For reasons I don't quite understand, they've brought back the game show, The Tell the Truth. Of the major game shows of that era -- notably I've Got a Secret and What's My Line?, I find it the least interesting, and even sort of annoying. While I know it's the one that's most-easy for the home audience to play along with, there are two huge problems for me. The first is that when you have an interesting guest...two-thirds of the time you're not hearing what he or she has to say, and worse, for all you know, what you're hearing about this interesting guest may not even be remotely true, but one of the impostors guessing. But secondly, what bothers me the most is that, after the real-life, interesting person is identified, and you'd love to hear what this remarkable person has to say, now that we know who it is -- the show uses this post-guessing time to interview the two other people! When we want to hear from the actual, real person, we instead hear from the two fakes!! Honestly, I don't care who the two fakes are, I want to hear from the Actual, Real Person.
It's for that reason I don't post many clips from To Tell the Truth. But once in a while, I come across a guest who's so fascinating to see in person, that it's outdoes any hindrances. Sometimes, at this point, decades later, we can identify who it is when the game starts and watch while knowing. But even if we can't, we do find out at the end, and can go back and replay the thing.
This is one of those times. It comes from the October 10, 1960.
I suspect that most people here have seen the movie, Inherit the Wind, about the famous "Monkey" Trial (or Scopes Trial, as it was also know). That was based on the stage play written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (no, not that one...) -- who oddly enough also wrote another famous play totally different in subject and tone, Auntie Mame (which they later adapted themselves as bookwriters of the musical version, Mame.) The play, of course, told a fictionalized version of the battle between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, over schoolteacher John Scopes, who had taught evolution and Darwin's Origin of the Species which was against the law in Tennessee.
Well...the guest here is -- John Scopes! Yes, the actual, real. Even the panelists are impressed. (As one notes, "It's like having a national monument here.)
The questioning is sort of bizarre. (The polite term for "bad.") They spend so much time asking about the casting of Inherit the Wind, rather than the Scopes Trial. And what he went through. And the history of the time. Worse, they ask about the casting of the two lawyers...and not who played Scopes himself! The guy who is right there in front of them they're trying to guess.
Still, it's great fun to see, odd questioning and all.
Fortunately, he's the first guest, so you don't have to scroll through. And happily, since when I do watch the show I'm not very good at it, I guessed correctly here. Unfortunately, as always, no, they don't talk to him afterwards. Just the two fakes. Sigh...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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