Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Brief History of Phil Rizzuto on What's My Line

Scooter was the Mystery Guest on the very first episode of What's My Line, February 2, 1950.


Note the unashamed sexual harassment of the model passing out blindfolds to the panelists. Note also host John Charles Daly's efficient post-game interview with our hero:
DALY: And Phil, tell us, what do you do during these off-season days?

SCOOTER: I work at The American Shops, the clothing store up in Newark.

DALY: How's business?

SCOOTER: Pretty good.

DALY: The American Shops up in Newark. I must say, you should be able to sell a suit very well and very fast and thanks a lot for being our celebrity guest on What's My Line.
Scooter selling a suit very well and very fast.
Phil returned to the original show three times as a guest panelist. When it broadcast its tribute-filled final episode in 1967 he was missing in action, an incident that inflamed discussion among What's My Line enthusiasts as recently as 2008.

The show was revived a year later. Phil reassumed the Mystery Guest mantle exactly 20 years after his first appearance.


What the 1970 episode lacks in lechery it makes up for with a Scooter/Burt Convy bonding moment and some crisp Hot Stove talk with Soupy Sales:
SOUPY: What kinda team the Yankees gonna have this coming year, Phil?

SCOOTER: Well, it's gonna be a lot better, Soupy, and actually the Mets have given everybody a lot of hope. You don't think of the Yankees as a second division team, but we are right now and we figure if the Mets can have the impossible dream, maybe the Yankees might be able to.

"You don't think of the Yankees as a second division team, but we are right now." Clearly, those who forget 70s game shows are doomed to repeat them.


el duque said...

This is brilliant.

KD said...

Scooter worked in the off season selling suits in Newark? The owners must have been really raking it in back then. so many people complain about the money today's players earn but I think the system now is better. The players now get a slice of the pie.

Alphonso said...

Hey Mustang,
My safari is corrupted, so I am now using Firefox to access the internet and our blog. But the blog doesn't recognize me ( can you imagine?}

So I am unable to figure out how to post. Anything you can do at your end? All I can do now is comment.

Mustang said...

Oh, no. I'll email you and we'll figure this out.

Alphonso said...

I used to buy all my suits from Scooter.

Who went to Newark in those days?