550     January 13, 1964 (LIVE)
Bill, Phyllis Diller, Henry, Bess

Garry enters with Judy Crichton of the show’s staff, who accompanied last week’s contestant Daniel Garcia on his visit to the White House, and shows a picture of Garcia and President Johnson together.  He also promotes the book Phyllis Diller Tells All About Fang (Macventures 1963).  As it’s still fairly early in her career, Garry has no idea that “Fang” is how Diller refers to her husband in her act.   

William Willis from New York City: “I sailed a raft 7500 miles across the Pacific Ocean alone”                 
Willis set sail for Australia from Peru on July 5, 1963, a planned 10,000 mile trip.  Troubles with his craft required him to cut the trip short, ending up on the island of Samoa after 130 days at sea.  He would return to Samoa and sail his repaired raft the rest of the way later in 1964.  Remarkably, he is 70 years old, and this is his second solo trans-Pacific voyage.  He would make a third solo voyage in 1968, this time across Atlantic waters, but would become lost at sea in July.  Willis wrote many books about his adventures.   

Miss X: “Our mother is Phyllis Diller” 
Stephanie Diller answers on behalf of herself, her sister Sue and her brother Perry who are on stage together.  Two other Diller children didn’t make the trip.  All five (a sixth died in infancy) are the children of Diller and her husband Sherwood, the first of two ten-year marriages she would later describe as difficult.   Diller would find happiness late in her life with a companion she never married, but with whom she stayed until his death.   

Special guest Carol Channing plays a matchmaking game with the panel.   A blindfolded husband comes out and describes his wife to the panel, and from that description, they try to pick which one of nineteen women assembled on stage is the match.  The fact that Channing plays a matchmaker is just about all anybody knows yet about her new Broadway show Hello, Dolly, which opens on January 16.  It would become a classic, and Dolly Levi would become Channing’s most famous role.  The original Broadway run lasted for six years.  Coincidentally, Phyllis Diller would be one of several well known performers to play the title role during the Broadway run.  Betsy would get her chance later in regional theater as well.