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Series Fun Facts
- Ray Hines was the security guard for the Hollywood Palace theater and studio, employed by ABC. His job was to maintain the security of the facility while also supervising Studio Page staff…
[show]Ray Hines was the security guard for the Hollywood Palace theater and studio, employed by ABC. His job was to maintain the security of the facility while also supervising Studio Page staff members during day and evening schedules. His presence was almost around the clock during production taping schedules. He also would assist celebrity guests and hosts on their arrival before the show and their departure after it. During taping he remained at the theater's rear elephant doors, which were directly opposite the "star dressing room", where he maintained control over fans and activities passing through the backstage area. Hines lived at the Hollywood Tower Penthouse Suite, which had been occupied by George Raft in the 1940s and 1950s. In emergencies he was within walking distance to the theater. One such instance occurred one night when the cyclorama, composed of muslin and shark-toothed scrim soft fabric, burst into flames. Hines alerted the Hollywood fire department, which soon arrived and saved the facility. The muslin and scrim were replaced within two days by Tom Mayhew's drapery department, allowing taping on schedule. After the series was canceled, Hines remained at the stage-theater facility until ABC closed the television studio property.
- Les Brown was the orchestra leader for the show's first season (1964-65). Producer Nick Vanoff, having worked with Mitchell Ayres on The Perry Como Show in New York, hired him as the show's…
[show]Les Brown was the orchestra leader for the show's first season (1964-65). Producer Nick Vanoff, having worked with Mitchell Ayres on The Perry Como Show in New York, hired him as the show's orchestra leader for the following seasons (1965-69). During the summer 1969 hiatus, Ayres was in Las Vegas working with Connie Stevens in her show at the Landmark Hotel nightclub. On the evening of September 5, crossing the Las Vegas Strip in front of the Landmark Hotel, Ayres was struck and killed by a vehicle. His conducting position was filled by Nick Pietro for the final (1969-70) season.
- Specialty tiger, lion and panther acts were performed on the show's stage, videotaped and "banked" in the library of acts/performances for insertion into the show at particular dates. These…
[show]Specialty tiger, lion and panther acts were performed on the show's stage, videotaped and "banked" in the library of acts/performances for insertion into the show at particular dates. These live animal acts required a major stage setup because of the iron bar performance ring provided by the trainer's (circus performance presentation) act. The animals were released from their traveling cages at the exterior stage elephant door-ramp alley. They were directed through an iron bar tunnel leading to the stage performance ring. Usually their performance was without an audience present, but occasionally a small audience was allowed to watch the taping. Striking and removing the stage performance jail-bar cage, tunnel and equipment required additional man-hour labor. Special window (plastic) jail sections (built by ABC Special Effects) were inserted between the jail-bar ring for camera portholes. Only once was a lion, tiger and black panther act performed without this circus jail ring setup on stage. Four iron bar jail bar units were built to surround the video camera and the camera operators. The "audience" was composed of dummies, dressed by the costumer and placed in the seats. The stage crew and participating show personnel were in the theater's balcony to observe the performance. One time while one of the animal acts, consisting of lions, was being led through the iron bar tunnel, Ed Holland (II), the head stage carpenter, was squeezing by the tunnel next to the stage proscenium bulkhead frame while the lions were being ushered into the stage ring. An old lion being pushed through the tunnel took advantage of the situation by peeing on Ed from head to toe. Ed's wife complained that the lion's "perfume" remained on him for weeks thereafter.