(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight's opening sponsor is S.C. Johnson's Bravo floor wax.
(2) "MEMOREX" WATCH AND TECH NOTES: This is the third pre-taped episode this season to mention the show's New York origin in announcer Johnny Olson's intro. As with the previous show with this distinction, EPISODE #842 of December 25, 1966, Suzy Knickerbocker is one of the panelists. And it is interesting that tonight's show was the first on which the end credit slides were in color, given that this episode was taped immediately prior to last week's live EPISODE #849. As was the case last week, and will be the case on all remaining "WML?" episodes in its CBS run, the transition between slides was in the form of an up-to-down wipe.
(3) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: Tonight, the pseudonymous Suzy Knickerbocker (the nom de plume of journalist Aileen Mehle) becomes the third female guest panelist (after Phyllis Newman and Jayne Meadows) to be introduced first -- and sit on the far end of the panel desk -- two or more times in the post-Kilgallen era. As with the last time she was introduced first, announcer Johnny Olson's intro of her mentions that she writes for the World Journal Tribune (aka the "Widget"), and concludes with the wording of "and other papers from coast to coast," in a variation of the intro used for years for the dear departed Dolly Mae. On the other hand, for the first time since EPISODE #826 of August 14, 1966, the one-name, easier-to-read "SUZY" nameplate is on display on the panel desk.
(4) BAD PUN ALERT: The culprit this time out is Arlene, who, in her introduction of Bennett, mentions that in addition to his publishing concern, he has a new airline, "Pun American." The name is itself a pun on Pan American World Airways (aka Pan Am).
(5) "WML?'S" CANCELLATION: In those days, the usual way the cast and production crew of a TV show found out that it was being cancelled was in a newspaper, as those involved with "WML?" found out by reading about it in The New York Times on Valentine's Day 1967. But it wasn't just for such an event; in late 1954, for example, Milton Berle, whose NBC variety show was sponsored at the time by Buick, learned that the automotive brand of General Motors switched to sponsoring Jackie Gleason's new filmed version of his sitcom "The Honeymooners" (known today as the "Classic 39") by reading a headline in the trade paper Variety, "Buick Signs Gleason." The Great One himself, in early 1970, likewise found out about the final cancellation of his show by CBS by reading about it in the papers. One of the more infamous early examples of a TV executive breaking the news of a show's cancellation to its star came in 1964, when James T. Aubrey, then president of the CBS television network, informed Jack Benny of the cancellation of his long-running TV comedy by bluntly telling him, "You're through." It was also Aubrey's butting heads with Garry Moore that led, likewise in 1964, to the latter's temporary retirement from the medium, with his variety show going off the air and his hosting duties on "I've Got a Secret" being passed on to "WML?'s" prodigal son, and tonight's co-guest panelist, Steve Allen.
(6) ANDY GRIFFITH: Nearly two decades from his mystery guest appearance on tonight's show, Andy Griffith would embark on another long-running television show, "Matlock," as attorney "Ben Matlock." A few people from "The Andy Griffith Show" appeared in different roles, including Aneta Corsaut as a judge in a handful of episodes, and most notably, Don Knotts as "Les Calhoun." The program was notable in that all overlay graphics in every episode were video-based computer-generated typesetting, while the series itself was shot on film. "Matlock" ran on two different networks, NBC and then ABC, between 1986 and 1995. Ironically, one of the show's executive producers was Fred Silverman - the same hotshot who was responsible for CBS's nighttime game show purge of 1967 and the "rural purge" of 1970-1971.
(7) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: The February 5, 2008 airing of tonight's episode by GSN once again bore witness to the cable and satellite channel's cruel and criminally corrupt "crunching" of the screen during the end credit sequence.
(8) Following the February 5, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran an edition of "I've Got a Secret" which first emanated "live from New York" on January 7, 1963. The host, as always during this period of time, was Garry Moore, the panel was the usual "classic '60's" lineup of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson, and the celebrity guest was Hugh Downs, who at the time was hosting the "Today" show and the game show "Concentration" - both on the same proverbial "other network," NBC. - W-B (2008)