To Tell the Truth – Greg Zeigerson

I was the youngest professional cartoonist in America, with a comic strip in my local paper, the Asbury Park Press, in NJ. I was 10, it was taped November 1971, and shown mostly in 1972 around the country (but never shown in New York City, my local market, for some reason). It was the syndicated color version of the show, with host Garry Moore, and panel Tom Poston, Peggy Cass, Bill Cullen and Kitty Carlisle. A gymnast, Roxanne Pierce, was the other contestant. Before the show I was in the green room and missed Johnny Olsen’s hilarious warm up act (per my older brother’s description). There was a rehearsal before the show, where they had impersonators playing the panel, and they were very good at it. They even asked some of the same questions the panel later asked. Bill Cullen was the only one who guessed I was the real me. He said I was very serious, and he thought that was often the case for artists. I later learned that his wife was an artist (when it was mentioned on a rerun of I’ve Got A Secret on Game Show Network). Imposter number 3 had long hair and a hippie- style outfit, and there was much comedic hay made of the fact that Kitty Carlisle thought he was a girl. I was rather nervous, which may have helped me seem like I was an imposter. We won Sarah Coventry cuff links which I still have, a blanket, and $50 per person. I think I shook Garry Moore’s hand briefly at some point, but I really didn’t talk to him or Bill Cullen or Kitty Carlisle outside of the taping itself. At the end of the show, during the credit crawl, Peggy Cass singled me out and said we should stand out front so we’ll be visible to the camera. She was very, very nice and asked me questions, seemed very interested in me. After the show, my mother stopped Tom Poston in the hall and asked him if he had ever met her. She seemed to believe he had taken her out on a date in her younger, single days, but he had no memory of it.

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