REVIEW: Tonight was one of those nights the panel could only dream about as they scored a near perfecto. Without doubt, they had Arlene to thank as she had a hand in all the correct guesses. It also was a special night due to what would happen in the mystery guest round. The first game definitely set the tone for the night as Arlene pulled off a solo in guessing that Corky Carroll was a surfer. However, Corky wasn't just any surfer, he was the current U.S. Champion and he would go on to become one of the icons in the sport. In the second game, Bennett blew the door wide open when he correctly guessed that the young co-ed from Stockton, California, who was attending Washington State College, dealt with animals. Arlene then took advantage of the hint and correctly guessed that it was pigs that the contestant dealt with. It was probably at this point that Phyllis and guest panelist Kevin McCarthy thought about getting up and letting Arlene and Bennett do the show on their own. In the mystery guest round, the producers tried to pull a fast one as tonight's guests were none other than Phyllis' husband, legendary Broadway producer Adolph Green, and his long time partner, Betty Comden. After several moments of Adolph and Betty switching off in answering the questions, both Bennett and Arlene got wise to the identity of the guests. Then, as soon as John called the game, a huge grin came over Phyllis' face. Adolph and Betty were appearing on the show for basically for two reasons. The first and most important reason was for the duo to promote their hit musical, "Hallelujah, Baby," which starred Leslie Uggams, who had been the WML mystery guest two months earlier. The second reason was, as Arlene so humorously pointed out, to dispel the rumor that Adolph and Betty were married, as well as to prove that Phyllis and Betty were two different ladies. In the final game, the panel ran out of time, so the contestant, who appropriately was a fireworks maker, won the full prize by default. However, not even that could spoil a very special evening. - Sargebri (2008)
ADOLPH GREEN: This was the second, and final, appearance for Broadway producer Adolph Green on the show. His first appearance had been as a guest panelist seven years earlier on EPISODE #510 of April 24, 1960. Of course, when it came to appearances on the show, it was "his Phyllis" who was the queen when it came to panel appearances in the Green family. - Sargebri (2008)
COUNTDOWN WATCH: 867 DOWN, NINE TO GO!!! The weeks for WML are dwindling down to a few. There is no mention of the impending cancellation, but Bennett did mention John's upcoming new job with the "Voice of America." - Sargebri (2008)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the first contestant. Not a single card had been flipped during the game for a "no" answer. Arlene had identified an association with surfing straightaway, and ended up with "instructs surfing." John flipped all the cards for the second contestant at two down. Arlene again had identified the basic association, and got "breeds," which was close to the stated line of "raises." The cards went over for the mystery guest duo at five down, just as the panel was figuring out who they were. John flipped all the cards for the final contestant at six down, but after they were flipped, Bennett guessed an association with fireworks. - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight's opening sponsor was S.C. Johnson's Pronto one-step floor cleaning system.
(2) "WML?" ANNOUNCER "OLD HOME WEEK" AND "MEMOREX" WATCH: Hal Simms, who was the regular "WML?" announcer from 1955 to 1961, fills in for current regular announcer Johnny Olson tonight. Based upon tonight's episode, it was most likely that Mr. Simms was also the substitute announcer for Mr. Olson on EPISODE #866 of June 18, 1967, which aired live right after the taping of tonight's prerecorded show. This episode is the third pre-taped edition this year, the seventh this season, and the fourteenth since EPISODE #820 of July 3, 1966 (which aired one year to the week before tonight's show) to make no mention of where the program originated in Mr. Simms' intro.
(3) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: Two years after his guest panelist appearance tonight, Kevin McCarthy landed the role of "Philip Hastings," the husband of Lana Turner's character "Tracy Carlyle Hastings," in the short-lived 1969-1970 ABC nighttime soap "Harold Robbins' The Survivors." The program was listed among "The Worst TV Shows Ever" in the 1980 book of the same name. Another co-star of the program, George Hamilton, who played "Tracy's" half-brother "Duncan Carlyle," had appeared on "WML?" in the past as a guest panelist and a mystery guest; and another co-star, Ralph Bellamy, had been a panelist on another popular Goodson-Todman program, "To Tell the Truth," in its early years on the air. Also, Phyllis Newman pulled double-duty this evening, as she also appeared on the live (and lost to history) EPISODE #866 of June 18, 1967.
(4) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Once again, Rowland Vance is credited as associate director. And announcer Hal Simms was not the only person associated with "WML?" in the past to do the show tonight; former technical director Vern Gamble returns to his old position for this episode. The same production crew credits were in place for the live EPISODE #866 of June 18, 1967 which aired immediately after the taping of tonight's show. And GSN once more did right by its loyal viewers by showing the end credits uncrunched and in full screen on the February 17, 2008 airing of this episode.
(5) Following GSN's February 17, 2008 airing of tonight's show, the cable and satellite channel ran an edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, which was first broadcast "live from New York" on April 1, 1963. The panel, as usual, consisted of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson. The celebrity guests were Dorothy Loudon and Stuart Somerstein, the latter of whom had been immortalized in song by last week's celebrity guest Meredith Willson. - W-B (2008)
During the end credits, Hal Simms announced that this episode was prerecorded. From Gil Fates' logs, we know this episode was taped on June 18, 1967. In his logs, Gil Fates also notes, "Call this preemption #25A since it was not seen in New York City." - Suzanne (2004)
Both "WML?" and its lead-in, "Candid Camera," were preempted on this day by the New York CBS flagship station, WCBS-TV (Channel 2), in favor of a locally produced, hour-long CBS-TV special, "Eye on Art: The Walls Come Tumbling Down," which ran from 10:00 to 11:00 PM. This color special was described by The New York Times in the television listings section of its July 2, 1967 edition thus: "Experimental trends and the artist's changing role in the 1960's." The narrator was WCBS's arts and entertainment editor, Leonard Harris, who would subsequently appear on the syndicated "WML?" in its later years as a guest panelist. - W-B (2008)
This special "Eye on Art" presentation received a full-court press in the New York Metropolitan Edition of the July 1-7, 1967 issue of TV Guide magazine. The description of the program (designated as a "Discussion") was given in the program listings section on page A-30 as follows:
"'The Walls Come Tumbling Down,' a look of 'what's happening' on the New York art scene: sculptures made of neon lights, moving steel and large plywood shapes; a bizarre phone booth, and 'total art' that is something like psychedelic interior decoration. This study traces current trends back to the abstract expressionism of Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. Among those artists observed at work and in relaxation are Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Barnett Newman and Jackie Cassen. The late Jackson Pollock is seen working on two of his action constructions."
A full-page complementary advertisement purchased by Channel 2 was seen on the adjacent TV Guide page A-31, with this ad copy:
"Paintings in the '60s may rock, shake, shimmy or spill over the floor. What they must not do is just hang there. WCBS-TV brings you an inside look at the art revolution that is breaking through conventional 'walls of canvas'...takes viewers to the Museum of Modern Art for the retrospective show of Jackson Pollock (a fiery forerunner in the movement)...and presents some of the artists (Tony Smith, Robert Rauschenberg and others) who are currently exciting and/or scandalizing the public. Narrated by WCBS-TV News correspondent Leonard Harris."
While Channel 2 "passed" on "WML?" and "Candid Camera" on this occasion -- and preempted them both -- the two mainstay CBS programs were shown this evening by the Hartford, Connecticut CBS affiliate, WTIC-TV (Channel 3, now WFSB-TV). - W-B (2008)
Corky Carroll can be seen in a video produced by another What's My Line? guest panelist! Surfer Bill Yerkes, aka Balsa Bill Yerkes, appeared on EPISODE #820 on July 3, 1966. He later produced a surfing film which can be ordered online. Visit the web page below for more information about this film. - Suzanne (2004)
The Summer of '67:
Happy upcoming 4th of July, 1967! Arlene got the show off with a bang (pun intended, Bennett!) when she correctly guessed that the first contestant, Corky Carroll, was a surfing champion. She also guessed that the second contestant raised pigs. However, the fun really began when Phyllis' husband, Adolph Green, and his writing partner, Betty Comden, took the stage as mystery guests. Not only were they on the show to surprise Phyllis, but also to promote their hit Broadway musical "Hallelujah, Baby!" Coincidentally, the show's star, Leslie Uggams, was a mystery guest a few weeks earlier. To round out the evening, the panel also correctly guessed that the final contestant was a fireworks manufacturer. This was very appropriate, considering that this episode was broadcast two days before Independence Day. - Sargebri (2004)
In 2003, I attended a screening of the classic 1952 musical "Singin' in the Rain." At the theatre was songwriter Betty Comden, who shared her recollections of working on the film. Then the theatre showed a clip of Comden and Adolph Green on WML. You could see she was very close to him, and it was a very emotional moment for her to see the two of them on the screen together after so many years. - Lina (2004)
Adolph Green and Betty Comden, beginning in 1938, had a six-decades-long professional collaboration. Comden and Green wrote many screenplays, including 1949's "On the Town," and 1952's "Singin' in the Rain." In addition, they wrote lyrics to many popular songs, including "New York, New York, (a Hell of a Town)," and "Just in Time." In addition to their writing, they performed their own material in nightclubs, on concert stages and on television. Adolph Green, who was 18 years older than his wife Phyllis Newman, was married to Phyllis from 1960 until his death in 2002. From this appearance, he seemed like a very sweet man. Watch the cute way he "skips" over to John's desk after signing in. During their game, Adolph and Betty took turns answering the panel's question, both using a very low voice. Their vocal tones sounded so much the same, that for the longest time, the panel did not ask if two mystery guests were present. When their identities were finally discovered, Phyllis was so amazed that she had been stumped! It was mentioned that the two couples (Adolph & Phyllis; Betty & Steve) had just had dinner together. Betty Comden was happily married to Steven Kyle, a businessman, from 1942 until his death in 1979. In Betty's 1995 book of memoirs, "Off Stage," a book review states that "she describes her life as an intricate balancing act, juggling home and career, and not always providing the happy endings her shows offered. She writes of the lessons she has learned as a wife and mother, about her early difficulties with her daughter, and the loss of her son in 1990 to AIDS, due to the ravages of drugs." - Suzanne Astorino (2004)
Tidbits: The sound quality on this kinescope is poor and contains a lot of noise. This is Kevin McCarthy's first and only WML appearance. A stage actor with a long list of movie credits, he appeared in the 1956 classic sci-fi film, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." - Suzanne (2004)
Kevin McCarthy (2/15/1914 - 9/11/2010)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Kevin McCarthy, Phyllis Newman, Bennett Cerf.
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