Sunday, October 23, 2016
So I started scrounging around YouTube for any particular goodies from IGAS. Wouldn't you know, there's now an I've Got a Secret channel on the site, which I hope Buzzr doesn't try to shut down as they did with the What's My Line channel. One of its most interesting videos is the first surviving IGAS episode, dating back to July 17, 1952. That's just a few weeks after the show debuted on June 19.
The panelists were Bill Cullen, Jayne Meadows, English actor Melville Cooper, and novelist Laura Hobson (Gentleman's Agreement). The first two would have long stints on the show, of course, with Bill lasting right through the final ep in 1967.
What strikes me most about the episode is how closely the early IGAS cloned its older Goodson and Todman sibling What's My Line. The show was almost all gameplay, with two rounds of questioning of each contestant by the panel. There were none of the on-stage demos or variety acts that would soon dominate the proceedings. Well, there was a hint of things to come in the last segment.
The final contestant was the daughter of then California governor Earl Warren (see the screenshot). Her father would gain his greatest fame (notoriety?) as one of the most controversial Supreme Court Chief Justices in history. Her secret was that her father was in the studio audience at the show. As the ep concluded, Earl Warren came up from the audience and shook hands with everybody on stage. That's not something that would happen on WML.
By the way, What's My Line's John Daly would eventually marry another daughter of Earl Warren. Funny how things work out sometimes.