REVIEW: This was a fairly decent night for the panel as they went a respectable 2 for 3 on the evening. In the first game, there was some concern that the panel would recognize Elizabeth Collins due to her television appearances with her father as part of their act. However, it was decided to forego the blindfolds and play it as a regular game. Fortunately, the panel didn't recognize her, but Arlene correctly guessed that she was a human target in a knife throwing act. In the second game, the panel was totally stumped by the sandpaper salesman from upstate New York. In the mystery guest round, the panel easily identified Jack E. Leonard, especially once he began using his regular voice. After the game, "Fat Jack" joked about his ongoing battle with his weight as well as a certain show going off the air soon and what some people will be doing for work. All in all, this was a fun night. - Sargebri (2008)
FAREWELL JAYNE!!! Tonight marked the final appearance for Jayne Meadows on the CBS WML panel. Of course, following Dorothy's passing, Jayne (or as Steve called her tonight, "The Maharani") made more frequent appearances on the show. In fact, on all of her post-Dorothy era appearances, she appeared with her loving husband by her side. After WML, she continued her acting career and also returned to the panel where she got her big start, when "I've Got a Secret" returned to television via five-days-a-week syndication. Jayne is alive and well and enjoying a well-deserved retirement. - Sargebri (2008)
CANCELLATION WATCH - 872 DOWN, FOUR TO GO!!! Tonight saw a "not too subtle" reminder of the show's impending cancellation during the post mystery guest round chat with Jack. Jack pretty much played like he was guessing what John, Bennett and Arlene were going to do once the show went off the air. He said that Arlene could "act a little bit" and that John will "go back doing the news" and he didn't know what Bennett was going to do. In his own way, Jack reminded everyone that the WML's days were definitely dwindling down. - Sargebri (2008)
SIGN OF THE TIMES!!! During the first game, Bennett made a reference to a then-new fad in New York, topless restaurants. He definitely sounded disturbed by these restaurants, showing somewhat of a prudish side which was to be expected due to his age. However, if he felt bad in 1967, he would be livid today, when almost "anything goes." - Sargebri (2008)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the second contestant at eight down. He also flipped one at one point during the game for a repeated question. The panel wasn't really close. - agent_0042 (2008)
JAYNE MEADOWS, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: All together, Jayne Meadows made 14 appearances on CBS WML: 4 as a mystery guest and 10 as a guest panelist. - Suzanne (2008)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: The opening sponsor tonight was Post Honeycomb cereal. A decade later, there would be a memorable ad campaign which started off with "Come to the Honeycomb Hideout!" For years thereafter, these commercial advertisements were a staple of Saturday morning television.
(2) "MEMOREX" WATCH: This is the fourth surviving pre-taped episode of 1967, the eighth of the 1966-1967 season, and the fifteenth since EPISODE #820 of July 3, 1966, to leave out the origin of the show's production from announcer Johnny Olson's intro.
(3) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: At the time tonight's show was taped (on the same night as the live, and sadly lost to history, EPISODE #855 of March 26, 1967, on which the exact same panel lineup was assembled as on this evening), Steve Allen was one week and one day away from the show he was hosting at the time, "I've Got a Secret," reaching the end of its nearly 15-year run on April 3, 1967. At the time this show aired tonight, Mr. Allen was hosting a summer-replacement series, "The Steve Allen Comedy Hour," which ran on CBS from June 14, 1967 to August 16, 1967. His lovely wife, and tonight's fellow guest panelist, Jayne Meadows, and a former regular from his 1956-1961 Sunday night NBC series, Louis Nye, were among the regulars on this short-lived program, as well as future "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" regular Ruth Buzzi, and John Byner. In 1980, Steverino would host another "Steve Allen Comedy Hour" for NBC which ran on and off from October 18, 1980 to January 10, 1981. Among the more notable regulars of this later show were Catherine O'Hara, then on a break from the Canadian sketch comedy series "Second City Television" (aka "SCTV"), and veteran stage and TV actress/singer/comedienne Kaye Ballard who had played the role of "Kaye Buell" on the Desi Arnaz-produced sitcom "The Mothers-in-Law" which ran on NBC from September 10, 1967 to September 7, 1969. And while this was Jayne Meadows' last appearance on the CBS "WML?," she will make a few appearances on the 1968-1975 syndicated version between 1969 and near the end, both as a guest panelist and a mystery guest. This tally includes one week in the final (1974-1975) season when she and Mr. Allen will be on the panel, in only one of two occasions Steverino would appear on the syndicated version -- unlike his 1953-1954 run as a regular panelist and his steady run of guest panelist and mystery guest appearances from 1956 to the very end which will be four weeks from tonight.
(4) BAD PUN ALERT: Bennett (introduced as the "Maharaja of Mount Kisco" by Jayne Meadows, after she herself was introduced as a "maharani" for her Indian-made gown) made one of the last of his lame plays on words tonight, explaining how John was talking to a parrot and that as a result, he would end up speaking in "Polly-syllables." This bad wordplay incorporates both "Polly the Parrot" and "polysyllable," a word of more than three syllables. The publisher/panelist, again for probably the last time, introduced the panel moderator by his correct full name of John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly.
(5) MYSTERY GUEST: Tonight's show marked the final "WML?" appearance of Jack E. Leonard for what was left of its ever-dwindling run on CBS. The pre-Don Rickles "King of Insults" had made a total of six appearances, the first three of which -- including his first appearance on EPISODE #317 of July 1, 1956 -- were as a guest panelist, the remaining three, including tonight, as a mystery guest. He would make one final appearance, as a mystery guest, in the fifth season of the syndicated "WML?," during Larry Blyden's third week as host. The episode in question was from within Week #159 which was taped on August 3, 1972, and the panel that week consisted of Soupy Sales, Anita Gillette, Henry Morgan and Arlene Francis. Less than a year after that show, on May 9, 1973, Mr. Leonard died at age 62 of complications from diabetes.
(6) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: As with the live EPISODE #855 of March 26, 1967, which aired immediately after tonight's show was pre-taped, Hal Anderson was filling in as lighting director in place of Gene Ulrich. The rest of the production crew was the same as assembled at that point. All the end credits were shown in full screen once more, to the ultimate satisfaction of regular GSN viewers, on the cable and satellite channel's February 21, 2008 airing of this prerecorded installment.
(6) GSN's February 21, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the April 29, 1963 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, with the usual panel of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson, and celebrity guest Vic Damone. That this show was prerecorded was obvious at certain points, as the picture on the surviving kinescope was considerably "softer" than on live editions, suggesting that the 2" quadruplex videotape was "low-band," as was common prior to about 1965. - W-B (2008)
This was a very decent showing by the panel tonight. Good thing, too, because heaven knows, they don't have many more nights left in which to prove their mettle. Arlene did a great job in figuring out that Miss Collins was the target in a knife throwing act. However, we learn in the post-game conversation that there had been some nervousness about having Elizabeth appear without either blindfolding the panel or having her sign in as "Miss X." This hesitation was due to the fact that, as John mentioned, she and her father frequently appeared on television, especially on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The panel was stumped by the sandpaper salesman, which turned out to be the only hiccup. The fun picked up when Jack E. Leonard walked out for the mystery guest round. The panel almost immediately figured out who he was. He then began to joke about several things, including the fact that this would be his final appearance on the show, and that John was going back to the news. Not only was this indeed "Fat Jack's" final appearance, it also was the final appearance of Jayne Meadows, or as her loving husband Steve referred to her tonight, "the maharani." We'll see Steve again, though. He will appear on the final broadcast of the series in a few weeks. This really was a fun night. - Sargebri (2004)
During the end credits, Johnny Olson announced that this episode was prerecorded. From Gil Fates' logs, we know this episode was taped on March 26, 1967. - Suzanne (2004)
Jack E. Leonard promoted his upcoming appearance at "Mister Kelly's" jazz nightclub in Chicago, IL. John was interested in how much weight Jack had lost and gained back. As he did during his September 1962 WML appearance, Jack mentioned his nickname "Fat Jack." In September 1962, Jack had reported that he had lost 148 pounds. He has been struggling with this diet a long time - references to his weight loss are made on EPISODE #314 of June 10, 1956. Tonight, he said he started out at 360 pounds, got down to 202 pounds, and was now back up to 240 pounds. - Suzanne (2004)
CANCELLATION WATCH - Jack E. Leonard made so many references to WML's impending demise, I lost count! Even though this episode aired in August 1967, it had been taped about six weeks after the Valentine's Day newspaper article announcing the cancellation. - Suzanne (2004)
Tidbits: Steve Allen refers to the heat of August, yet this episode was filmed in March! - Suzanne (2004)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows, Bennett Cerf.
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