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Author Topic: Big BWO day  (Read 5525 times)


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Big BWO day
« on: June 24, 2003, 10:04:31 PM »
Tuesday was a big BWO day:
1.) Bill Cullen premiered on TTTT.  Bud welcomed him, describing him as a good friend whose work he long admired.  Bill returned the compliment.  Surprisingly, Bill's playing was, well - uh - his tie looked nice.  Bill seemed unable to come up with good questions.  He stalled and looked some times like he wanted the bell to ring.
- This was the first show to have only two rounds instead of three.
- They had a godawful jazz band perform after the first spot.  It made me long for The Gong Show to make them stop.  Is it possible to be so ff key without stopping the tape for an edit and restart.
- At the end, when the panel dismounted the desk to greet the crowd, the other three stood and Bill remained seated for a second and applauded.  They quickly cut away and the camera followed Kitty over to center stage without keeping a camera on everyone else walking off the platform.  Once Bill was standing in the crowd, the camera again picked him up.
2.) The Dawn of Fadiman was upon us.  JCPCD was over in Europe so Clifton Fadiman filled in as host.  When he strolled in jauntily and did a friendly \"top of the morning\" salute with his hand to the panel without stopping center stage, you knew he would be different.  I could picture Daly cringing.  He wasn't bad - I guess for a sub.  The panel seemed to like him and he comes back tomorrow.[/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR]


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Big BWO day
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2003, 10:36:24 PM »
Don't think Daly would have done too much \"cringing\"; in WML?'s heysay, Fadiman was considered the living dean of quiz show moderators. Indeed, if one has access to the pre-war \"Information, Please\" shows, one can hear, essentially, what John Daly would later become (at least, when he was wearing his GS host's hat).

It was only after IP became a smash success and Fadiman began interacting less with Upper West Side pseudointellectuals and more with some of the wittier doyens of the entertainment community (Orson Welles, Oscar Levant and Fred Allen were among those who would go on to become, if not regulars, at least part of the show's extended \"family\") that Fadiman became a bit less formal, a bit more playful, and generally more, as you put it, \"jaunty\".

'Sides, it's not as if, say, Henry Morgan had taken over.... :)


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Big BWO day
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2003, 09:04:11 PM »
If Henry Morgan were hosting, we might have seen the first tossing of a chair across the stage at the host.

Matt Ottinger

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Big BWO day
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2003, 11:47:23 AM »
(Orson Welles, Oscar Levant and Fred Allen were among those who would go on to become, if not regulars, at least part of the show's extended \"family\")
Realizing this might be one of my few chances to talk about radio game shows on here...

You're more right than you may even realize about Levant.  He was a full-fledged regular on \"Information, Please\" for much of the run, but unlike the show's other two regular panelists, he was on every other week.  Best I can tell, Orson Welles only made a single appearance on the show, though Fred Allen did visit half a dozen times or so.  

One of the more disappointing things today (speaking as someone who has all the 200+ episodes that survive) is that the guest list really rarely included show-biz types.  Sure, it's a joy to listen to Groucho or Welles or Allen or Alfred Hitchcock play along, and truly amazing to hear historical figures like Alben Barkley, Wendell Wilkie or Henry Cabot Lodge subject themselves to potential humiliation on a quiz show, but in general, the majority of their \"famous\" guest panelists have pretty much been lost to history.

FYI, I play a modified version of \"Information, Please\" on my cable channel called \"Stumpers\" in which we use teachers and principals as contestants.  It's crudely produced (hey, the crew is high school students!) but it's one of the more popular things we do.
This has been another installment of Matt Ottinger's Masters of the Obvious.
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