Bennett's wife Phyllis Cerf. After game 4, Mia also joined the panel for the goodbyes. - Suzanne Astorino (2004)
During the course of this episode, six people took seats on the panel: Francis, Goodson, Newman, Cerf, Sinatra, Farrow. Perhaps this a WML record? - obbor (2004)
Starting / Beginning Panel: Phyllis Newman, Mark Goodson, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.
Frank Sinatra (12/12/1915 - 5/14/1998)
Ending / Finishing Panel: Phyllis Newman, Frank Sinatra, Arlene Francis, 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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