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Regular Panelist (1950-1967)
Regular Panelist (1951-1967)
(This exchange took place during the introductions when Bennett Cerf, in the process of introducing Mr. Daly, was rudely interrupted by Henry Morgan.)
Bennett Cerf: It's my pleasure tonight, as usual, to introduce our disgustingly articulate master of ceremonies. He's just back from his favorite, Tilton School up in New Hampshire, and he tells me, last night, one of the town folk came staggering in...
Henry Morgan: (loudly interrupting Bennett) What time does this show go on?
Bennett Cerf: Uh, may I finish, Henry?
Henry Morgan: (sarcastically) I was hoping you would.
Bennett Cerf: Uh, I won't bother. John Charles Daly.
(John Daly comes out, takes his small bow, goes to his desk but does strike an slight, angry stare at Morgan. Daly is trying to smile, but it is quite clear that Daly is annoyed with Morgan.)
John Daly: Well, actually, it's a good story so I'll finish it. If you don't mind, Henry, that is.
Henry Morgan: Oh, I don't mind. I've got all night.
John Daly: I don't know as we have, though.
Phyllis: Are you just the most adorable man that's ever been?
John: (fingers card as if about to flip it))
Senator Dirksen: Si. (loud laughter from audience)
John: That is no! That's five down and five to go, Mr. Morgan.
Phyllis: Are you tall and wildly attractive?
Senator Dirksen: Oui.
Bennett: Could you toss John right over your shoulder?
Judith: Yes, but I wouldn't.
A web page titled "RESIDENTS OF LYNDON, NY, CIRCA 1940-1960" written by Edward and Jean Hutchison contains the following text:
(begin quote) Louis J. "Doc" Ball and Frances Ball lived on Knollwood Rd. by 1942, having lived before on Cornwall Dr. in DeWitt. Mr. Ball was born in Syracuse on 5-6-1877. He was the proprietor of the Knollwood Riding Academy, and stables where he trained harness horses. Mr. Ball was also a veterinarian dentist. Mrs. Ball was born about 1882, and the couple wed in about 1905. They were living at 316 Lexington Ave., in Syracuse, when Mr. Ball died at the Ben White Race Track in Winter Park, FL, on 1-26-1955. They had a son, Harold R. Ball. (end quote)
The son that is mentioned, Harold R. Ball, is most likely our contestant. One can see that he took up his father's profession. - Suzanne (2008)
REVIEW: Tonight, Bennett gave what was his best performance in his long tenure as WML's anchor. The insults that Henry Morgan hurled at both Bennett and John seemed to inspire the Squire as he scored a one-man perfecto. Bennett's assault started in the first game as he correctly guessed that the attractive lady from Long Island was a Judo and Karate instructor. In the second game, Bennett masterfully guessed that the gentleman from Florida was a dentist who specialized in horses. In the mystery guest round, Bennett correctly identified Republican Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois. Senator Dirksen was on the show to promote his record "Gallant Men." In the final game of the evening, Bennett completed his personal perfecto by correctly guessing that the gentleman from New York was a professional table tennis player. This definitely showed Henry who was boss and perhaps Henry learned his lesson not to tick off the Squire of Mount Kisco. - Sargebri (2008)
GOODBYE (AND GOOD RIDDANCE) HENRY MORGAN!!! This was "essentially" Henry Morgan's final appearance on CBS WML and he definitely went out swinging. His loutish behavior was probably the reason he wasn't asked back more often. However, he did make one more appearance on the CBS WML, but that episode had been recorded prior to his appearance tonight. All must have been forgiven, though, because he would make several appearances on the syndicated WML a few years later. Also, at the time that Henry would appear on the syndicated version of WML, he was a regular panelist on "I've Got a Secret," which ran for only one season from 1972 to 1973, as well as the four week network revival in 1976. - Sargebri (2008)
COUNTDOWN WATCH: 868 DOWN, EIGHT TO GO!!! With eight more episodes to go before the show's end, there was no mention of its imminent cancellation. - Sargebri (2008)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the first contestant at two down, but Bennett essentially guessed the line. John flipped them all for the final contestant at four down because time was running short, but Bennett correctly guessed "ping pong" as it was happening. - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) "LIVE" WATCH: This is the 50th surviving kinescope of a "post-Kilgallen" live transmission to keep the original "live" wording on announcer Johnny Olson's intro.
(2) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: This is the 12th surviving episode from within the "post-Kilgallen" era, and the 14th overall, where Phyllis Newman was introduced first. During the intros, Miss Newman mentioned that Henry Morgan will be appearing in a Massachusetts stage production of "The Odd Couple." She did not specify which role Mr. Morgan would be playing, but of course, on the 1970-1975 ABC-TV series version of the play, perennial CBS "WML?" guest panelist Tony Randall would make a splash as neatnik "Felix Unger"; and another former "WML?" guest panelist and mystery guest, Jack Lemmon, played "Felix" in the 1968 movie version and its 1998 sequel, "The Odd Couple II," the latter of which marked the last time Mr. Lemmon and Walter Matthau appeared on screen together.
(3) HENRY MORGAN: Around 1969, nearly two years after his swan-song CBS "WML?" appearance in production order, and next-to-last in airing order, Henry Morgan hosted an ultimately unsold pilot for a prospective game show called "What's the Law?" The panel on this one-shot edition consisted of Linda Lavin, then primarily known as a Broadway actress, who would go on to play "Alice Hyatt" in the 1976-1985 CBS-TV series "Alice"; actor Barry Nelson; comedienne Joan Rivers who, at the time of this failed pilot, was hosting a daytime talk show called "That Show with Joan Rivers"; and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. The format of this program may have anticipated the later syndicated show "The People's Court," only in a game show context. This was originally taped in color at NBC's Rockefeller Center studios in New York City. The announcer was Chet Gould, who would go on to announce for the syndicated "WML?" in its last three years (1972-1975) on the air. "WTL?" is so obscure that, until recently, it was never mentioned in any TV books, online reference guides, or even Mr. Morgan's 1994 autobiography which was published prior to his death later that year. However, a black-and-white kinescope of this unaired pilot later wound up in the hands of a New York-based private collector. And while, in production order, this was Henry's last CBS "WML?" appearance, he would go on to make frequent appearances as a guest panelist on the syndicated version between 1969 and the show's final week in 1975.
(4) MYSTERY GUEST - PART I: Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen's "Gallant Men" album (Capitol T/ST-2643), which was mentioned in Suzanne's 2004 notes, yielded a Top 40 single in the title track (Capitol 5805). The B-side was called "The New Colossus (Statue of Liberty)," which may well have been the same as titled "The Story of the Statue of Liberty" on the LP. The record was arranged and conducted by John Cacavas, who was later one of the musical directors of the 1973-1978 CBS detective series "Kojak" starring Telly Savalas. However, contrary to popular belief, Mr. Cacavas did not compose the distinctive theme music which was used in the first four seasons; that theme was written by Billy Goldenberg. Mr. Cacavas, however, did write the theme which was used in "Kojak's" final (1977-1978) season.
(5) MYSTERY GUEST - PART II: Senator Dirksen's distinctive booming voice was a frequent target for parody. A year prior to tonight's show, in 1966, Parkway Records (of Chubby Checker's "The Twist" fame) released an album called "The Hardly-Worthit Report" (P/SP-7053) which was a spoof of NBC's 1956-1970 nightly news show, "The Huntley-Brinkley Report." The album yielded a Top 20 hit single in "Wild Thing" (P-127) by "Senator Bobby" (a takeoff on Senator Robert F. Kennedy), who was impersonated by one of "The Hardly-Worthit Players," Bill Minkin (whose surname was misspelled "Menkin" on the 45). The flip side was the same song as performed by "Senator Everett McKinley." The record was co-produced by the song's writer, Chip Taylor (the brother of actor Jon Voight, and the uncle of actress Angelina Jolie). "Wild Thing" had previously been a Number One hit for the British rock band The Troggs (Fontana 1548 and Atco 6415) earlier in 1966.
(6) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: This evening, Peter Levin is credited as associate director; while for the third consecutive episode in a row, Vern Gamble is once again technical director -- probably the longest stretch for Mr. Gamble since his "regular" days of working on the show in the 1950's and early 1960's. And GSN once more made it up to its night-owl audience by running the end credits in full screen on February 18, 2008.
(7) A DOUBLE-DOSE OF HENRY MORGAN: GSN's February 18, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by a repeat of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, which was first telecast "live from New York" on April 8, 1963. The regular "classic '60's" panel of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson was once again assembled, and the celebrity guest was Suzy Parker. - W-B (2008)
On EPISODE #229 on October 17, 1954, the panel was running short of time on the final game. At one point, Bennett thought that guest panelist Robert Q. Lewis was taking too long with his turn, so Bennett interrupted Robert by saying, "One minute." Robert quickly gave up his stalling. By the time Henry interrupts Bennett tonight, Bennett had long forgotten that he had interrupted others also. - Suzanne (2005)
In spite of getting off to a bad beginning, Henry Morgan actually got the biggest laughs of the evening. An especially funny comment was made to the horse dentist when Henry asked, "Mr. Ball, is it true that 13% of the horses have 42% fewer cavities..." John doubled the laughs when he quickly replied, "But that's only because they're always on the Ball." - Suzanne (2004)
HENRY MORGAN GETS SARCASTIC WITH BENNETT!
From Suzanne & Eric - (2004):
WML producer Gil Fates devotes a section on the introduction of this show in his 1978 WML book. When Bennett attempts to give a long introduction of John with a weak witticism about a husband who arrives home at 4:30 AM, Henry Morgan abruptly interrupts Bennett with, "What time does this show start?" This leaves Bennett flustered, so he abandons his joke. John then comes out on stage, and gives Henry an icy look. Next, John tries to finish the story that Bennett started. But, John proceeds to blow it completely! (The joke is supposed to be told as: The wife asks, "What are you home at this hour for?" The husband replies, "For breakfast.") Since John mangles the joke, it gets no reaction at all. Henry can be heard muttering to Phyllis, "Do they understand it? No." But, when John proceeds with regular business, he gets a big applause. Fates said Henry was never invited back again. Even though Henry does appear on the later 8/20/67 episode, that program had been pre-taped on 6/4/67, which is before the date of this episode. You can tell that Bennett appreciated John coming to his defense, because during the goodbyes, Bennett warmly says to John with a smile, "Good night John, my boy."
From Suzanne - (2004):
More about the "Henry Morgan Flap" from Gil Fates' 1978 WML book:
"It is my pleasure tonight, as usual," said Bennett launching himself onto a sea of rhetoric, "to introduce our disgustingly articulate master of ceremonies. He's just back from his favorite Tilton School up in New Hampshire. He told me that last night one of the town folk came staggering in..."
"What time does this show go on?" It was Henry Morgan, interrupting loudly from off-camera. There was a ripple of uncertain laughter from both the audience and the panel, including Bennett.
"May I finish, Henry?" Bennett asked pleasantly enough.
"I was hoping you would," shot back Morgan.
There was laughter from the audience, but none from Bennett, who looked quite upset. The lady panelists were in shock. Bennett took a deep breath as if to continue with his story, then suddenly exhaled. He had lost his flow.
"Ahh...I won't bother," he said, then very quickly added "John Charles Daly." The applause thundered up and Daly strode onstage. His lips were pressed together and his face was tense with irritation. He moved purposefully to his desk and sat down. The applause subsided.
"Actually it's a good story so I'll finish it." He paused and glared across the panel desk, "If you don't mind, Henry, that is."
"Nooo," said Henry airily, "I've got all night."
Daly couldn't resist a rejoinder. "I don't know as we have though," he said.
Nobody knew what that meant, including John, but he sailed right on."
Fates then tells the rest of the story, about John Daly telling the joke and how it falls flat. Fates finishes up with: "Henry Morgan never appeared on the Sunday night show again. But he later was a frequent guest on our syndicated series. Of course by that time, like I said, he was well on his way to becoming a pussycat."
REVIEW: Henry Morgan was very lucky. After he interrupted Bennett, and later John, he was fortunate that they didn't practice on him what the first contestant taught. However, it did light a fire under Bennett, who wound up having a great performance. Bennett did a great job in figuring out that the first contestant was, in fact, a self-defense instructor. Also, with Phyllis' help, Bennett figured out that the second contestant was a horse dentist. Ironically, he had been a contestant on the show 13 years earlier. The mood really lightened up when Senator Dirksen hit the stage. He showed that he had a great sense of humor. Bennett continued his hot streak by guessing the senator as well. The coup de gras came in the final game when Bennett correctly guessed the final contestant. Even with Henry's boorish behavior, the panel, particularly Bennett, had a great night. - Sargebri (2004)
Tidbits: We see a new sponsor at the beginning of this program, Duncan Hines Cake Mix. Did Phyllis cut her hair, or is she wearing a short-hair wig? She will also have this same short hairdo on EPISODE #871, because that episode was taped on the same day that this episode was aired live. We find out the answer on EPISODE #875, which was taped on July 23, 1967 and aired on August 27, 1967. On that episode, her hair is longer again. Thus, she is evidently wearing a wig tonight. - Suzanne (2004)
The mystery guest was Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, Republican U.S. senator from Illinois during the years 1951-1969. Dirksen's hit LP was a "spoken word" album on the Capitol label (#T 2643). Its title is "Gallant Men - Stories of the American Adventure." The tracks on this 1966 album are: Prologue, Gallant Men, The Story of the Mayflower and the Mayflower Compact, The Story of the Battle for Independence, The Story of the Flag, The Star-Spangled Banner, The Story of Gettysburg, The Gettysburg Address, The Story of the Statue of Liberty, Epilogue and Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. - Suzanne - (2004)
Senator Everett Dirksen, Republican from Illinois, was then the Senate Minority Leader. At this time, he was boosting his national fame with a hit LP record. His voice was probably the most distinctive of any member of Congress, yet he manages to fool the panel, for a bit, into thinking he's a handsome leading man. This earned him the distinction of being among the few political mystery guests who made it into the 25th anniversary special. He was also the father-in-law of Tennessee Senator Howard Baker. Dirksen died in 1969, just after being re-elected to a fourth term. Contestant #2, Harry Ball, a horse dentist, had previously appeared on the show in 1954. This is an indicator of how nostalgic the show was getting in its waning weeks, by bringing back a contestant from the early days of the show. - Eric Paddon (2004)
Malaise of the Spirit: Everett Dirksen's presence lightens up the mood until John Daly looks at the camera and says that lately, the United States is suffering "a malaise of the spirit." He may be referring to current news reports of hippies and anti-war protestors proliferating in New York and San Francisco. It was 1967, the "Summer of Love." - Jan Simonson (2004)
Panel: Phyllis Newman, Henry Morgan, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.
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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