Groucho Marx: (to Arlene) Mrs. Gabel, will you marry me?
REVIEW: After the previous week's great performance, the panel had a rather poor night tonight. In fact, at the outset, John warned them that they would be in for a very rough night, which it was. In the first game, they were stumped by the lady fishing instructor from Miami via Sweden. In the second game, there was one very humorous moment as guest panelist Michele Lee was questioning the young man whose job it was to sharpen pencils. As she was asking her questions, Michele shook her pencil at him and with each shake the audience broke out in spontaneous laughter. This caused Henry Morgan, who was also on the panel the previous week, to blurt out that the guest worked with pencils, causing John to quickly reprimand Henry by saying "It's not your turn." John then flipped over all the cards and informed the panel of the young man's line. In the mystery guest round, things were calm for all of 10 seconds because the guest was The One, The Only, Groucho Marx. He used a rather high effeminate voice when questioned by Henry and Michele, but when Bennett asked if he had a book out, he used his regular voice. When it was Arlene's turn, he suggested that they end the game at that moment, which they did. During the post game chat, Groucho showed his usual quick wit and definitely looked as if he was enjoying himself. This most certainly helped ease the panel's pain of going 1 for 3 on the evening. - Sargebri (2008)
NEXT CANDIDATE!!! Actress Michele Lee was the latest candidate to fill Dorothy's shoes. She asked several excellent questions and she definitely had a wonderful personality. It was a shame that her Broadway duties prevented her from making more than two appearances on the panel before the show's cancellation. Also, as was mentioned during the intros, she was appearing in the film version of the classic musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Ironically, several weeks earlier, the star of the film, Robert Morse, was the mystery guest. Doubly ironic was the fact that a woman who Michele would later portray, Jacqueline Susann, was also on the show several weeks earlier. Also, the same year she appeared on the film, Michele cut the single "L. David Sloane," which definitely sounded as if it was inspired by the song "Winchester Cathedral." However, some twelve years after her appearances on WML, she would accept the role of "Karen Fairgate MacKenzie" on the popular 1979-1993 nighttime soap opera "Knotts Landing." In fact, Michele holds the record for appearances on a series at 344. - Sargebri (2008)
CONTESTANT IS ALIVE AND WELL: John Thompson, the pencil sharpener from Atkins, Iowa is still alive and well and living in Atkins as of this episode's airing in February 2008. - bahn1225 (2008)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: The opening sponsor tonight is Phillips' Milk of Magnesia; newcomer Maxwell House coffee is the closing sponsor.
(2) "MEMOREX" WATCH: Due to the prerecorded EPISODE #856 of April 9, 1967 being today lost to history, this is the first surviving show since EPISODE #843 of January 1, 1967 on which announcer Johnny Olson's intro leads off with "And now, let's meet our 'What's My Line' panel...", leaving out the New York origin. This is the fifth show this season, and the twelfth since EPISODE #820 of July 3, 1966, to have this kind of intro in the more recent history of the show.
(3) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: The "MISS LEE" nameplate on the panel desk used for tonight's guest panelist, Michele Lee, was the same as that used for Gypsy Rose Lee (no relation) on the last surviving kinescope prior to tonight's show, EPISODE #854 of March 19, 1967. And in a sheer coincidence, the same panel order was in place on both the earlier episode and tonight's edition, with the ever-acerbic Henry Morgan in the second seat on both panels. This show was first transmitted twenty days after "I've Got a Secret," on which Mr. Morgan was a regular panelist, aired its last CBS episode on April 3, 1967.
(4) MICHELE LEE: Besides her film and stage acting roles in this period, tonight's guest panelist Michele Lee also had a modest recording career. Between 1965 and 1969, Miss Lee released eleven singles on the Columbia label. One of her more famous was "L. David Sloane" (4-44413) which, in order of catalogue number, came right before The Chambers Brothers' psychedelic-era classic, "Time Has Come Today" (4-44414). Michele's single was released on December 21, 1967, and peaked at #52 in the spring of 1968. It would also be the title track of her 1968 album of the same name (CS 9682). In addition, Miss Lee would appear on the syndicated "WML?" as a mystery guest during Week #193 which was taped on March 29, 1973; that edition was hosted by Larry Blyden, with the panel consisting of Anita Gillette, Alan Alda, New York radio personality Sherrye Henry and Soupy Sales (Arlene Francis had the week off).
(5) GROUCHO MARX: For his appearance this evening, Groucho Marx is again wearing a toupee, as he had done on his wild and crazy guest panelist appearance on EPISODE #482 of September 20, 1959. Nearly six months after his "WML?" mystery guest appearance tonight, "The One, The Only" Groucho appeared as a guest on the October 14, 1967 edition of "The Jackie Gleason Show." Other guests included Joel Grey, who will appear later this year in two "WML?" episodes as a guest panelist; Johnny Mathis, who was a "WML?" mystery guest on EPISODE #453 of February 22, 1959; comedian (and former Steve Allen regular) Louis Nye; and Jane Morgan, whose best-known hit was "Fascination" in 1957, and who would have a hit on the country charts in 1970 with "A Girl Named Johnny Cash," which was written by Martin Mull (the future "Barth Gimble" of "Fernwood 2-Night" and its sequel, "America 2-Night") as an "answer" song to Mr. Cash's 1969 smash "A Boy Named Sue." Mr. Nye and Miss Morgan were the only ones from this lineup never to have appeared on "WML?" One highlight of that Gleason edition was when Jackie, as "Reggie Van Gleason III," duetted with Groucho, wearing his 1930's costume, on a "Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Shean"-type number. Mr. Marx would make another appearance on "The Jackie Gleason Show" on April 12, 1969, which also featured onetime "WML?" guest panelist and recurring mystery guest Mickey Rooney, and the aforementioned Jane Morgan, as guests. As for Groucho's appearance tonight, unlike his prior mystery guest appearance on EPISODE #684 of October 13, 1963, his lower-third overlay screen is set in the customary "WML?" overlay font of Futura Demi Bold. Also, at the start of this mystery guest round, John varies his "sign in" script, advising Mr. Marx, "Will you enter, mystery guest, and sign in, please?" On this occasion, Mr. Daly had substituted the word "guest" for "challenger."
(6) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Time ran so short that not only did John say goodnight for all the panel, but only the "WML?" title slide card graphic was shown, with the closing sponsor seen in-between, thus the production crew's credits were never shown. And yet again, GSN's putrid but predictable practice of "crunching" the end credits reared its ugly head when this episode was most recently shown on February 10, 2008.
(7) ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOSE OF HENRY MORGAN: GSN's February 10, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by a repeat of a pre-taped "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, which aired "from New York" on February 11, 1963. The panel on this occasion was assembled as Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan, Tony Perkins (filling in for the still-vacationing Bill Cullen), and former "IGAS" stalwart Faye Emerson (subbing for Bess Myerson). The celebrity guest on this episode was Ann Sothern. - W-B (2008)
This was a particularly fun episode. The panel looked stunned when they found out that the first contestant was a fishing instructor, especially since she was such an attractive lady. Of course, as he did a few weeks earlier with Ursula Andress, guest panelist Henry Morgan tried desperately to flirt with the young woman. The second funniest moment of the night came during the pencil sharpener's game. As Henry was questioning him, the camera briefly focused and zoomed in on Michele Lee as she was fidgeting with a pencil. After Henry got a "no," Michele's turn came up next. While talking, she again lifted her pencil into the view of the camera. In her questioning zeal, Michele started shaking her pencil at the young man and the audience erupted into laughter. Taking this clue, Henry spoke out of turn and asked if the man sold pencils. Michele then asked if the guest did something with pencils, and then asked if he put the lead in pencils. Other panel members took guesses also. Unfortunately, John flipped the cards before they figured out exactly what he did with them. To be expected, the biggest laugh was reserved for the legendary Groucho Marx. A funny moment came when Bennett asked if he had written a book. Groucho then passed a remark about Random House not publishing it. At least it wasn't as rude as when Gypsy Rose Lee made the same statement a few weeks earlier. All in all, the panel had a good night, even though they didn't get the first two contestants. - Sargebri (2004)
Michele Lee was an excellent first time rookie guest panelist. She not only asked good questions, but she was funny as well. This is her first of only two appearances. Miss Lee was probably on the panel as a way to promote the recent motion picture release of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" in which she played "Rosemary Pilkington." She later would appear in several motion pictures throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but in 1979 she would gain the role that she would be most identified with, "Karen Cooper Fairgate MacKenzie" in the long running 1979-1993 nighttime soap "Knots Landing." Another project she would work on was the 1998 television movie "Scandalous Me: The Jacqueline Susann Story" in which she played the author, and onetime WML mystery guest. - Sargebri (2004)
Groucho Marx promoted his new 1967 book, "The Groucho Letters: Letters from and to Groucho Marx" which was published by Simon & Schuster. John said that Groucho is donating all of his book earnings to the Golden Key Foundation which helps retarded children. - Suzanne (2004)
CANCELLATION WATCH - Bennett introduced John by saying, "And here is a magnificent specimen of a rapidly vanishing breed, the television panel moderator, Mr. John Charles Daly." This is the first mention, although somewhat remote, of the looming WML cancellation that was first reported in the N.Y. Times on February 14, 1967. - Suzanne (2004)
This episode was prerecorded. From Gil Fates' logs, we know this episode was taped on April 16, 1967. - Suzanne (2004)
Tidbits: We see a new sponsor, Maxwell House Coffee. Bennett said that in 2 weeks, he'd be in Japan. He's actually gone next week, since this episode was taped a week prior to its telecast date. - Suzanne (2004)
Michele Lee (b. 6/24/1942)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Henry Morgan, Michele Lee, Bennett Cerf.
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