What's My Line? Forums

CBS (ended 1967)

BENNETT CERF Forum

  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [1]Jun 13, 2005
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    Post all about Bennett Cerf here.
    Edited on 07/12/2006 4:18am
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  • Avatar of EveCarla

    EveCarla

    [2]Jul 9, 2005
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    I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Bennett hosting the show this evening. There couldn't be a better candidate for this one-time gig: Bennett & John Daly share a common fine intellect, a visible delight in being on the show...& wordiness. It should be a hoot!
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    W-B

    [3]Jul 10, 2005
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    I did notice one thing about Mr. Cerf's one-shot stint as guest host, besides what I expect others on this Board to put in their $0.02: His referring to the panelists on a first-name basis. Which seemed to foreshadow what would be de rigueur on the syndicated 1968-75 version.
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    EveCarla

    [4]Jul 10, 2005
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    He did do the first-name thing, didn't he? I think it was consistent with the rest of his "performance" last night - he seemed to be making a bit of an effort NOT to be mimicking John Daly's "script," word for word, though he played it pretty safe & stayed well within established lines. Also, the panelists are really his colleagues; one hosting gig won't change that. Addressing them more formally would've sounded weird. Actually, he sounded a bit weird at various points throughout the episode.

    Still, he did an okay job, don't you think, but I was touched by his obvious stiffness & discomfort. Despite his bon vivant, comfortable-in-any-situation persona, he didn't seem at ease stepping into a role that was so firmly associated with John Daly. He seemed self-deprecating & visibly relieved when it was over. I liked Arlene Francis' comment that there was no one in the world happier than he was that it was 11:00 & the show was behind him!
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  • Avatar of The1Factotum1i1

    The1Factotum1i1

    [5]Aug 1, 2005
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    FASHION CONTROVERSY!

    When Bennett said to the contestant on the Lena Horne episode that he was glad she didn't come out in a "sack" dress, he added that they were " an insult to every American man". Well, theat was particularly ugly style, I'll agree, but I think maybe it's presumtious of him to assume women dress exclusively for the approval of our sex. How else can all the unattractive fashions be explained? Ever see the cloche hats of the 1920's? Remember shoulder pads? Bennett will get some feedback for his statement.
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [6]Aug 30, 2005
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    The1Factotum1i1 wrote:
    FASHION CONTROVERSY!


    There is quite a bit of information on the net about 1957's new design in fashion, the "chemise" or the "sack" dress. One Gerry Granahan song that peaked at #23 in the 1958 Billboard charts was titled, "NO CHEMISE, PLEASE" and the refrain lamented:

    No chemise, please, not for me, please
    Well you can take back the sack, leave it hangin' on the rack
    And bring a sweater back!!

    This couture craze was also parodied on an episode of "I Love Lucy" in which Lucy and Ethel pine for sack dresses - but end up wearing feed sacks.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [7]Aug 31, 2005
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    I'm surprised nobody followed up on it, but Arlene and Dorothy both wore the dreaded dresses on a following episode. All for laughs, of course. If they intended on showing up Bennett, it just illustrated that even the most charming gals can be made to look silly.
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    ymike673

    [8]Aug 31, 2005
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    How about the look on John Daly's face when he came on stage that night. It was priceless.
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  • Avatar of Linneman

    Linneman

    [9]Sep 2, 2005
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    Show #435 (Daryl Zanuck, mystery guest) has one of the great WML moments of all time, again showing the virtues (pitfalls?) of live TV.

    For the three of you who have not seen it (aired Thursday AM)the second guest was an attractive young lady from New Jersey who was a sheep shearer. They narrowed it down to her working with animals and Bennett narrowed it further to sheep. JCD asked Bennett what does she do with sheep. Mr. Cerf replied "Do you pluck sheep?"

    Pandemonium. John can barely sit on his chair he's laughing so hard. Bennett looks bewildered for a few seconds and then hangs his head and starts laughing himself, in a very embarrassed manner. I like WML in B&W but color would let us know if, as I suspect, that Mr. Cerf turned bright red. There was laughter for the rest of the evening.

    And Mr. Cerf said later in the show "I'm so embarrassed". At least he enunciated the word "pluck" clearly.

    The episode guide has more on this.

    I've had great fun thinking of a late 1950's father having to answer a wife or teenage daughter's question "Daddy, why are you laughing so hard?". Clearly only part of the audience caught it but I've never seen John Daly laugh so much.
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    W-B

    [10]Sep 2, 2005
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    Thanks for 'shearing' that information with us. (As Bennett himself might've put it . . . )
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [11]Sep 2, 2005
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    W-B wrote:
    Thanks for 'shearing' that information with us.


    HAHAHAHA - I detect Ham & X!!!
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  • Avatar of sixtyfivealive

    sixtyfivealive

    [12]Sep 2, 2005
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    astorino wrote:
    W-B wrote:
    Thanks for 'shearing' that information with us.


    HAHAHAHA - I detect Ham & X!!!


    Yet ANOTHER effort to pull the wool over our eyes!
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  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [13]Sep 6, 2005
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    In episode #439 there was mention of the "plucking" as the "Goose Caller" was leaving the stage.
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [14]Sep 7, 2005
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    While speaking to Raymond Berry (I think it was, on EPISODE #440) did you notice how Bennett pronounced Johnny Unitas as "YOU-na-toss" and not "you-NY-tas"?
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  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [15]Sep 7, 2005
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    Yes I did. What's amazing to me is that back then a star Pro-Football player could go on the show and the panel did not have to be blindfoled and could know his name. About 2 months after this show the famous 1958 Giants/Colts NFL championship game would take place and Raymond would be too famous for this to happen.
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  • Avatar of Linneman

    Linneman

    [16]Sep 7, 2005
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    I think this just shows the (relative) lack of attention the fifties paid to pro team sports other than baseball. The panel, as has been made clear many times, knows baseball and its players. Any person fairly prominent in baseball needed to be a mystery guest and many have been. The same has been true of boxers and tennis players.

    Today we tend to think of football as the dominant sport in both TV coverage and public attention. Not true in 1959-60. And the NBA and NHL were then not in public consciousness even at the level of the NFL.
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  • Avatar of The1Factotum1i1

    The1Factotum1i1

    [17]Sep 7, 2005
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    In a way, TV made pro football. The college games were the ones anybody cared about then, but the pros were quite a bit cheaper to run, and they had more games to show when TV wanted them.
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  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [18]Sep 7, 2005
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    There was a TTTT episode (Which I missed) that had basketball star George Mikan as a contestant. I wonder how the panel did in that game.
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  • Avatar of The1Factotum1i1

    The1Factotum1i1

    [19]Sep 7, 2005
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    By the time of Superbowl 1, everybody knew the mystery guest Vince Lombardi.
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  • Avatar of Linneman

    Linneman

    [20]Sep 8, 2005
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    On tonight's show one of the guests is Larry French. According to the episode guide he's a "chicken plucker". (not a "chicken shearer"?) I'm sure, of course, that this was not done to tease Bennett. They would never do that, and John would not be a party to embarrassing Bennett. (Yes, just a tinge of irony here)

    It should be interesting.

    And for anyone who missed the earlier show where Bennett asked a sheep shearer if she "plucked sheep" there's a discussion of what happened several posts ago in this thread.
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