What's My Line? Forums

CBS (ended 1967)


  • Avatar of Fat-tote-bag


    [81]May 30, 2006
    • member since: 07/06/05
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 220

    outoffog wrote:

    I have news for you, 'classic tv' (if you haven't noticed already)....the fact that "neophyte" Ben Mankiewicz is hosting TCM's Saturday afternoon movie schedule [and "CARTOON ALLEY" before that- why not someone like Jerry Beck, who KNOWS about classic animation??] is proof that they desperately want "younger" audiences to tune in. His turns are just a small sampling of what's to come; the promos they're running are further "storm warnings".

    TCM is commercial free, but it's owned by a company that hopes you sample its other channels that all have commercials.

    What's wrong with Turner Broadcasting wanting younger audiences to tune in ? Remember the part in the Gil Fates book about the advertising credo that after somebody turns 40, his / her buying habits are very difficult to change? It's true. If by 40 you haven't settled on a good deodorant or soap or -- depending on your body -- powder as in Shower To Shower, then you've probably had a few tiffs with co - workers about body odor. That's not much fun. If you don't know what kind of food you can cook and / or pig out on by the time you're 40, you probably know whether your body prefers Tums or Alka Seltzer.

    Cable TV executives who aim at younger audiences are NOT saying it's wrong to age. They're NOT saying it's wrong to hang on to a piece of entertainment or sports from a long time ago. They know you can buy a DVD of almost anything that has been revived on a cable channel. That's common knowledge.

    What the executives are saying is that they're under pressure from advertisers to try to change people's buying habits. That's all. If you Tivo stuff and then save it to DVD, or if you buy a DVD on amazon.com, then you don't have to worry about somebody else switching deodorant brands.
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  • Avatar of astorino


    [82]Jun 7, 2008
    • member since: 06/07/03
    • level: 62
    • rank: Species #8472
    • posts: 756
    We'll be seeing Fred Allen soon. First, as a guest panelist on EPISODE #220, and shortly thereafter, as a regular panelist on EPISODE #226.
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  • Avatar of astorino


    [83]Jul 18, 2008
    • member since: 06/07/03
    • level: 62
    • rank: Species #8472
    • posts: 756

    From: Cheerfulcowboy
    Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008

    Dear Suzanne:

    Since I am also interested in old-time radio, I subscribe to the Old-Time
    Radio Digest, which comes out daily.

    This issue contained an e-mail about Fred Allen. Because it talks about him
    on "What's My Line?" I think you will enjoy reading it.

    Perhaps you would like to add it to the What's My Line? Forum.

    Best regards,


    The Old-Time Radio Digest!
    Volume 2008 : Issue 176
    A Part of the OldRadio.network!

    Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008
    From: Larry Jordan
    Subject: Fred Allen's spontaneous wit

    I just wanted to make sure that subscribers to this newsletter are aware that in recent weeks, the reruns of the old "What's My Line?" TV show being aired nightly on the Game Show Network include radio legend Fred Allen as a panelist.

    As an OTR fan, I of course was familiar with Fred, but I have to admit I didn't realize what a true wit he really was until I started seeing him on these old reruns.

    I had heard that he was described as a "master ad-libber" and boy oh boy, he sure didn't disappoint on "WML." His spontaneous humor was just fantastic and he was very fast with a quip. But not overbearing in the sense of wanting to hog the camera, or talk too much. Much of his humor was quite self-effacing. He seemed to me to be a rather gentle man with a twinkle in his eye at all times.

    He was capable of being a genuine show-stopper, with a quip or two that would be so funny that you couldn't help but laugh. Tonight's show was a good example, and even host John Daly got into the act and traded some barbs with him to hilarious effect. Despite the fact that Fred was certainly not photogenic, he made a terrific panelist. The reruns are being shown chronologically and tonight's was originally broadcast on March 13, 1955. Mr. Allen was a regular each week until his death around St. Patrick's Day in 1956.

    His famous quip about TV: "You know, television is called a new medium, and I have discovered why they call it a medium because nothing is well done." He also wrote a couple of best-selling books, including one on cla-ssic radio itself, called "Treadmill to Oblivion."

    Of course, everybody knows about his long-running gag that he was feuding with Jack Benny, but when Benny's tenor, Dennis Day, was on "What's My Line?" (as aired last week), it was clear that they were friendly.

    I hope that anybody who only knows Fred Allen through his scripted radio shows will set your VCR or DVR to record some of these "WML?" segments while you can, because Fred's humor is really in a cla-ss by itself.


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