(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight's opening sponsor is Bayer aspirin.
(2) "LIVE" WATCH: Tonight's edition is the 33rd surviving kinescope recording of a live telecast from within the post-Kilgallen era to leave announcer Johnny Olson's opening "live" wording intact and uncut.
(3) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: This is the eighth time since Dorothy's tragic death that Phyllis Newman was introduced first.
(4) BOB CRANE: In the late 1950's and early '60's, Bob Crane was a popular morning drive-time radio personality on KNX (1070 AM), the CBS flagship radio station in Los Angeles. In 1962, KNX released a promotional-only album titled "Laffter - Sweet and Profane" which was intended to sell more radio advertising spots. (However, in recent years, this rare record has been made available on CD on certain web sites and online auction sites.) The "sweet" side of humor was represented on the LP by Pat Buttram, long remembered as Gene Autry's sidekick in the movies, who had a midday show on the same station; ironically, given the circumstances of Bob's subsequent death in 1978, he was represented as being on the "profane" side. Indeed, Mr. Crane's radio show is considered today to be a forerunner of the more irreverent and raucous "morning zoo" type radio shows across the country, as well as paving the way for the likes of Howard Stern. The record consisted of various airchecks from Mr. Crane's and Mr. Buttram's respective shows, in Bob's case excerpts from his fifth-anniversary show in 1962. Coincidentally, both men ended up on now-classic TV sitcoms for CBS in the same year of 1965; in addition to Bob's landing the title role on "Hogan's Heroes," Pat was cast as con man "Mr. Eustace Haney" on "Green Acres." Even more coincidentally, both shows were cancelled by CBS in 1971 in the same "purge" that led to such other long-time favorites as "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Hee Haw" and "The Ed Sullivan Show" - as well as Red Skelton's 1970-1971 NBC comedy/variety series (he moved to that network after CBS gave him the axe in 1970) and ABC's "The Lawrence Welk Show" - leaving the respective schedules.
(5) "HOGAN'S HEROES" CAST ON GOODSON-TODMAN SHOWS: Besides tonight's "WML?", Bob Crane appeared on the October 10, 1966 edition of "Password" along with Irene Ryan, who played "Granny" on "The Beverly Hillbillies." He was also on the original NBC "Match Game" for the week of May 5, 1969, with future "Love Story" co-star Ali MacGraw. Of Mr. Crane's "Hogan" co-stars, Werner Klemperer, who played "Col. Wilhelm Klink," appeared in a 1970 episode of the syndicated "Beat the Clock" and a 1971 edition of the ABC version of "Password"; and Larry Hovis, aka "Sergeant Andrew Carter," was featured in two different weeks of CBS's "Match Game '74." But of the cast of "Hogan's Heroes," the one who ended up making the most impact with Goodson-Todman was Richard Dawson, who played British prisoner of war "Corporal Peter Newkirk." Mr. Dawson first made an impression as a regular panelist on the short-lived 1972-1973 syndicated revival of "I've Got a Secret." From there, he became one of the core celebrity panelists on the 1970's version of "Match Game" (both the CBS and syndicated incarnations) on which he appeared through 1978, and then became host of "Family Feud" throughout its 1976-1985 ABC run, as well as on CBS from 1994 to 1995. He also appeared on a number of other G-T shows as a panelist and, in the case of "Tattletales," as a sub-host one week in 1976 while regular host Bert Convy was one of the contestants.
(6) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: GSN's completely contemptible "crunching" of the end credit sequence was on display again on the January 26, 2008 airing of this installment.
(7) GSN's January 26, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by a rerun of "I've Got a Secret" from July 2, 1962, which was the last original show of the 1961-1962 season before they entered into repeats for the summer. The host, as always, was Garry Moore, the panel as usual consisted of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson, and the celebrity guest was Arthur Godfrey. In an interesting coincidence, given the opening sponsor for the 1966 "WML?", "IGAS's" sponsor was Excedrin aspirin. - W-B (2008)