What's My Line? Forums

CBS (ended 1967)

The SYNDICATED WHAT'S MY LINE? Forum

  • Avatar of ymike673

    ymike673

    [41]Mar 21, 2006
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    billsav57 wrote:
    ...if there's a syndicated show with Soupy, Arlene and Larry Blyden, you have 3 of 5 principals with Daly-version credentials...

    Since Bennett Cerf also appeared on the syndicated version you could say 4 out of 5.

    Edited on 07/12/2006 6:36pm
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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [42]Mar 21, 2006
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    billsav57 wrote:
    Arlene was the one on the CBS version who constantly wanted demonstrations; Daly almost always cut that off at the pass. As for Soupy Sales, he is sort of the poster boy for those who hate the syndicated version, but he was on the CBS show both as a guest and panelist, so if there's a syndicated show with Soupy, Arlene and Larry Blyden, you have 3 of 5 principals with Daly-version credentials (not to mention all the production people, starting with Gil Fates). Again, it shows Daly's importance to preserving the character of the classic show.

    You also had Gene Rayburn, who appeared once as a mystery guest and twice as a guest panelist towards the tail end of the Daly version; not to mention Phyllis Newman and Sue Oakland who appeared as panelists on both the CBS and syndicated WML?'s. But on average, I have to concur that the Daly version beats the syndie version . . . though I have one question: Was the "color" version of the "hunter" WML? slide card, as shown in the final CBS season's end credits, used as a bumper on the syndie version?
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  • Avatar of billsav57

    billsav57

    [43]Mar 21, 2006
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    When Bennett was on the syndicated version, he just looked happy to be back with the game and with some of his compadres in some form. I don't think Bennett would be one to be stubborn about it, that he would say "If John Daly's not on it, then neither am I" or anything like that. He was on other New York-based panel shows, too. It was all a lark for him, I think. But it does go to show that, other than on the part of Daly, there didn't seem to be much of a stigma associated with the syndicated version. Dorothy probably would have showed up at some point as well.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [44]Mar 22, 2006
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    Even in the version, it was still WML? that made Bennett a household word, and I'm sure he was grateful to it.
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    W-B

    [45]Mar 22, 2006
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    The1Factotum1i1 wrote:
    Even in the version, it was still WML? that made Bennett a household word, and I'm sure he was grateful to it.

    I seem to have noticed that no matter what WML? he appeared in, Bennett sailed through with no problem - well, apart from the mock verbal sparring with John Daly on the "classic" version, but other than that . . . while Arlene would outlive him and stay with the syndicated version to the end, Mr. Cerf seems to have had the least personal problems of all the WML? "regulars" of the Daly era (and that includes John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly himself). And notice I said "seems to have" . . .
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  • Avatar of billsav57

    billsav57

    [46]Mar 22, 2006
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    Bennett had a rough first marriage, to Sylvia Sydney, but that was before WML.
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    billsav57

    [47]Mar 27, 2006
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    The SciFi network this morning showed "Nice Place To Visit," the episode of "The Twilight Zone" that featured Larry Blyden and Sebastian Cabot. Blyden plays a hood who gets shot by the cops during a robbery and ends up in "heaven." It shows he was more than a game show host.
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    W-B

    [48]Mar 27, 2006
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    billsav57 wrote:
    The SciFi network this morning showed "Nice Place To Visit," the episode of "The Twilight Zone" that featured Larry Blyden and Sebastian Cabot. Blyden plays a hood who gets shot by the cops during a robbery and ends up in "heaven." It shows he was more than a game show host.

    Mr. Blyden also appeared in another Twilight Zone episode, "Showdown With Rance McGrew," in which he played a TV cowboy star who ends up in the real Wild West.
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    billsav57

    [49]Mar 28, 2006
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    Yes, that's a good one too. He was OK. I know a lot of people (myself included) aren't too fond of the syndie WML, but I don't think Blyden (or Wally Brunner, to a lesser extent) should be held up for too much criticism. They were just doing the show as it was produced.
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    outoffog

    [50]Mar 28, 2006
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    Larry Blyden WAS a very good actor, as well as game show host
    (remember Bob Stewart's "PERSONALITY" on NBC daytime in the late-'60s?)- he was much "looser" playing "traffic cop" on "WML?" than Wally Bruner did..in fact, that's why Goodson-Todman chose Larry to be host of their ABC daytime game "SHOWOFFS"...that is, until he decided to take that fatal vacation after taping the pilot, in January 1975. This is why Bobby Van would up as host...and why both he and the show wound up in oblivion.
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  • Avatar of billsav57

    billsav57

    [51]Mar 28, 2006
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    When I said Blyden was OK, I meant it as in "he's OK," that he was a cool guy, not that he was mediocre. He did a nice chunk of stage work, too.
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    outoffog

    [52]Mar 28, 2006
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    I didn't think you meant Larry was "medicocre", 'billsav57'.
    Perfectly all right!
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    W-B

    [53]Apr 29, 2006
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    billsav57 wrote:
    When I said Blyden was OK, I meant it as in "he's OK," that he was a cool guy, not that he was mediocre. He did a nice chunk of stage work, too.

    I too had figured you meant "OK" in the sense of his being as much a fit for the syndicated version as John Daly was for the more formal CBS version.

    Alas, speaking of Mr. Blyden, I see GSN is now airing one of the Blyden-hosted shows, more specifically one taped on July 5, 1973, with the panel consisting of Henry Morgan, Sherrye Henry, Jack Cassidy and Arlene Francis, and the mystery guest being Big Bird of Sesame Street.  We'll all have to see what this means, whether a mystery guest had died or if they're planning on putting the syndicated shows in place of the original CBS WML?  I didn't see any indication that a tribute was in order . . .

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    The1Factotum1i1

    [54]Apr 29, 2006
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    Larry Blyden always seemed to be genuinely enthusiastic about his job and the stunts/demonstrations that were being offered. Certainly he was different than the flat, uninteresting  Mr. Bruner.
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    TVGord

    [55]Apr 29, 2006
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    Carroll Spinney, who portrays Big Bird, won a special Emmy at the Daytime Emmy Awards last night (Friday).  It was fun to see what he looked like back in the 70s, because he's a white-haired older man today.  Still looks good, though, and still enjoys being Big Bird
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    outoffog

    [56]May 1, 2006
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    Okay, THAT'S why GSN threw on that "WML?" from '73 with "Big Bird" as the mystery guest!!!

    I missed seeing Spinney get his Emmy earlier that evening...but now I know why I DIDN'T see the June 16th, 1963 "WML?", with Arlene returning to the panel following her recuperation from that auto accident!!

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    mehitable

    [57]May 1, 2006
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    Nobody wanted to talk to Spinney as the credits rolled! Poor lad. I wonder if he smelled like patchouli?
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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [58]Jul 1, 2006
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    To bring this thread back to life:  Scanning through my old New York-Metro edition TV Guides, I see that the syndie version ran on WOR-TV, Channel 9 (now Secaucus, NJ-based WWOR-TV) from 1970 to 1972 (in short, two seasons).  I've checked in vain to see which of the indie NY outlets ran the show before then, and I have a vague memory that in the last year or two of its syndicated run WPIX, Channel 11, had run it.  (If any of you New Yorkers, past and present, have more specific memories of the NY stations' airing past '72, let me know, and if I'm mistaken on the final New York station to air the show in its syndie incarnation, feel free to straighten me out.)

    Channel 9's airing of the syndie WML? was, to me, a bit ironic - given the references to the Mets in 1964 CBS episodes (especially the opening of EPISODE #715 of May 31, 1964 in which Bennett mentioned the second game of the Mets/Giants doubleheader) and the fact that WOR-TV for many years was the broadcast home of the Mets.

    Another irony was that at the outset of the 1970-71 season, Channel 9 ran WML? at 7 P.M. - directly opposite WPIX's airing of the syndicated version of another G-T show, Beat the Clock.  (The syndie To Tell the Truth aired at another time slot on WNEW-TV - now WNYW - Channel 5.)  On Sept. 28, 1970, for example, Channel 9 was airing a WML? where Bert Convy was one of the panelists - and on Channel 11, Mr. Convy was advertised as being a guest on BTC.  So in New York, at least, at that moment one could say Bertie was competing against himself.

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    ClassicTV

    [59]Jul 2, 2006
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    My introduction to "What's My Line?" came about in the summer of 1972 when the ABC affiliate in Connecticut, New Haven's Channel 8, ran it Monday through Friday at 1PM.  I don't know if the station found it more profitable to run a syndicated show at that time instead of the usual ABC soap operas (if there even was a network feed at that hour of the afternoon in 1972).  The show was carried a few years earlier by Hartford independent Channel 18 at 7PM, but at the time I preferred "Truth Or Consequences" on Channel 8.

    It wasn't until I recently read on the Internet Movie Database that Bennett Cerf died in November 1971 that I realized that his appearances on those presumably first-run shows airing in 1972 were after his death.  It shows how far in advance the shows were taped, and that the series in those days was "bicycled" between stations - the videotapes were shipped to the larger market stations like New York and eventually found their way to the smaller markets.  It could be, too, that those shows airing that summer were reruns of the 1971-72 season.  

    I never saw the show again after that summer ended; I don't know if the station moved it to another time slot or dropped it.  It was a surprise to me to find that it continued in production until 1975, but Connecticut TV stations often passed on a lot of syndicated offerings.

    For most of the 1970s the NBC affiliate in the state ran Garry Moore's "To Tell The Truth" Monday through Friday at 7PM.  I attended two separate show tapings at NBC Studios in New York City in 1976 and '77, but the station moved the show to 9:30AM and eventually cancelled it by 1977.  I never got to see the episodes on TV that I saw being taped; one had something to do with gooseberries, and the other featured a make-over of guest panelist and movie critic Gene Shalit.

    Show announcer and audience warm-up person Bill Wendell said at the first taping that the programs being recorded that day (the Tuesday before Thanksgiving) would not be airing in New York City until after the first of the year.    

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    The1Factotum1i1

    [60]Jul 5, 2006
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    CLASSIC TV-

    Bennett Cerf actually died 27 August 1971. The Internet movie database is wracked with errors, I'm afraid.

    The new WML?s were in fact syndicated for years as an ever-growing package, so you could see the first season two or more years later. Probably after a while the first season would be dropped because they do have a certain shelf life, referring to newsworthy events, personalities and "new" movies and shows all the time. And of course if dear departed people show up, it wouldn't be viewed in the same light as we might thirty years on.

    The color PASSWORDs of 1966-7 vintage that GSN shows every so often are another syndication package deal. They were shown for several years, probably leaving the airwaves in 1971 so as to not conflict with the new ABC network version.

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