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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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guest tonight--what a coup this would have been for “What's My Line?", a television panel show--the ex-President of the United States.” Harry S. Truman was going to be the mystery guest. John said, “At four o'clock this afternoon, some idiot from CBS said that we had better clear this with the president of our co-sponsor, Remington Rand.” The president of Remington Rand was a fellow named Gen. Douglas MacArthur. So they called up Gen. MacArthur and said, “Be sure to listen to 'What's My Line?‘tonight because Harry Truman is going to be the mystery guest.” Well, the wire practically burned up. Gen. MacArthur started screaming and said, “That Blankety-blank isn't going to be on any program that I have anything to do with. I refuse to have him on the show.” Instead of telling him to go to hell, which is what they should have done, they went into a panic and told President Truman that he couldn't be on “What's My Line?” Can you imagine the pettiness of this?

Well, anyway, here they were. Stuck in Chicago at five o'clock with no mystery guest. They finally dug up Pearl Mesta and she was happy to oblige, she being a ham, too. That's how we got her for the second time within a year as a mystery guest.


Well, it shows what authority a sponsor has.


Also what a petty man Gen. MacArthur was. I must say, when Truman heard this story, he roared with laughter. He

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