(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: The opening sponsor for tonight is Poli-Grip denture adhesive cream.
(2) "LIVE" WATCH: Tonight's show is the 42nd post-Kilgallen kinescope of a live telecast which kept uncut the original "live" wording on the intro from announcer Johnny Olson.
(3) In the course of her introduction of Bennett, Sue Oakland mentioned that her children read Bennett's books of riddles. She was referring to at least some (if not all) of the five children (all boys) she had with her first husband, broadcast executive Ted Cott. (Two of their sons were from Ted's previous marriage, and they had three sons together.) Sue also mentioned that Bennett's dictionaries were in the library at Columbia University, where, as mentioned by Tony Randall, she had just passed her doctorate in political science. Interestingly, Sue's future colleague at New York television station WCBS-TV (Channel 2) in the 1970's and early 1980's was fellow editorialist Peter Kohler, who was an alumnus of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
(4) MYSTERY GUEST #1: Jacqueline Susann's "Valley of the Dolls" book was initially published by Bernard Geis Associates, whose titles were distributed by Bennett's Random House concern. Alas, the controversy generated by Miss Susann's book would unfortunately spell the end of Random House's distribution deal with Geis. More about other titles published by Bernard Geis Associates over the years -- including works by at least two onetime "WML?" guest panelists -- can be found in the notes to EPISODE #684 of October 13, 1963.
(5) MYSTERY GUEST #2: Judy Garland was one of the more famous victims of the "Bonanza" juggernaut of the early to mid-1960's. Her variety show ran in the Sunday 9:00 PM time slot on CBS from September 29, 1963 to March 29, 1964, never once able to penetrate the ratings momentum of the highly popular 1959-1973 NBC western. "The Judy Garland Show" went through several different producers, including future "Laugh-In" mastermind George Schlatter and future movie director Norman Jewison; was subjected to constant network interference throughout its run, including an attempt to emulate the format of Garry Moore's 1958-1964 variety show (ironically, Mr. Moore's own 1966-1967 comeback attempt likewise crashed and burned in the face of "Bonanza"); and was the subject of a book by Mel Torme (who was a "musical advisor" on the show) called "The Other Side of the Rainbow" which was published in 1970, one year after Judy's death. Mr. Torme appeared in the past on two different CBS "WML?'s": as a mystery guest on the unfortunately lost to history EPISODE #90 of February 17, 1952, and as a guest panelist on EPISODE #516 of June 5, 1960, which was the last "WML?" episode to originate from CBS "Studio 59," aka the Mansfield Theatre, which as of tonight's show (and continuing into this writing in 2008) is the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The "Velvet Fog" was also one of the mystery guests on the very first week of the syndicated version of "WML?" in 1968, as well as in a 1972 episode; and was a guest panelist on two different weeks in the Larry Blyden era, in 1972 and again in 1973. As for Miss Garland's short-lived variety show, which has been preserved on videotape (although, like virtually all CBS programs at the time, it was in black-and-white), selected bits and pieces have been rebroadcast on public TV over the years, as well as certain highlights having been released on VHS and DVD. Her two daughters, Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft, were parodied as "Lorna Minnelli" by Andrea Martin on the Canadian sketch comedy show, "Second City Television" (aka "SCTV"), in the 1970's and 1980's.
(6) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: The atrociously asinine habit of "crunching" the screen during the end credit sequence continued unabated on GSN's February 7, 2008 airing of this episode.
(7) The February 7, 2008 airing by GSN of tonight's show was followed by a repeat of the January 21, 1963 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, with the regular panel of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson; the celebrity guest was Carol Channing, who the next week would be subbing for Mr. Cullen on the panel. - W-B (2008)