What's My Line?

Season 18 Episode 29

EPISODE #854

0
Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 19, 1967 on CBS

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    • GYPSY ROSE LEE IS RUDE TO BENNETT - Gypsy Rose Lee walks out as a guest panelist. She stands behind her chair and introduces Bennett with these words, which she said seriously, "And now, the man who was too short-sighted to publish any of my books, Bennett Cerf." Bennett came out with a smile, but he must have been embarrassed or furious or both. Gypsy may have immediately regretted her mistake, since she didn't look at Bennett for long. She turned her back toward him and lowered her head. Bennett, obviously insulted, did not say one word to Gypsy all evening during the games. To cap it off, he did not say one word to her during the goodbyes. He avoided her completely. That spoke volumes. As you can imagine, this was Gypsy Rose Lee's final appearance on "WML?" -- she cooked her own goose. By the way, this was ancient news she was complaining about, since her autobiography, "Gypsy, A Memoir" had been published by Harper & Brothers in 1957! Prior to that, her murder mystery, "The G-String Murders, The Story of a Burlesque Girl," had been published by Simon and Schuster in 1941. - Suzanne (2004)

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      LONGSTANDING RESENTMENT: Gypsy Rose Lee disliked Bennett Cerf because he declined to publish her 1941 book, "The G-String Murders, The Story of a Burlesque Girl," which had been published by Simon and Schuster. However, she apparently had a second reason to hold a grudge against Bennett. In 1942, Bennett penned two "Trade Winds" columns in "The Saturday Review" (known as "The Saturday Review of Literature" until 1952) in which he wrote disparaging words about Gypsy Rose Lee, sarcastically calling her "the latest candidate for the post of town literary wit." The two articles can be read by clicking the link below. - Suzanne (2008)

      TWO 1942 TRADE WINDS COLUMNS - THE SATURDAY REVIEW: Click the link below to see a PDF file containing two "Trade Winds" columns written by Bennett Cerf. - Suzanne (2008)

      1942 Trade Winds Columns - Bennett Cerf and Gypsy Rose Lee

      File size: 1.7 MB / 1,755 KB - Suzanne (2008)

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      GYPSY'S BOOK BECOMES A MOTION PICTURE: Gypsy Rose Lee's 1941 book, "The G-String Murders," was made into a 1943 movie titled "Lady of Burlesque" starring Barbara Stanwyck, Michael O'Shea, Iris Adrian and, in a supporting role, future 1950's TV kiddie show host Pinky Lee. In the middle of the film, there is a dancing sequence in which Miss Stanwyck performs a dance move which emanated from Russia and Eastern Europe, and which would be varied in the early 1980's as part of the "break-dancing" craze that was associated with rap and hip-hop music. It should be noted that none of the above individuals made any kind of appearances on "WML?" - W-B (2008)

    • SHUT UP GYPSY!!! For the third week in a row, the show was marked by some rather bizarre behavior by either a panelist or a mystery guest. Tonight's strange behavior came from a guest panelist. During the introductions, as Gypsy Rose Lee was introducing Bennett, she made a very insulting remark about Bennett by saying that he was "too short-sighted to publish any of my books." Because of that callous remark, she was shunned by Bennett for the rest of the evening. Arlene's sympathies no doubt sided with Bennett and she may have been inspired to have a winning night. Primarily due to Arlene, the panel scored an essential perfecto. In the first game, even though it wasn't her turn, Arlene correctly identified hairstylist Vidal Sassoon. Vidal was in town not just for business, but also for his wedding to actress Beverly Adams, who would use her married name from that point forward. In the second game, Arlene got the correct guess again, sort of. In that game, she had the San Francisco gentleman's line right, which was fortune cookie salesman. However, when she asked the question, she asked it in the negative and because of that, plus the fact that the audience broke out in applause, John flipped all the cards over. It was later mentioned that his appearance on the show was meant to be a joke on Gypsy because she had visited his factory. In the mystery guest round, after Bennett opened the door, Arlene correctly identified Ursula Andress. Ursula was on the show to promote the James Bond spoof "Casino Royale," which was scheduled for release just two months before the next official film in the "Bond" series, "You Only Live Twice," was to be released. In the finale, Bennett correctly guessed that the lady from New York was a helicopter pilot, completing the perfecto. It's just too bad that the evening was almost ruined by a bitter Gypsy Rose Lee. - Sargebri (2008)

      NEXT CANDIDATE!!! This was the first, and last, appearance of Gypsy Rose Lee on the panel. Even though she did ask some good questions, it still wasn't enough to ease the ill will she created when she said some rather rude remarks about Bennett. It also should be noted that during the good nights, when she said good night to Bennett, he didn't return the favor. - Sargebri (2008)

      SASSOON: As was mentioned during the post game chat with Vidal Sassoon, he was in town for his upcoming wedding to Canadian actress Beverly Adams. The couple was married from 1967 until 1980. - Sargebri (2008)

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the second contestant of the night without any cards having been flipped during the game itself. One might say that the cards travelled from 0 to 50 in 2 seconds! The contestant was astonished when Arlene guessed his product straight-off. John flipped the remaining card for the final contestant at nine down even though Bennett had guessed the line. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) In the manner of some 1965-1966 episodes, the complete opening sequence was shown with no opening sponsor.
      (2) "LIVE" WATCH: Due to the manner in which the opening of last week's EPISODE #853 was edited, tonight's show is therefore the 43rd existing kinescope of a live telecast from within the post-Kilgallen era to retain the "live" wording with no cuts to announcer Johnny Olson's intro.
      (3) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: It was interesting that Henry Morgan was on the same "WML?" panel tonight as Gypsy Rose Lee, in the context of her snide intro of Bennett -- given that down the road, on EPISODE #868 of July 9, 1967, Mr. Morgan himself reached the end of the CBS "WML?" line with his rude interruption of Mr. Cerf during the intros. Henry would, however, frequently appear on the panel on the syndicated "WML?" between 1969 and the show's final week in 1975. Gypsy, on the other hand, never appeared on the program again.
      (4) GYPSY ROSE LEE: At the time of her wrong-footed "WML?" appearance tonight, Gypsy Rose Lee was appearing in the Phyllis Diller vehicle "The Pruitts of Southampton," which debuted on ABC on September 6, 1966, changed its title to "The Phyllis Diller Show" in January of 1967, and ended its run on September 1, 1967. Miss Lee played the role of "Regina Wentworth," the nosy next-door neighbor of Miss Diller's character, "Phyllis Poindexter Pruitt." This short-lived sitcom was based on the novel "House Party" by Patrick Dennis, who also wrote "Auntie Mame" which spawned not only the 1958 film of the same name, but also the 1966 Broadway musical (and 1974 movie) "Mame." Gypsy also hosted a long-running daytime talk show on ABC's San Francisco owned-and-operated station, KGO-TV (Channel 7), where she was frequently known for her outspokenness. This base of operations may explain Miss Lee's having visited the second contestant's fortune cookie factory a few days prior to tonight's show. As for "Pruitts," it was listed among "The Worst TV Shows Ever" in the 1980 book of the same name.
      (5) VIDAL SASSOON ON BOTH CLASSIC AND SYNDIE "WML?": Two years to the month after his mystery guest appearance on tonight's show, hair stylist Vidal Sassoon appeared as a mystery guest on the color syndicated "WML?" in an episode from Week #36 which was taped on March 6, 1969. The host on that 1969 show was Wally Bruner, and the panel consisted of Soupy Sales, Joanna Barnes, Hal Holbrook and Arlene Francis. That daytime episode was also notable for the appearance of another person who was on both versions of "WML?," baseball umpire school head Al Somers, who had previously been a contestant on EPISODE #674 of July 28, 1963. The 1969 edition was most recently shown by GSN on August 8, 2006 as part of a month-long tribute to the Baseball Hall of Fame on its 70th anniversary.
      (6) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Tonight, A.J. Gulino is once again credited as audio engineer. In addition, the cruelly caddish penchant for "crunching" the end credit sequence was again in full force on the February 9, 2008 airing of tonight's show by GSN.
      (7) A DOUBLE DOSE OF HENRY MORGAN: The February 9, 2008 airing of tonight's episode by GSN was followed by an edition of "I've Got a Secret" which was first broadcast "live from New York" on February 4, 1963 and hosted by Garry Moore. Celebrity guest Jack Benny introduced himself at the opening as "Jascha Heifetz," which was almost identical to his "Heifetz" mystery guest sign-in on "WML?" EPISODE #469 of June 21, 1959. The "IGAS" panel on this occasion was arranged thus: Bess Myerson, Henry Morgan, Jack's daughter Joan Benny (filling in for the vacationing Bill Cullen), and Betsy Palmer. - W-B (2008)

      THE SHOW MUST GO ON: By sheer coincidence, Henry Morgan was suffering from illnesses on both the 1967 "WML?" episode and the 1963 "IGAS" episode broadcast back-to-back by GSN on February 9, 2008. On "WML?" he stated that he was very sick with "pneumonia and a cold" and on "IGAS" he had laryngitis. - Suzanne (2008)

    • REVIEW: This was a pretty good night for the panel. The first guest was hair stylist Vidal Sassoon. Normally, if a famous person is a contestant, the panel would be blindfolded. However, since Sassoon is from England and his face probably wouldn't be familiar to the panel, the WML executives decided to leave the blindfolds off. But, Arlene managed to identify him as guest panelist Henry Morgan was asking him a question. Morgan, of course, was on loan from the "I've Got a Secret" panel. Sassoon was, and still is, one of the most famous hair stylists in history. He invented the geometric way of designing hair. That is, to create a style based on the contours of the individual's face and bone structure. Sassoon was in town preparing for his upcoming wedding to Canadian-born actress Beverly Adams. A year earlier, she had appeared in the 1966 film "Birds Do It" with frequent WML mystery guest, and future panelist on the syndicated version, Soupy Sales. Perhaps Beverly's most famous role was that of sexy secretary/girlfriend "Lovey Kravezit" in Dean Martin's "Matt Helm" comedy adventure films from 1966-1967: The Silencers; Murderers' Row; The Ambushers. It was then Arlene's turn to really shine as she single-handedly guessed the fortune cookie manufacturer. Ironically, guest panelist Gypsy Rose Lee, who had a good time despite the fact she really didn't contribute much, had been to his factory a few days earlier. The panel also was successful in guessing mystery guest Ursula Andress. Miss Andress was on the show to promote the upcoming July release of the 1967 "James Bond" film "Casino Royale," in which she co-starred with frequent WML guest panelists Woody Allen and David Niven, as well as Peter Sellers in the role of "James Bond." That spy spoof film would go down in history as one of "the worst films of all time," according to the book of the same name. Also of note, Miss Andress would also mention the other "Bond" film that was released in 1967. Even though she didn't mention it by name, the film was titled "You Only Live Twice" and, as usual, starred Sean Connery in what many thought was his last appearance as "007." Of course, after skipping the 1969 film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," Connery would return to the series to star in the 1971 film "Diamonds Are Forever." After the game, as Miss Andress was leaving the stage, Henry Morgan definitely was checking her out. The panel did have one rough game as they tried to figure out the final contestant's occupation, but Bennett came up with the "last minute save" as he determined that she was a helicopter pilot. - Sargebri (2004)

      Here is an interesting fact about Gypsy Rose Lee: During her marriage to Alexander Kirkland, she gave birth to a son named Erik in 1944. However, the child was not Kirkland's. The father was really director Otto Preminger. Gypsy had pursued Preminger in hopes that he would father her child, which he eventually did. Erik didn't find out who his real father was until he became an adult. After Gypsy's death in 1970, Otto adopted Erik and the two remained close until Otto's death in 1986. - Sargebri (2004)

    • Tidbits: Arlene is on her way to California. - Suzanne (2004)

      Gypsy Rose Lee (1/8/1911 - 4/26/1970)

      Panel: Arlene Francis, Henry Morgan, Gypsy Rose Lee, Bennett Cerf.

  • Allusions

    • 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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