HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MARTIN AND ARLENE!!! As was mentioned during the introductions, Arlene and Martin would be celebrating their 21st wedding anniversary this week. In fact, that good news may have helped the panel's performance. After the previous week's debacle, the panel rebounded quite nicely and went a very good 3 for 4 on the evening. In the first game, John Gilbey, the owner of the Gilbey's Gin distillery, signed in as Mr. X to avoid name recognition. However, Arlene correctly guessed that he made the potent potable. In the second game, it was the groom's turn to help win, as Martin correctly guessed that the contestant was a window washer. However, it was guest panelist Michele Lee who correctly guessed that the contestant plied his trade at the Empire State Building. In the mystery guest round, it was Michele who correctly identified Leslie Uggams. Leslie was on the show to promote the hit musical "Hallelujah, Baby!," which was written by Phyllis Newman's husband, Adolph Green, and his longtime writing partner, Betty Comden. Tonight was also somewhat of a reunion because when Leslie was about 10 years old, she appeared on a kiddie show hosted by none other than WML's announcer Johnny Olsen. The camera then switched to the location where Johnny was standing and he gave Leslie a wave from his announcing position. In the final game, the panel ran out of time, so the lady school bus driver from New Jersey won the full prize by default. However, the highlight of that game was Tony's self-deprecating humor as he moped about the fact that he had no aptitude for the game. However, this was just part of what made Tony one of the most beloved of all WML panelists. - Sargebri (2008)
LESLIE UGGAMS: As was mentioned during the mystery guest round, Leslie Uggams was appearing in the musical "Hallelujah, Baby!" Two years after the play's run ended, Leslie would make history by becoming the first African-American woman to host her own variety hour, "The Leslie Uggams Show." The show was the replacement for the immensely popular "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" after that show was cancelled due to the brothers' ongoing battle with the CBS censors. Unfortunately, Leslie's show was not a ratings success and it was cancelled a few months later. However, in 1977, she would get the role of a lifetime when she took on the role of "Kizzy" in the classic mini-series "Roots," for which she earned an Emmy nomination. - Sargebri (2008)
FAREWELL MICHELE!!! This was Michele Lee's second and final appearance on WML. She definitely showed she had an aptitude for the game and looked as if she could have been an excellent candidate to fill Dolly Mae's seat. Unfortunately, her duties on Broadway and in films would have prevented her from taking the job, had the producers been looking for a permanent replacement. However, it should be noted that at this point, WML has already been cancelled and will soon go off the airwaves in a few months. - Sargebri (2008)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: The opening sponsor tonight is Crest toothpaste with Fluoristan.
(2) "LIVE" WATCH: The kinescope copy of tonight's show is the 45th such show still in existence from within the post-Kilgallen era to maintain the full "live" wording with no cuts on announcer Johnny Olson's intro.
(3) Tonight's show is Martin Gabel's tenth "WML?" guest panelist appearance since Dorothy's passing, and his third joint appearance with the second-most prolific male guest panelist in the show's history, Tony Randall -- who this evening was making his eighteenth overall appearance, and seventeenth on the panel, since Miss Kilgallen's death. They had previously appeared jointly as panelists on EPISODE #601 of February 11, 1962 and EPISODE #802 of February 6, 1966. Mr. Gabel and Mr. Randall's next and final appearance together on the panel will come on EPISODE #873 of August 13, 1967 (which was pre-taped two weeks after tonight's show), which also saw them alongside the most prolific female guest panelist on the program, Phyllis Newman. Indeed, Martin and Tony would each make three more appearances before the end after tonight -- with Mr. Gabel being on the very last show, EPISODE #876 of September 3, 1967.
(4) In an interesting coincidence of positioning, the "OO" letters in the "Drives School Bus" overlay screen were superimposed right over the fourth contestant's eyes.
(5) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Once again, David Roth is credited as associate director; and given that EPISODES #855 through 857 are lost to history, plus the truncated end credits of the two shows preceding tonight's, this is the first time that B.A. Taylor has been credited as audio engineer since the most recent surviving kinescope to credit him, EPISODE #852 of March 5, 1967. And for the first time in ages, GSN refrained from "crunching" the screen during the end credit sequence on its February 12, 2008 airing of this episode, instead showing the end credits in its full glory, right down to retaining the "Rollercoaster" closing theme and Johnny Olson's ending announcement.
(6) Right after the February 12, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran an edition of "I've Got a Secret" which was first telecast "from New York" via videotape on February 25, 1963 (though the episode today only survives on kinescope). Host Garry Moore welcomed back the regular panel of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson; and surrealist artist Salvador Dali was the celebrity guest. - W-B (2008)
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MARTIN AND ARLENE! This was the week of Arlene and Martin's 21st anniversary, and what a way to celebrate. They each made correct guesses of the first two contestants' occupations. Arlene correctly guessed that Mr. Gilbey (who signed in as Mr. X) made gin, and Martin guessed that the second contestant was a window washer. The only non-Gabel that made a correct guess was Michele Lee, who correctly identified mystery guest Leslie Uggams. Miss Uggams was on the show to promote the musical "Hallelujah, Baby!" which Martin highly recommended. It was also mentioned that when Leslie was a child, she got her first big break on Johnny Olson's television show. When she became an adult, she would become a featured performer on the 1961-1966 Mitch Miller show, "Sing Along With Mitch." However, in 1969, she would make history when she became the first African-American female to host her own variety show, "The Leslie Uggams Show." The show replaced "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" when that show was cancelled due to its content. Unfortunately, Leslie's show was cancelled after a few weeks. However, ten years after her appearance on WML, Leslie would get the role of a lifetime when she won the role of "Kizzy" in the classic 1977 mini-series "Roots." As the goodbyes were being said, Tony referred to Michele as Mrs. Farentino. At the time that she made this 1967 appearance, she had just married actor James Farentino, and they remained married until their 1982 divorce. - Sargebri (2004)
A few episodes ago, John said that somebody wrote him and suggested that he rephrase his usual "Enter and sign in, please" command. So, for the past few episodes, John has been wording his guest entrance cues in various formats. It's been a mistake, since everything else sounds awkward. John must think so too, because he has made some extremely funny facial expressions after he has made some ill-sounding attempts at variety. Let's hope he goes back to his usual mantra soon! - Suzanne (2004)
This is Michele Lee's second and final appearance as a guest panelist. She has been an excellent player. - Suzanne (2004)
Tidbits: Bennett Cerf is vacationing in Japan, but no mention is made of him. This week, Arlene and Martin are celebrating their 21st wedding anniversary. They were married in 1946. Tomorrow, Tony is doing philanthropic volunteer work for VISTA. - Suzanne (2004)
Leslie Uggams, born on May 25, 1943, promoted her Broadway play "Hallelujah, Baby!" which ran for 293 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre. A very interesting part of her appearance came when John told the audience that Leslie appeared on Johnny Olson's television show when she was 9 years old! She spoke very highly of Johnny. The camera cut away to Johnny, and he waved to the viewers. From 1951-1952, Johnny co-hosted a Saturday-morning children's television series named "Kids and Company," and this must be the show John was referencing. - Suzanne (2004)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Martin Gabel, Michele Lee, Tony Randall.
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