(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)