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Helen Lawson's Infamous What's My Line Appearance

I've only read about it over the years. It doesn't seem to be on YouTube. What did she do that resulted in her being banned from returning to the show?

by Anonymousreply 47Last Saturday at 8:02 PM

I'd never heard that she was banned. Where'd you get that info?

by Anonymousreply 110/10/2020

I think it was when John Charles Daly asked her to sign in, and she wrote "Fuck You, Cunt" on the chalkboard.

by Anonymousreply 210/10/2020

She refused to disguise her voice, saying it was "beneath her". Yet, no panel member recognized her voice. Even Arlene Francis, who was supposedly a close friend.

by Anonymousreply 310/10/2020

She stormed out when they took off their masks and still didn't recognize her. She hummed a few bars of "I'll Plant My Own Tree". Still nothing.

by Anonymousreply 410/10/2020

What got her banned was what she did when she was leaving the stage. She got to Arlene and lifted her dress. She e then shot a golf ball out off her cooter than hit Arlene right between the eyes. Arlene hit the ground and was said to never be the same. It was a tribute to Brandon De Wilde who had done the same thing to her years earlier by shooting a marble out of his ass.

by Anonymousreply 510/10/2020

I thought it was rather how she aggressively came on to John Daly right in front of the studio audience (albeit in moments that were cut from the commercial broadcast). Alcohol was said to be involved. The issue apparently wasn't with the blatant sexuality itself, but rather with how it gave her identity away so that Bennett Cerf guessed who she was even before she'd answered anyone's questions.

by Anonymousreply 610/10/2020

A hot mike picked up the word "fruit" in response to a question from Bennett Perf. She meant to say "no."

by Anonymousreply 710/10/2020

Was this appearance before or after her Christmas Special?

by Anonymousreply 810/10/2020

Did Ralph Edwards ever do a "This Is Your Life" on Helen?

by Anonymousreply 910/10/2020

I heard she got drunk in her dressing room and befouled the toilet. Then she kicked Dorothy Kilgallen in the cunt bone.

by Anonymousreply 1010/11/2020

Dumb thread. Really dumb...

by Anonymousreply 1110/11/2020

Oh, that's just our Helen!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1210/14/2020

When asked if she performed in the "legitimate theater," she said:

Bitch, I'm a barracuda!

by Anonymousreply 1310/14/2020

What year was it?

by Anonymousreply 1410/14/2020

“Goodbye, pussycat. Meowww.”

by Anonymousreply 1510/14/2020

Wasn't she also banned from hosting SNL after a disastrous appearance in1977?

by Anonymousreply 1610/14/2020

R16, was she still alive then?

by Anonymousreply 1710/14/2020

The story is her appearance on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune was so filthy the tape was kept under lock and key until it was buried with Merv Griffin.

by Anonymousreply 1810/14/2020

“Merv Griffin was NOT A FAG...”

by Anonymousreply 1910/14/2020

She nearly shanked Phyllis Newman when she incorrectly guessed Ethel Merman.

by Anonymousreply 2010/14/2020

Helen was on a Goodson-Todman bender while in NYC that month.

The week after her embarrassing WML? appearance, she was a guest panelist on To Tell the Truth.

All hell broke loose when Helen and Kitty Carlisle arrived at the studio wearing the same Mollie Parnis gown. Neither would agree to change to an alternate dress, despite Bud Collyer's pleas.

They both made light of the situation during the "live" broadcast, but a physical altercation took place backstage afterwards when Helen made a few insulting remarks about Kitty's marriage and Moss Hart's sexuality.

Both were injured in the fracas and required medical attention, but amazingly the incident never made the columns, though Kilgallen printed it as a blind item several days later.

by Anonymousreply 2110/14/2020

R17 I could be mistaken, but I swear I read that she stubbed out a cigarette on Lorne Michaels after he forced her to be in a Blues Brothers sketch.

by Anonymousreply 2210/14/2020

“Are you currently appearing on the Broadway stage?”

“I know you’re wearing that blindfold job, but I’d swear you’re fucking headless, kiddo! I’ve been the only sure bet on Broadway since you were shitting in Pampers!”

Despite the lifelong red card from John Daly, Ms. Lawson still earned her $135 royalty from the sponsor of that day’s show, Pampers disposable diapers.

by Anonymousreply 2310/14/2020

[quote]I swear I read that she stubbed out a cigarette on Lorne Michaels after he forced her to be in a Blues Brothers sketch.

She did, but it was consensual.

by Anonymousreply 2410/14/2020

[quote]“I know you’re wearing that blindfold job, but I’d swear you’re fucking headless, kiddo! I’ve been the only sure bet on Broadway since you were shitting in Pampers!”

Pampers didn't exist in the '60s, much less when one of the panelists would've been an infant.

by Anonymousreply 2510/14/2020

It's such a shame that a legend like Helen was reduced to doing stints on "Password" and "Matchgame."

by Anonymousreply 2610/14/2020

No one will ever forget Dorothy Kilgallen screaming, "That wiggy bitch shat in my mask!"

by Anonymousreply 2710/14/2020

[quote] Pampers didn't exist in the '60s

[quote] Pampers were introduced in 1961.

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by Anonymousreply 2810/14/2020

If they were introduced in 1961, how could any of the panelists have been in them as infants?

by Anonymousreply 2910/14/2020

Helen was asked by a panelist (I think it was Cerf) if she was a mother. The audience would have been satisfied with a simple “No”, but were instead scandalized to find out that “the ‘works’ fell out years ago” and that Lawson had been “too goddam busy back then [to be] bothered” to carry a pregnancy to term.

by Anonymousreply 3010/14/2020

r21, I love you.

by Anonymousreply 3110/14/2020

Ye gods and little fishes! All of the above responses are utter rubbish. Rubbish, I tell you.

She was permanently banned from WML after she called Miss Francis, "Marlene Francis."

by Anonymousreply 3210/14/2020

I believe it was when Martin Gabel thought it was Joan Crawford and asked, 'Might I have ever consumed a beverage of yours?'

Helen broke from strained girlish voice she was doing and shot back, 'No, honey, but I've had some of yours!'

Quite risque. You can see Arlene Francis giving Helen a dirty look as she shakes hands.

by Anonymousreply 3311/15/2020

When asked by Arlene how she got her start in show biz, Helen replied "The same way you did, toots, by doing THIS" whereupon she deep-throated a banana from her complimentary gift basket.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 3411/15/2020

The cast might have laughed it all off and saved the evening if Bennett hadn't asked her if she found her work fulfilling and gotten the reply, "Not when you do it, honey. I need more than four inches!"

by Anonymousreply 3511/15/2020

Helen really wasn’t bothered by the ban. She’d learned to roooollll with the punches.

by Anonymousreply 3611/15/2020

I've heard that John Daly managed to get a kinescope of the complete, unaired episode and used to show it to friends at dinner parties. Supposedly the film was buried with him when he passed in 1991, but his youngest son, John Earl Daly, is rumored to show it to his friends from time to time. I hear he does a perfect impression of Helen.

by Anonymousreply 3711/15/2020

[quote]Helen and Kitty Carlisle arrived at the studio wearing the same Mollie Parnis gown.

Was it ever explained how they both fit in?

by Anonymousreply 3811/15/2020

[quote]but amazingly the incident never made the columns, though Kilgallen printed it as a blind item several days later.

Then IT DID make the columns, abet as a blind item.

by Anonymousreply 3911/15/2020

Helen signed in as "Cocksucker." Cerf, as was his want, managed to sneak a peek at the board and when it was his turn, asked "Are you Frances Farmer?"

I loved live TV.

by Anonymousreply 4011/15/2020


by Anonymousreply 4111/15/2020

For years after the disastrous appearance, Miss Lawson referred to the show as Cunts My Line...

by Anonymousreply 4211/16/2020

Groucho was originally supposed to be on the panel that night -Can you imagine???

by Anonymousreply 43Last Saturday at 7:00 PM

The secret word is cunt.

by Anonymousreply 44Last Saturday at 7:27 PM

She bitch-slapped John Charles Daly when he asked her if it was “Miss or Missus?”

by Anonymousreply 45Last Saturday at 7:29 PM

R38, judicious use of a power-sander.

by Anonymousreply 46Last Saturday at 8:01 PM

The show went to pieces when Arlene asked Helen: "DID! YOU! BRUSH! YOUR! TEETH! WITH! A! CORPSE??!!"

by Anonymousreply 47Last Saturday at 8:02 PM
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