Well, Sunday night's incredible episode of What's My Line? - Live on Stage was certainly a blur of activity. No, I mean that literally, since I broke my glasses five minutes before showtime and had to go onstage without them. The rest of the panel this week consisted of Emmy-nominated writer and former co-host of Win Ben Stein's Money Nancy Pimental, comedian, writer, actor (The Astronaut Farmer), the multi-talented Rick Overton, and former Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast member Felicia Day, and a wondrous bunch were they all. We had two -- count 'em, TWO -- Mystery Guests this week, which was fun. The first, whom I guessed, was current CSI: cast member Wallace Langham, formerly of The Larry Sanders Show and Veronica's Closet. He was charming and chatty and we briefly discussed my one day visit to the CSI: set earlier this year. Our other Mystery Guest was Olympics legend Bruce Jenner, who remains as entertaining as ever, and who was guessed, as I recall, by the lovely Ms. Pimental. Guessing the two non-celebrity contestants, however, proved to be an entirely different case.
The first, after considerable questioning on our part which came nowhere near the truth of his line, turned out to be a gentleman who sells medical Marijuana. The second was a lovely young woman named Jessica Dragan, who we quickly determined was somehow involved with dogs. How she was involved with dogs, we had no idea. We tried everything we could think of, dog walker, dog groomer, dog trainer, dog doctor, dog dresser, dog manicurist, I even asked if perhaps she was a dog whisperer. Wrong on all counts. When the ten NOs were turned over, Ms. Dragan was revealed to be a dog masseuse, someone who massages dog therapeutically. As ever, our terrific host J. Keith Van Straatan, asked if the panel and the audience would like to see exactly what it is Ms. Dragan does, and when we all responded enthusiastically, J. Keith gestured to the side of the stage and said, "In that case, let's all welcome Len's dog, Muffin!" And, from around the corner, dragging our lovely hostess for the evening, Natasha Leggerro, behind her, comes trotting my big ol' beautiful brown baby. You could have heard my jaw bouncing off the floor from five counties over.
As many of you may recall, we almost lost Muffy early last month when she had to have her spleen removed. Thankfully, she seems to have recovered almost completely, and has been on a special diet where she has started losing some of her extra weight. But to see her come trotting out on stage like that? Those in the audience tell me I was slack-jawed. Apparently, just after my lovely wife Christine and I had left for the show, my buddy Bob Skir (who had told me he couldn't make it to this week's show because he had to finish reading the new Harry Potter book before someone spoiled it for him, an excuse, BTW, I understood) had secretly driven to my house, collected my stepson Michael and my dog and had taken them to the theater and hidden them backstage. Muffin thoroughly enjoyed her massage and then proceeded to spend the remainder of the show sitting by my side, thus adding a fifth, albeit silent, member to our panel.
All in all, one of the single most surreal nights I've spent in the theater. Wish you could've been there. Of course, you can still come to this coming Sunday's show, sadly the last of our current season. For details, click here.
My dog Muffin, definitely bigger than a bread box.