Dick: (regarding the mystery challenger) That scream was deafening. You're either very popular or nude.
John: We don't want to mislead you.
Arlene: Yes, you do, John. (laughter from audience)
John: That's two down and eight to go. Dick Cavett. "No" is the answer to judicial.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! For one of the few times in the show's history, tonight's episode was originally broadcast on New Year's Day. The panel showed little effects of any partying that might have gone on the night before, but they still only managed a .500 record by going 2 for 4 on the evening. In the first game, Sue came very close when she guessed that the young lady from Reading, Pennsylvania was a police officer. John gave the panel the win but flipped the cards and let the panel refine their choices. It was Arlene who then correctly pegged the guest as a detective. In the second game, the panel was utterly stumped by the man who made candy for dogs. Of course, they probably should not be blamed for losing this game, because at this time, hardly anybody had ever heard of such a thing. In the mystery guest round, Sue correctly identified Italian bombshell Gina Lollobrigida. Gina didn't have anything specific to promote and she was only in town on business. However, John did bring up the floods that were plaguing her country. In the final game of the evening, John called the game on account of time, so the kite salesman from New York via India won the full prize by default. And so began the year 1967. - Sargebri (2008)
THE BEGINNING OF THE END: Little did anyone know at the time, but this episode started the 1967 countdown to WML's final episode eight months later. In 1967, a brash young executive named Fred Silverman decided to cancel all of CBS's prime-time game shows, including "I've Got a Secret," "To Tell the Truth" and "Password." Of course, this was just a prelude to what would happen in 1970 and 1971. In those two years, the other shoe dropped when Silverman decided to cancel the entire network's rural-based and many other comedy and variety shows in what would be known as the "Rural Purge of 1970-1971." In the first year, such holdover favorites as "The Jackie Gleason Show," "The Red Skelton Hour" and "Petticoat Junction" left the airwaves, followed the next year by the demise of "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Green Acres," "Hee Haw," "Mayberry RFD," "Hogan's Heroes" and "The Ed Sullivan Show." They were all cancelled despite the fact that many of them were still firmly entrenched in the top-25 of the Nielsen ratings. - Sargebri & W-B (2008)
DICK CAVETT: Dick Cavett made his second and final appearance as a guest panelist on the show this evening. One year later, he would become the host of a very critically acclaimed late night talk show on ABC which went head to head with "The Tonight Show," which featured another former WML guest panelist, Johnny Carson. Cavett's show was no match for Carson, but it was still one of the best remembered shows of the late 1960's and early 1970's. One memorable moment was one that never aired. In 1971, Jerome Rodale, a pioneer of organic gardening and the founder of "Prevention" magazine, was a guest on the show. During the interview, Rodale died of a massive heart attack. Dick thought Rodale had fallen asleep. Ironically, the day before his Dick Cavett appearance, Jerome had stated in a "New York Times Magazine" interview that he intended to live until he was 100 years old. Unfortunately, he only lived to age 72. - Sargebri (2008)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the first contestant at five down, however, "police" had been identified and Arlene got "detective" on a guess after they were over. John flipped them all for the second contestant at nine down and the panel wasn't even close on this one. There was just barely enough time for a final contestant, less than three minutes. The cards went over at four down because time ran out. - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) "MEMOREX" WATCH: Tonight's prerecorded edition, the first "new" "WML?" episode to air in the new year of 1967, has resumed leaving out the show's origin of production in announcer Johnny Olson's intro. This is the eleventh pre-taped show since EPISODE #820 of July 3, 1966, and the fourth this season alone, to continue this trend.
(2) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: This was Dick Cavett's second and final appearance on the CBS "WML?" panel. He will, however, appear twice more on the syndicated version - both times as a mystery guest, on the seventeenth week of the 1968-1969 season, and again on the fourth-to-the-last week of the series itself in 1974-1975.
(3) BAD PUN ALERT: Surprisingly, the culprit on this occasion isn't Bennett, but guest panelist Dick Cavett. In introducing the other guest panelist, he explains in his usual dry delivery, "If you were to be falsely arrested in the city of Oakland, California, you'd sue Oakland..." As for Mr. Cerf, in his intro of "our panel moderator" he solemnly explains, in the spirit of the New Year, that his continuous ribbings with John are all in good jest - as he has occasionally emphasized from time to time over the years.
(4) GINA LOLLOBRIGIDA ON "WML?" IN LIVING COLOR, PART II: Tonight's show was not the first time Miss Lollobrigida was seen in glorious color on "WML?" She was the second mystery guest on the special - and sadly, lost to history - EPISODE #225 of September 19, 1954, which was broadcast in CBS's experimental color. An irony in this was that on the earlier occasion, Steve Allen - whose "Tonight!" show was on the verge of going national - was on the panel for what would be the last time as a regular; while tonight, future talk-show legend Dick Cavett was a panelist for the last time. As for Gina, two years after tonight's show, in 1969, she would appear in the role of "Carla Campbell" in the comedy "Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell," which featured such other former "WML?" mystery guests as Shelley Winters, Phil Silvers and Peter Lawford in the cast. Of this group, only Mr. Lawford had also been a "WML?" guest panelist. Miss Lollobrigida would work with Mr. Cavett again as a guest on his talk show in 1973.
(5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Yet again, the justly unappreciated procedure of "crunching" the end credit sequence was in clear evidence on GSN's January 29, 2008 airing of tonight's show.
(6) Following the January 29, 2008 airing of this episode, GSN ran the October 8, 1962 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, with Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson on the panel, and Victor Borge as the celebrity guest. One of the regular contestants on this episode was Chief John Big Tree from Syracuse, New York, now age 98 in 1962, who had been one of the three Native Americans who had posed in 1913 for the "Indian Head nickel" which is also known as the "Buffalo nickel." The Indian Chief stated that the portion of his face used by the coin's sculptor, James Earle Fraser, was his facial profile from his forehead to the bottom of his nose. This coin was minted from 1913 to 1938. - W-B (2008)
Gina Lollobrigida didn't have anything specific to promote. She said she was in America for a few days to "talk business." John Daly expressed regret and sympathy for the floods that took place in November and December 1966 in Italy. - Suzanne (2004)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! This was a pretty good outing for the panel. Bennett guessed that the first contestant was a police detective after many doors had been opened. However, the panel was totally stumped by the man who made dog candy. They also didn't identify the final contestant's occupation, but time was running short and John threw in the towel. Gina Lollobrigida made a better impression than she did the last time she was a mystery guest in June 1964. At least, she looked more like she was enjoying herself. This is in contrast to the last time she was on, when she looked as if she wished she were somewhere else and practically stormed off the stage. Sue Oakland continued to show her impressive aptitude for the game. She opened several doors for the other panelists and also identified Miss Lollobrigida. Dick Cavett made his second and final appearance as a guest panelist. He seemed much more relaxed than his first appearance several weeks ago. He appeared to be enjoying himself and to have gotten over the case of the nerves he displayed on his first appearance. Several times during the show, he displayed the dry wit that has made him so popular for close to forty years. This was definitely a good way to bring in the new year. - Sargebri (2004)
Tidbits: Happy New Year 1967! We see a new sponsor, Crisco cooking oil. - Suzanne (2004)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Dick Cavett, Susan Oakland, Bennett Cerf.
During the end credits, Johnny Olson announced that this episode was prerecorded. From Gil Fates' logs, we know this episode was taped on December 4, 1966. - Suzanne (2004)
Click "All Episode Notes" to see all the notes, as they don't all show up on the summary overview page.
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