The special was an Art Carney special entitled "Very Important People". He did a series of star-turn comedy specials between 1959 and 1961 (after the Gleason show had gone off the air).
In the early years of WML when Steve Allen was on the panel, there were spots when they would give Allen a series of questions designed to go down the "wrong track" (even though they would get yes answers) and create hilarious results. In fact, here is documented evidence of how some of Steve's "wrong track" questions of a contestant whose line was "repairs zippers" were recycled verbatim nearly a year later on the panel show "The Name's The Same" for a contestant whose name was "A. Zipper" (with the panel trying to guess the contestant's name and knowing it's a thing).
Was pleased to see the Bennett Cerf-written TWILIGHT ZONE episode, "Twenty Two" last night. I don't recall that being one of the videotape episodes. Whenever I see that era's videotape, I expect to see Lee Harvey Oswald do his fateful prison transfer walk.
Was even more pleased when WML's 02-04-62 episode mentioned that guest panelist Buddy Hackett was to have a standup gig at the (now late and lamented) Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Fl.
The April 2, 1962 episode with mystery guests Chubby Checker and Joan Collins has Arlene Francis "suddenly" knowing everything about a guest whose peofession was a pretzel twister. The guy was from Pennsylvania...was that a noted pretzel-manufacturing city, or did Arlene get the "theme" of the show, since Chubby Checker was just on it?
Yes, pretzel manufacturers were associated widely with that area. There's another show from 63-64 where Robert Q. Lewis guesses a pretzel manufacturer on his first question just because of the city she was from!
In that same 1962 episode, Martin Gabel makes a remark about Joan Collins' outré hairstyle, asking--I'm paraphrasing-- if it was a new trend, to which Joan replies, "It's a new trend of mine." Way to go! Don't let him mock your style!
Incidentally, Collins' hairdo would become the norm by mid decade.
I'm taking a brief respite from 1961-63 WML, so that I may watch the Gleason '53 episode, and the Duke Wayne '60 show, which aired shortly after Wayne buddy Ward Bond's death.
Watched the Gleason '53 episode. This must have been the first time Bennett Cerf was seated at his customary end chair. It was funny when Arlene Francis guessed "Jimmy Gleason" before correcting herself, as character actor James Gleason would have been the most well-known showbiz personality with that surname.
Jackie should have plugged his "new" album on Capitol Records, which were already chartbusters by then! I liked how Jackie went into his "...and awaaay we go!" gesture after he signed the chalkboard.
Steve Allen was his usual quick-witted self, and the six degrees of separation of his wife and Jackie's Honeymooners co-star was not lost on me, either, although Jayne and Steve were yet to be married to one another.
My brief detour back to November 13, 1960 and the WML John Wayne mystery guest episode was a disappointing one. Only because the GSN airing of the episode does a sudden jump in the video, right over the John Wayne reveal! Aaaegh!
There are some rare occasions when John Charles Daly misleads the panelists and takes them off the trail with his gray-area explanations. He's usually superb, though, and I really like his onscreen persona.
The jump in that is because the kinescope was spliced during the making of the 1975 "What's My Line?" 25th anniversary special. There are some clips in the special that are missing from the master kinescope that it led in a couple instances to some re-editing work done by me and the guy who runs the WML channel to reassemble the episode digitally and put the missing part back in (see the July 7, 1963 episode with Woody Allen on the panel). The episode that suffered most was Marian Anderson's Mystery Guest segment which was spliced out and then reassembled by Goodson-Todman in the wrong order! (literally when you see it as it aired on GSN, you go from two down to seven down to four down). We reassembled that one too.
More tragically is that at least one episode was destroyed outright in the Anniversary special and that was the joint appearance of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. For now all that exists is the clip of them in the anniversary special (though supposedly Jerry had another kinescope copy of the episode that hasn't emerged).
The Dec 30, 1962 episode has a poignant--and what would prove to become a downright eerie moment--with comedian and JFK impersonator Vaughn Meader, who was then a showbiz sensation. Meader says words to the effect that he hopes everyone has as good a 1963 as he has had with 1962.