Thanks to the Game Show Network, even the young’uns can participate in this debate. I say it is Arlene Francis hands down. For those who have lived their lives in a cave, Arlene Francis was on What’s My Line. Kitty Carlysle was on To Tell the Truth.
Arlene Francis was classy and witty; Kitty Carlysle was snooty and anal.
Arlene seemed genuine (she was not ashamed of her silvery blond hair); Kitty seemed fake (jet black hair at her age? oh, please…).
Arlene’s smile was disarming and spontaneous; Kitty’s smile was regal and forced.
In general, Arlene Francis was a very class act; Kitty Carlysle did the most annoying things all the time, like writing her stupid guesses with Roman numerals.
It is hard to imagine that anyone would ever actually take the side of Kitty against Arlene, but just in case, I open it for debate. (Will this wind up like David’s creationism threads? Waiting and waiting and waiting for a Kitty Carlysle troll and its sock puppets to show up?)
By the way, we (Edlyn and I) saw a great nonPC retroanachronism on *Password (circa 1968-69) * a few weeks ago. Ludden was welcoming the two new players. He asked the man, “What do you do for a living?” After they chatted a bit about his work, Ludden turned to the woman and said, without so much as an eye-blink, “And what does your husband do?”
Edlyn was chompin’ at the bit. “Her husband!? Why didn’t he ask what the hell she does?”
My, my. How times can change so drastically so quickly.
Well, consider me one of the youngsters but as a avid watcher of What’s My Line and To Tell the Truth on the Game Show Network, I feel I can comment. Arlene Francis is definitely better. Kitty Carlysle is too snobby and irritating with her phony-regal attitude. She was always so condescending to the guests (players? what ever they were–the non-celebrity people.) I used to watch the Match Game but I stopped precisely because of Brett Somers. I can handle Charles Nelson Reilly before her! I love these shows! I terrorize my husband by watching them all the time!
I stopped because the whole thing is gratuitously prurient and unredeemably infantile. “Mrs. Smith gagged when her husband shoved his [blank] in her mouth.”
I know I’m going to regret this, but…
Yesterday, we saw a promo with a Newlywed Game episode that had a similar twist to the famous “Up the Butt” one. Eubanks asked the wives, “What does your husband absolutely forbid you to put on his wiener?”
The first woman answered, “mustard”. The second answered, “Ben Gay”.
So much for the network censors hypothesis.
Did you see the one where Ludden said to the woman, “It’s hard to believe a beautiful girl like you is still single.”?
Funny thing is, he meant all that stuff as compliments. And back then they were!
Arlene, Arlene, Arlene. Kitty just seemed to have a broomstick up her nether regions.
Gotta admit to lovin’ Match Game, Bret, Gene and Charles (where else can you see a guy who regularly wears an ascot?). Sure it was schlocky, juvenile and hokey. That’s the beauty of it. It’s as seventies as a plaid green polyester suit with six inch lapels! Oddly enough, I have a nine year old who has fallen in love with these old game shows, and loves Bret and (shudder) Richard Dawson.
All this being said, I submit to you all that we’ve forgotten one of the all time great TV game show divas. Wait for it…
= JAYE P. MORGAN
I mean, really. I’m going to have to send Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine around to straighten you people out. Or Paul Lynde.
Now, Lib, don’t be mean to Dorothy Kilgallen just because she had no chin! I read a bio of her and she was actually quite impressive: one of the first successful female investigative reporters, and nicer than she seems on her TV appearances.
Oh, and add Bess Myerson to the “I’m sorry, you’re no Arlene Francis” list.
Is that 3:00, in which time zone? I’ll have to tape 'em. I loved those shows when I was a kid: mostly “What’s My Line?,” “I’ve Got a Secret” and “To Tell the Truth.” They were like sophisticated, elegant cocktail parties: everyone dressed up, parrying witty, urbane quips, with folks like the above-mentioned ladies, Bennett Cerf, Henry Morgan, Bill Cullen. It made me want to quick grow up so I could be part of a crowd like that (little did I know it would be on-line!).
Interestingly enough, I had a co-worker who could have been Arlene’s double, especially during the game show era covered herein. Unfortunately, while my work buddy bore a striking physical resemblance to the redoubtable Ms. Francis, she was as dumb as a box of rox. Oh well.
Yep—Miss Francis was born in 1908 and Miss Carlisle (Mrs. Hart, to be more precise) in 1905 and both are alive and well, bless their little cotton socks.
Lib, a “mash note” is what a gentleman writes to a lady on whom he has a crush. The lady then blushes prettily ands tells him not to be so forward. I actually did try to find a current address for Arlene Francis, but came up blank, I’m sorry to say.
Arlene Francis wore a heart-shaped diamond pendant on a chain which became the gift of choice among the mothers on Division Avenue in Williamsburgh. The local jeweler made out like a bandit…I remember a similar run on see-through nylon blouses with a black velvet bow at the neck ( under which one wore a camisole) that dorothy collins popularized on “Your Hit Parade.”