REVIEW: This was a pretty good night for the panel, or rather Bennett Cerf, that is. Bennett's vacation definitely helped charge his batteries as he made every correct guess on the evening. In the first game, which was a mystery guest round, Bennett correctly identified British supermodel Jean Shrimpton. Jean was in town to act as a spokeswoman for a line of hair care products from Yardley. In the second game, Bennett once again was up to the task as he was given credit for guessing that the rather elderly gentleman made tents. In the second mystery guest round of the evening, Bennett completed his personal hat trick by correctly identifying singer Jack Jones, who did a decent job of imitating both Walter Brennan and Jimmy Stewart. Jack was on the show to promote his engagement at the Persian Room. Of course, both Bennett and John mentioned Jack's parents, Allan Jones and Irene Hervey. The only thing that put a halt to the "Bennett Express" was time, as the panel ran short while questioning the motorcycle saleswoman from New York via Miami. However, this was the only glitch in what was a great night for everyone's favorite publisher/panelist. - Sargebri (2008)
LOCAL NEWS CONNECTIONS: As noted below, at the time of her guest panelist appearance tonight, Pia Lindstrom was a reporter for San Francisco television station KGO-TV (Channel 7). At that time, the station's news director and main anchor was Roger Grimsby (1928-1995). In 1968, one year after tonight's "WML?" edition, Grimsby would be hired by KGO's New York sister station, WABC-TV (also Channel 7), initially to anchor its 11:00 P.M. newscast. Within a few months of Grimsby's arrival in New York, WABC hired Al Primo to overhaul its newscasts which had long lagged in the ratings, way behind WCBS-TV (Channel 2) and WNBC-TV (Channel 4). Primo, who at the time of tonight's "WML?" show was news director of Philadelphia station KYW-TV (Channel 3), renamed WABC's newscasts "Eyewitness News." He also tried different pairings of Grimsby and other anchors, including Tom Dunn, who would go on to work at WOR-TV (Channel 9, now WWOR) from 1971 to 1987, but it wasn't until Primo first paired Grimsby with Bill Beutel (1930-2006) that WABC's "Eyewitness News" really took off. The Grimsby/Beutel pairing spanned nearly 16 years, from September 28, 1970 until Grimsby's firing on April 16, 1986. One year later, in 1987, Grimsby went to WNBC, where he would stay until 1989, to do two-minute commentaries on their "Live at Five" newscasts. At that time, Miss Lindstrom was the station's arts and entertainment critic, thus for that two-year period, she and Grimsby were under the same roof for the first time since their days at KGO. - W-B (2006)
(1) "LIVE" WATCH: This is the 48th surviving kinescope of a post-Kilgallen live telecast to maintain the original "live" wording on announcer Johnny Olson's intro.
(2) Tonight's show was the second and final appearance of Pia Lindstrom on the "WML?" panel for what was left of its soon-to-end CBS run. She will make one more set of appearances on "WML?," during Week #13 of the syndicated, Wally Bruner-hosted version which was taped on October 1, 1968. During that week, Miss Lindstrom sat on the panel alongside Soupy Sales, Gawn Granger and Arlene Francis. During all her "WML?" appearances, Pia was based out of the West Coast, working as a reporter for the San Francisco ABC owned-and-operated station, KGO-TV (Channel 7). Ironically, after Miss Lindstrom moved to New York to live and work in 1971, she never made any appearances of any kind on "WML?" Even more ironic, in the syndicated program's last two years (1973-1975) on the air, Pia was beginning a nearly quarter-century-long run as a reporter, occasional anchor, and later arts and entertainment critic, for WNBC-TV (Channel 4), at whose parent network NBC's Rockefeller Center studios the syndicated "WML?" was recorded from 1971 onwards.
(3) During the intros, a bespectacled Henry Morgan unfortunately misidentified the call letters of the station where Pia Lindstrom worked at the time as KABC - which was, and is, the call sign for the Los Angeles, California ABC flagship station, also on Channel 7. However, he did correctly mention which city she worked in. And during Pia's introduction of Bennett, she starts off with the words, "If I had to choose a man at random..." -- a play on, and somewhat subtle reference to, Mr. Cerf's publishing concern Random House.
(4) MYSTERY GUEST: Around the time of his final CBS "WML?" appearance tonight, Jack Jones left Kapp Records, where he had recorded since 1961, and signed with RCA Victor Records, staying there until the late 1970's. His first album for his new label was "Without Her" (LPM/LSP-3911), the title track of which was written by Harry Nilsson who would go on to have two big hits -- none of which, ironically, were written by him -- "Everybody's Talkin'" in 1969, and "Without You" in 1972. As his run with RCA progressed, Jack's look evolved from the clean-cut appearance of the 1960's to the longer-haired entertainer of the 1970's. As the years went on, he added more contemporary compositions such as the Randy Newman-penned "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" and The Doors' big hit "Light My Fire" to his repertoire. It was ten years from tonight's show, in 1977, that Mr. Jones became famous as the singer of the theme song of the popular 1977-1986 TV series "The Love Boat." He would also remain a popular entertainer in Las Vegas throughout the 1980's and into the 1990's.
(5) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: For the second week in a row, Rowland Vance is credited as associate director. And once again, on the February 16, 2008 airing of this episode, GSN ran the end credits in full screen mode, much to the delight of Black and White Overnight fans.
(6) A DOUBLE-DOSE OF HENRY MORGAN: Following the February 16, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran an edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, which was originally broadcast "live from New York" on March 25, 1963. It was the first episode in a month to originate from its usual base of New York, after three straight shows "on the road." And the regular panel of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson was back together again. The celebrity guest this week was songwriter Meredith Willson of "The Music Man" fame. - W-B (2008)
Jack Jones' actress mother, Irene Hervey, was a leading lady in numerous films of the 1930s and 1940s. His father, actor Allan Jones, was also a movie star during this same time period. They were married from 1936 to 1957. I was lucky enough to meet Jack Jones, Allan Jones, and Irene Hervey in the mid-1990s at a "Jivin' Jacks and Jills" Universal Studios Reunion. These annual reunions are for the former Universal contract players. At that time, Jack Jones' parents were divorced and Irene Hervey was in a wheelchair. She passed away in 1998 at the age of 89. - Lucky Cowboy (2004 - Greg Jackson, Jr.)
Jack Jones promoted his appearance at the Persian Room of the Plaza Hotel. He did a wonderful Walter Brennan impression and a few good Jimmy Stewart impersonations also! Jack's famous parents, Allan Jones and Irene Hervey, were also mentioned. This is Jack's final appearance on WML. He has been a mystery guest twice and a guest panelist once. His first appearance as a mystery guest was on the memorable EPISODE #762 of May 2, 1965, when Bennett's microphone caught fire. - Suzanne (2004)
CANCELLATION WATCH - Bennett stated that John Daly has been appointed as the head of the Voice of America. He then introduced John as the "expiring panelist and the becoming head of the Voice of America, Mr. John Charles Daly." - Suzanne (2004)
Jean Shrimpton, a famous British fashion model born in November 1942, said she was in America to promote Londonderry hair products for Yardley Cosmetics. John also said she has released her first film, in England. It was the 1967 science fiction film "Privilege." - Suzanne (2004)
Tidbits: In about 15 days, Henry Morgan will be opening in Pocatello, Idaho. Pia Lindstrom is a reporter for KGO-TV (ABC Channel 7) in San Francisco, CA. We see a new sponsor at the beginning of this program, an electric knife from the Hamilton Beach division of Scovill. - Suzanne (2004)
REVIEW: This was a pretty good showing for the panel this particular evening. Bennett handily identified Jean "The Shrimp" Shrimpton almost right off the bat. Also, after some difficulty, they identified the tent maker. Jack Jones showed his great sense of humor as he used the ever-popular "Walter Brennan" impression to try to stump the panel. After the game, John took time to mention Jack's parents. Even though Jack's popularity declined in the wake of Beatlemania, ten years after his WML appearance, Jack would sing the theme song to one of the most popular television shows of the 1970s, the 1977-1986 romantic television hit "The Love Boat." - Sargebri (2004)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Henry Morgan, Pia Lindstrom, Bennett Cerf.
Click "All Episode Notes" to see all the notes, as they don't all show up on the summary overview page.