Look here Groucho ruining very good game show What's My Line. I'm sure some of you old-timers watched it, if not - wow, good for me! I know more than people who lived the 50s & 60s! I feel clever. Anyway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6wxrLjJobM
(I think many will agree that rules in the game are a MUST to follow. He was annoying. I'm glad he was on the panel only twice & never invited back)
This old-timer says screw the rules (with all due respect, RR). What's My Line
will probably only be remembered by future generations because of Groucho's appearance on it. He's one of the very few US comics (Woody Allen is another) who can really make me laugh...
This is quite a statement you made there, john. Let me raise some points:
1st, the show has its own Facebook page (google "what's my line facebook") with thousands of followers. It has steady fanbase with new people joining in. They aren't entirely old-timers. In fact, many people of my generation & younger said that they've been watching the show on youtube because it's too addictive (it IS!).
2nd, nobody liked Groucho, even the panel. You could tell they were annoyed but because it's a job, albeit side job, they had class enough to keep it friendly & polite on camera. Heck, they managed to fool the audience in the studio & the folks at home that they WERE friends. According to the book by Gil Fates about WML, they weren't. They may have partied together but at the time every celebrity was socializing together, going to the same clubs/restaurants or to see a new spectacular. Broadway theater was a big deal; people followed what's new; who appears at present time/current season etc. Every new play was a big event. Now ask actors who's on Broadway they'll keep quiet. Most of them say they never met/crossed paths before until in the set of this film they're on.
3rd, if a game has no rules, what's the point of playing it then? The mystery celebrity on that unfortunate ep seemed rather upset that Groucho didn't blindfold himself & even whispered to the next sitting panelist the guest's name! That's not fair & ruins enjoyment of fooling the panel by disguising voice/changing accent/ giving Yes/No in diff. languages etc.
4th, it's a matter of taste; by your post, you seem biased toward favorite comic. I don't like both Groucho & Woody Allen (btw, he was both on the panel & the mystery guest seat too, check him out as a fan).
Bottom line: What's My Line isn't & won't be remembered due to this sole Groucho Marx appearance. It is memorable, for sure, but we're talking about the longest-running TV show (17 yrs + syndicated version). Off the top, comedians Buddy Hackett, Cliff Arquette, Tony Randall, Joey Bishop, Ernie Kovacs, Steve Allen, Fred Allen (who sadly died only 2 yrs into the show), Robert Q. Lewis made people laugh no lesser. You can be funny AND follow the game rules.