What's My Line? Forums

CBS (ended 1967)

JOHN DALY Forum

  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [41]Nov 10, 2005
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    Making sure John Daly's forum will still be with us.
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    billsav57

    [42]Nov 13, 2005
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    Someone in John Daly's position today would have had both his marital and career problems splashed all over the tabloids. Also Drudge and those sorts of places. I'd be interested to know what the coverage of either of his troubles was in 1960.
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    W-B

    [43]Nov 13, 2005
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    Not just him, but, say, Dorothy's substance abuse problems (among others) would be all over the place in today's media (just ask Danny Bonaduce) . . . but in terms of whatever press coverage Mr. Daly's divorce got "way back when," I'd say it was more on the order of a small blurb in, say, Time magazine's "Milestones" section or Newsweek's "Transition" (not unlike when he married Virginia Warren, or when they had their children).
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    billsav57

    [44]Nov 14, 2005
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    On Letterman the other night, Ted Koppell talked about his early days at ABC, when the head of the news division had to go begging for money ... this would have been after Daly, of course, but not long after.
    Letterman also was talking about "Good Night and Good Luck," about how Edward R. Murrow was the godfather of broadcast journalism. That may be true for the most part, but it downplays the role of people such as Ed Klauber (the man who more or less created the CBS news division, and the one who, according to reports, had Daly drop the "Charles" from his name) and Paul White. They were actually Murrow's bosses and mentors to a large extent.
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    ClassicTV

    [45]Nov 20, 2005
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    By chance I came across a website where one can hear John Daly in his other "line" as radio journalist. He improvises remarks (in the same way that modern anchors do) while awaiting President Roosevelt to enter the Capitol chambers to ask for measures that the president believes will keep the U.S. out of World War II.

    At

    http://www.radiolovers.com/pages/completebroadcastday.htm

    you can download a broadcast day circa 1940 of Washington D.C. radio station WJSV from sign-on to sign-off. The full day is divided into segments, so click on Part 9, the last link on the list. If you don't wish to listen to President Roosevelt's entire speech after Mr. Daly introduces him to the radio audience, drag the playbar on your system's media player to the right until the time display reads "41:40". At that point, Mr. Daly returns with closing remarks and signs himself off as "John Charles Daly".

    This website also has many other free downloadable radio shows.
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    mehitable

    [46]Nov 21, 2005
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    Thank you for the link! It was Sept. 21, 1939 (Why, Mr. Daly was just a pup in 1939). I did feel the urge to snicker a bit as he painted the scene (women's attire) but that was just a part of the job. And, yes, I listened to old man Roosevelt.

    I can't believe I have never listened to that entire day before as I have always loved old radio.
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    billsav57

    [47]Nov 22, 2005
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    I'm waiting to see any sign of strain on Daly's face or in his mannerisms. Maybe WML was Daly's refuge from his marital problems and, later, his career issues. That happens today. If you believe the tabloids, just about everybody in TV is having similar problems all the time.
    The other site had a strain about Daly looking older than his years. As I said there, I think that's true of just about everybody in those days.
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    W-B

    [48]Nov 23, 2005
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    billsav57 wrote:
    I'm waiting to see any sign of strain on Daly's face or in his mannerisms. Maybe WML was Daly's refuge from his marital problems and, later, his career issues. That happens today. If you believe the tabloids, just about everybody in TV is having similar problems all the time.
    The other site had a strain about Daly looking older than his years. As I said there, I think that's true of just about everybody in those days.

    I seem to recall in some mid-to-late 1950's shows Mr. Daly had particularly pronounced circles 'round his eyes - but it also appears that the years, with all the accompanying stresses of the past, truly began to show on his visage once WML? went color in 1966. Must've been the lighting setup at the future Ed Sullivan Theatre . . . or is it that the only evidence of that final season (as with all surviving WML?'s) are B&W kinescopes, with nary a color videotape (or, for that matter, a videotape at all) amongst the bunch? Or was it the way the RCA TK-10 and Marconi Mark IV monochrome cameras depicted him, vs. the Philips/Norelco PC-60 color cameras?
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    ymike673

    [49]Nov 23, 2005
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    I would guees it was caused by the lighting since the studio was lit for color and all we can see are B/W kinescopes.
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    billsav57

    [50]Nov 25, 2005
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    He definitely looked puffier in the final couple of years, but that comes with age, and he was 53 when the show ended ... not ancient, but old enough to get jowls and those other fun things.
    Bennett Cerf, meanwhile, was pushing 70 when the show ended and he never lost the twinkle in his eye, which probably comes from being so immersed in humor all his life.
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    astorino

    [51]Nov 26, 2005
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    W-B wrote:
    I seem to recall in some mid-to-late 1950's shows Mr. Daly had particularly pronounced circles 'round his eyes...


    Or was it the three young kids, after he had already raised three kids? That's enough to age anybody!

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  • Avatar of billsav57

    billsav57

    [52]Dec 10, 2005
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    I was shocked, while the flagpole painter was stumping the panel the other night, when John Daly said "Yes, you can have a conference," in response to a request from Dorothy (I think).
    I couldn't believe John didn't say "Yes, you MAY have a conference." His Tilton school teachers probably felt the same way.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [53]Jan 3, 2006
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    Selections from an article in TV GUIDE, 15 April 1961:

    HE'S NOW MAKING NEWS by Richard Gehman

    Apparently no longer content simply to report or comment on news, John Daly of late has been making some news of his own.
    Last November, after a series of policy disagreements, he resigned as vice-president in charge of news, special events and public affairs at ABC. And soon after that, his marriage of 23 years' having ended, he married Virginia Warren, daughter of the Chief Justice of the United States.
    People who watched Daly in his role as master of ceremonies of What's My Line? every Sunday night on the CBS network are accustomed to thinking of him as good-humored, urbane, mannerly and reserved almost to the point of frostiness.
    Daly is indeed, all these things. His clothes are subdued and correct; one half expects to him to carry an umbrella. His voice is seldom raised. A pipe, which he puffs absent-mindedly, lends him a vague air of scholarship.
    Thus it may come as a surprise, to those who think of the commentator as something of a prim stick, to learn that, in the loud, boisterous, and currently homeless and vagrant society that centers around a huge New York restauranteur named Toots Shor, a society that always in hilarious full cry, John Charles Daly is one of the fullest criers of all.
    Until it was torn down in July 1959, Toots Shor's was the gathering place of an astonishing klatsch of celebrities- writers, editors, film stars, professional athletes and television performers. Even Dave Garroway, known for his Garbonian solitude, went in occasionally. Jackie Gleason was nearly always there; one afternoon he engaged the proprietor in a brandy drinking contest, lost, fell to the floor like a wounded dinosaur and lay in the entrance to the dining room all through the dinner hour. People had to step over him to get to their tables.
    Daly liked to relax in this noisy climate late at night with his closest friends-Toots himself, Bob Considine, Don Ameche and others. Whenever Toots chartered a fleet of limousines to go uptown to a championship fight or an important ball game, Daly's schoolmasterish face always was glowing in the crowd. When Daly got married and the Chief Justice held a reception for him and his new bride in California, Toots and a growling of his fellow bears galumphed right along behind.
    ...it should be apparent that the Daly his friends know bears little or no resemblance to the man who keeps Dorothy Kilgallen,Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis and a guest panelist in line on the Sunday night panel show. Beneath that unruffled exterior is a lusty, dynamic, vigorous man.
    ...Daly has traveled extensively since World War II. Unlike so many newscasters, he never has been content to take what was handed him by leg men and writers and read it on the air. He liked to find the facts for himself. Not long ago a friend asked him about the situation in Laos. Without hesitation, Daly launched into a 10-minute exposition, peopling it with the principal characters in the struggle for power, giving their backgrounds and forecasting the events of the next few months.
    "That is typical of John" one friend says. "He's always doing his homework-when he isn't traveling, he's studying." Daly reads a good deal. chiefly history and biography. He has no hobbies except golf, tennis and staying up late at night,but these three endeavors enable him to keep his stomach as flat as an athlete's.
    Daly got into the master-of-ceremonies business after a brief career as an actor. He played Walter Burns, the editor in the CBS series The Front Page, for 18 weeks. The undertaking was another of those unexpected breakouts that have been characteristic of him. Nobody at CBS had thought of him as an actor. "He was the fastest study I'd ever met", says Franklin Heller, who directed the series, and who also directs What's My Line? "He would read a script twice and have three quarters of it memorized".
    Daly's next unusual move was into What's My Line? He has been moderating it ever since it began in 1950. The year before, he had switched from CBS to ABC as a commentator, but ABC permitted him to return to his "home" network for this chore.
    It is little more than a chore. Daly gets to the studio at 10:10 P.M., talks briefly to the guests, has a little powder dusted onto his face, and takes his place on stage. The show goes on at 10:30 (ET) and off at 11. At 11:05 Daly leaves the studio. He seldom sees the panelists outside the working period.
    As the show went into it's 12th year last February, none of the performers could recall a single instance when Daly had lost his customary composure. Formerly when their speculation over the identity of the guests veered toward areas of questionable taste, he would restrain them by tugging at his ear lobe. "The ear has not been pulled for a long time", he said recently.
    Daly himself refuses to be pulled or pushed. His sudden resignation as news chief at ABC came about because he was angry at the network's policies. "We'd had several disagreements during the past four or five years", he recently said. "But matters came to a head Election Night. When the executives cut into my news coverage to put on two shows, Bugs Bunny and The Rifleman, I felt it was going too far." Then too, Daly resented the network's having hired an outside firm to produce a documentary which he felt strongly came within the province of his news department.
    A half hour a week is hardly enough time for a man of Daly's energy to spend working, and his friends are all wondering what he will do now that his connection with ABC is permanantly severed. Daly himself is wondering that. There has been speculation that he will accept a job in government from President Kennedy, as Edward R. Murrow did. He will not comment (nor will he say for whom he voted). In February, this reporter learned that the head of a well-known newspaper chain was considering offering Daly a position as a publisher. Daly acknowledged that he was aware of this but declared that no formal agreement had been reached. "Look," he said, "I've had no vacation for four years. I'm getting some rest now. I don't know how long I'll rest. But when, one morning, I wake up itchy, I'll know it's time to go back to work."
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Jim Hagerty, ex-press secretary for President Eisenhower,and one time mystery guest on WML?, replaced John as head of ABC news.
    I can understand John's anger over the real or percieved lack of confidence ABC had in his department's ability to produce a documentary, perhaps it was something a bit deeper going on behind the scenes, like ABC was afraid JCD's version might be overopinionated. I don't know which project in particular they refer to.
    As far as the decision to run BUGS BUNNY and THE RIFLEMAN election night, you have to consider that these were two of third-place place ABC's biggest shows in late 1960. Also, the Kennedy-Nixon contest was not fun to go through. Niether a big fat satisfying win or a quick and merciful loss were in the offing. I don't know if any of the ABC footage still exists, but I've seen the NBC coverage, about 99% preserved. It's just endless stalemate as the hours go by. At one point, fairly early on, Kennedy was in the lead, and Nixon, acting on the worst advice he'd had since his motorcade through Caracas, conceded defeat. but then, a surge in Nixon votes appear, and the race is very tight from then on. It has been argued that if Nixon had waited until after the balloting in all 50 states closed, many of his potential voters would have gone to the polls, instead of throwing in the towel with their candidate. But the "too close to call" coverage just goes on until local stations take over at about 11 PM , and when they start again the next day they still haven't decided that JFK had taken it positively. The TODAY show is bumped for more coverage in the special set. Garroway, Lesculie, & co. join Huntley & Brinkley to say just about nothing that hasn't been said umteen times. It isn't until mid-morning, after they finally relent and go back to actual shows, that Kennedy is finally, at last, the decided President-elect, and they had to interrupt WHO DO YOU TRUST? to do it.
    Bugs and The Rifleman would've been welcome in all that. NBC played it the way John would've wanted it, ABC played it the way, as we now say, "the suits" wanted it. But then, as now, TV news is not taken seriously by the networks. It always runs at a loss in revenue, it's not entertainment, but it's required (or at least once was) by the FCC. Sometimes it's done up to be a prestige part of programming, such as seen here at NBC.(they even had a monster-sized early computer to help tally returns!)But ABC fulfilled it's obligations and managed to find the space for their shows. In the long run,they wouldn't know Kennedy was the winner any sooner than anyone else did, but John Daly didn't take the long view, and turned it into a reason to quit. The rest of his life was a busy retirement. The government job that was given to him after WML? folded didn't last long, and he spent his time doing things like speaking at colleges.
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    billsav57

    [54]Jan 3, 2006
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    CNN and all the others came along about 20 years too late for John Charles Daly ... I wonder if he ever had an opportunity to work for PBS, a la Bill Moyers.
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    wieniekilgallen

    [55]Jan 3, 2006
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    Great article. Thanks for posting this, very interesting.
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    W-B

    [56]Jan 3, 2006
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    May I second those kind words about the article. I do think it's interesting, though, that despite his association with ABC having ended at this point (in terms of WML? episodes airing now), you hear Martin Gabel and/or Bennett Cerf occasionally still refer to Mr. Daly as a "news analyst." And that James Hagerty was his successor at the network made his mystery guest appearance some years before all the more ironic, I.M.H.O.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [57]Jan 4, 2006
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    Well, even if he was no longer a news anylist/commentator, it was his life's work, so that's what he'd always be refered to. sort of like an ex-office holder. Mario Cuomo will still be referred to as "Governor", Gerald Ford will still be referred to as "Mr. President", etc.
    What about other implications in John's story? In a 1954 episode, Bennett mentions, and at the goodbyes, scolds, JCD for buying a slick new sports car. (in Bennett's often talking-without-thinking way he rues "You're gonna kill yourself in it I just know it"!) Daly also dumped his first wife, Margaret (nee Neal) for a young trophy version, and his ongoing disatisfaction at ABC, leading to his big "I'll show THEM!" moment. The guy had the classic, text-book "middle-age crisis" going. Too bad. For in the end, look at all the huge issues of the day he took no part in; JFK's assasination, Viet Nam, Space exploration, Watergate, etc.
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    ymike673

    [58]Jan 4, 2006
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    About 10 years ago A&E replayed about 4 hours of NBC's election coverage from that night. It was interesting at first but as nothing was happening it started to get boring. Of note was NBC announcing that a key state had gone to Kennedy and then in a postcript after the show it was pointed out that they had made a mistake and the state later that night was won by Nixon.
    Edited on 07/10/2006 11:48pm
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [59]Jan 4, 2006
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    I must have missed it, I guess they never showed it again. The Museum of Television and radio has video copies of all, whatever it was, 15 hours or more of it. Nobody should look forward to seeing it all unless you're one of the few who don't know how it all comes out. I saw (a lot of) it back in 1988.
    That they called a state for Kennedy that later turned out he didn't win, I guess we can attribute it to perhaps educated guesses projecting a trend that just didn't turn out that way. At the begining of the night, they made a big deal out of the fact they had a computer helping them predict, but very early on, it dropped from sight, as if it crashed and nothing could be done about it. Either that, or it was an out-and-out gimmick to jazz up the proceedings, that might impress and draw in initial viewers, but the NBC crew had little confidence in it and pretty much ignored it, and relied on their proven, non-electronic methods.
    Perhaps John Daly saw such things as a deeper commitment to doing the election right over at a rival network, further building his resentment, and ill-timed blow-up.
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  • Avatar of billsav57

    billsav57

    [60]Jan 4, 2006
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    Whatever your feelings on John Daly, you have to admit that there is something wryly amusing about him partially blaming Bugs Bunny for his departure from ABC ...
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