Mark Goodson: Track Star Investigator!

Original Airdate: 07/23/1958
Panel: Bill Cullen, Jayne Meadows, Henry Morgan, and Betsy Palmer
Host: Garry Moore
Guest: Mark Goodson

Opening Comments
Garry alone

Garry alone on the set

Thank you very much, and welcome friends to another edition of “I’ve Got a Secret.” We’re starting off a little differently tonight as you may observe, for the first time I’ve opened the show all by myself in solitary splendor. The panel is not yet here. There is a reason for that, a reason that I will explain to you in just a moment. It is devious, as most of our reasons are for most of the things we do. I have a collaborator in this particular sneaky venture, my accomplice for this is Mr. Mark Goodson, who along with Bill Todman produces this program, among many, many others. I’m sure you’re familiar with the producing firm of Goodson-Todman. So Mark Goodson, will you come in please?

Mark Goodson enters

Mark Goodson enters

(Mark Goodson walks in, applause) So after six years, Mark, of producing this show on the air you finally found a secret for yourself, huh?

Mark: Yes Garry, it kind of came about by accident. I discovered, purely by error, that I did not know Betsy Palmer, strange as it seems, I have never met the beautiful young girl who holds the end position in the show. Of course I have known Bill Cullen for years, we sort of began Bill in radio and TV, I’ve known Jayne since, I think before Steve Allen…Henry Morgan has been a delightful peck of trouble for years, and I think I’ve known you since your first crew cut. But never actually have met Betsy. My partner Bill Todman has worked with Betsy, I think worked out the arrangements for being on the show, she’s the baby of the program. And then about two weeks ago, when I was in my office, my secretary left me this note which is from Betsy, you might want to read it.

Garry: Yes, this was left on Mark’s desk. It says, “Mr. Goodson, I was here to meet you at long, long last. You were gone. Catch you next time, so happy to be a part of the Goodson-Todman family. Fondly, Betsy Palmer.” Now do you mean that Betsy actually doesn’t know what you look like, Mark?

Garry and Mark

Garry and Mark

Mark: I assume so, I know what she looks like, but unless she’s seen me on the street…you know.

Garry: Well so his secret is going to be that finally Betsy Palmer is going to meet her employer, but she will not know that he is her employer until the secret is all over. Now just to make things interesting since all the other panelists DO know Mark, we took the other panelists into our confidence. They know that we are doing it to Betsy tonight.

Mark: Dirty.

Garry: It’s dirty, yeah. So, when Mark comes in, I will–no, I’ll have Mark go out first, and then bring him in in the regular fashion, introduce him under a fake name, what name shall we use?

Mark: Uh, George…Lugner.

Garry: George Lugner, all right. And then he will whisper his secret to me, and then the panelists will ask questions, outlandish as the questions may be, it doesn’t make any difference. When we get to Betsy however, in order to give her a break, you must give her truthful answers.

Mark: I’ll lie to them…tell the truth to her.

Garry Moore

Mark Goodson — Garry Moore

Garry: Tell the truth to her, yeah.

Mark: Sounds familiar, all right. (Mark leaves)

Garry: All right, send the panel back in please! (whispering into mic) Keep in mind, that the rest of the panel is in cahoots, only Betsy does not know what is going on. (panel is back) All right panel, I must apologize to you first of all, ladies and gentlemen, for having kept you out in the soundproof booth so early in the evening. Uh, the reasoning for my keeping you off the show up until now will be apparent to you by the time the show is over. (introduces panel, audience applauds) Now friends, are you ready to play? All right, may we have then, our first contestant please, would you come in sir? (Mark Goodson comes in again) Now sir, will you tell the panel please what your name is and where you are from?

Mark reenters Panel

Mark enters again — Panel

Mark: I’m George Lugner from Washington D.C.

Garry: Mister Lugner, L-U-G-N-E-R, he is from Washington D.C. Now Mr. Lugner, if you could whisper your secret to me, we’ll show it at the same time to the folks at home.

Secret on screen

Secret on screen

(Secret appears on screen)

“Like I said…
I’m going to meet
Betsy Palmer
for the first time


Garry: Panel, Mr. Lugner’s secret concerns an unusual fact about him, and we’ll start with Bill Cullen. An unusual fact about him. Bill Cullen.


Bill Cullen’s Turn
Bill: Mmhmm. Well I can say now that Mr. Lugner looks awfully familiar to me. Uh, an unusual fact about you, would this represent an achievement or an accomplishment of some kind, Mr. Lugner?

Mark Goodson

Mark: I guess…you could call it that, wouldn’t you say?

Garry: Yeah, it’s definitely an achievement.

Bill: Did you by any chance, receive a medal for this accomplishment?

Mark: Sort of a medal, yeah.

Garry: It was not sort of a medal, it was an actual medal, one highly to be prized, really. You’re modest, sir.

Bill: I know…the familiarity there…could I have possibly seen your picture in the paper connected with this achievement of yours?

Mark: I think you might have, yes.

Garry: Quite widely, indeed.

Bill: In the sports section?

Mark: Yes, it was in the sports section.

Bill: Have you ever represented the United States, sir, in the Olympics? (audience laughs)

Mark: Yes I have. (audience laughs some more)

Bill Cullen

Bill: Are you not the gentleman, if I recall correctly, who established in…not the last Olympics, it was a long time before that, uh, who established and still holds the world high jump record?

Mark: That is correct, yes. [ ** BUZZER ** ]

Garry: Now Bill, I’m sure you were close to the secret, that however, is not the secret. As remarkable as that may be, that is not the gentleman’s secret. However, it may lead you to something, and so we have twenty dollars down, and sixty dollars to go and we go to Jayne Meadows please.


Jayne Meadows’s Turn
Jayne: Well then the gentleman’s secret is not anything to do with an athletic accomplishment?

Mark: That’s…not really, no.

Mark Goodson — Jayne Meadows

Jayne: I see, but you are from Washington D.C. sir?

Mark: I’m from Washington, yes.

Jayne: Because there was, I don’t remember exactly his name, but there was a famous track star who was an investigator for the FBI, are you an investigator for the FBI?

Mark Goodson

Mark: I think the FBI part would be incorrect, wouldn’t you say?

Garry: Yes, we do not wish for very strategic reasons to link him with any particular law enforcement body. Let’s say that he was an investigator and quite a famous one.

Jayne: But do you investigate criminal cases?

Mark: That is correct.

Jayne: Have you by any chance been working on the Mafia syndicate crime thing that we’ve been reading about in the papers?

Mark Goodson

Mark: I did play a part in that, yes. (audience wails)

Jayne: Are you the man that I read about that trapped, uh, you were trapped by about five or six gunmen, and you single-handed, you captured them?

Mark: I wouldn’t…well was this single…well I guess in a sense it was single-handed.

Garry: It was single-handed.

Jayne Meadows

Jayne: Is that your secret?

Garry: No, that is not his secret. [ ** BUZZER ** ] I must say, this is one of the most modest gentlemen we have ever had on the show. Forty dollars down and forty dollars to go…

Jayne: But he’s still working on the case, is that right?

Mark: Not on that case, no.

Jayne: I see…

Garry: Now we go to Henry Morgan please.


Henry Morgan’s Turn

Henry Morgan

Henry: Well then evidently you’re working on…are you working on some other criminal case here in New York?

Mark: That is correct Mr. Morgan.

Henry: Uh huh. You’re investigating a criminal case… Well if you’re working on a case now, how come you could take time…

Garry: Uh, the questions must be answerable by “yes” or “no,” Henry.

Henry: Are you investigating a case that, uh, involves somebody here?

Mark Goodson

Mark: That is correct, Mr. Morgan.

Henry: Somebody on the panel?

Mark: Yes sir.

Henry: You mean somebody on this panel is involved in a criminal case of some kind?

Mark: We think it is a criminal case, yes. [ ** BUZZER ** ]

Garry: Sixty dollars down and twenty dollars to go and Betsy it’s up to you, dear girl.


Betsy Palmer’s Turn
Betsy confused

Betsy confused

Betsy: (very very confused) …Mr. Lugner…you’re a sportsman, and an investigator, and you’re working on criminal cases? Here in New York, with us on the panel??

Mark: I think the facts were a little twisted.

Betsy: Well no! I mean Bill sa–

Mark: I think you misunderstood slightly.

Betsy: Well you were an Olympic champion…

Mark: Pardon me?

Betsy Palmer

Betsy: You-are-an-O-Lym-Pic-champion

Mark: No, no, I’m not.

Betsy: But now you said you were, with Bill! Is that your secret, you’re a liar, fibber? (everyone bursts out laughing)


Closing Comments
Garry: That’s certainly not his secret, but it turns out this evening that…does the name, the word “lugner” mean anything to you, Betsy?

Betsy: I didn’t meet you in Washington D.C., did I?

Garry: The word “lugner,” Betsy, is a German word meaning “deceiver” or to put it more bluntly, “liar.” You have been deceived tonight, by everyone, not only me and this gentleman, but by your fellow panelists, all of whom were in on this.

Panel looking innocent

Panel looking innocent

Garry: And let me tell you, Betsy, that tonight, at this moment, after seven months on the panel of “I’ve Got a Secret,” you are about to meet one of your employers, meet Mr. Mark Goodson.

Betsy: Mr. Goodson! Ohhhh, no! (runs up and gives Mark a kiss)

Betsy shocked Mark kissing Betsy

Betsy shocked — Mark kissing Betsy

Betsy: You know what I did, just about a week ago?

Garry: You wrote a note, which we just finished reading to the audience.

Betsy: Oh you didn’t, oh no! I went up specifically to…I thought after all these years I should see what this man looks like!

Garry: Now you know.

Betsy: Isn’t that terrible…I know where I saw you! It was in the office, you walked out, and then you turned around and you walked right back like this again.

Mark: That’s right.

Betsy: I thought you looked familiar, but I thought it was Washington D.C.!

Garry: Well Betsy, let me tell you, I have a surprise for you, and for everyone. It seems shameful that there can be people within an organization which works as closely together as we do, that don’t know each other. We’re going to rectify that mistake tonight, I am taking it upon my shoulders. I’m going to declare a party immediately following the show, if everybody would like to, including you Betsy, and your husband, including Mark, and your wife, and me and my wife will be there, Henry, Jayne, Bill, everybody connected with “I’ve Got a Secret” some thirty-five or forty of us, are going to the Twenty-One club, if you would like to come, I have made arrangements for us there. We will have dinner, anyone can have anything they want, complete. Caviar, [something] in a glass, anything. I have arranged for [Company Name] Cadillac limousines to pick us up at the stage door, and everything will be there. Does this go along all right with you?

Mark: That’s very sweet, Garry.

Mark faints

Mark faints

Garry: I wanted to say also, that the entire expense will be born by our producers, Goodson and Todman. (Mark Goodson pretends to faint, shakes hands with everyone, then leaves) (Garry laughing) Oh your face, Betsy.

Betsy: Oh my…

Garry: I love it usually, but tonight especially.

Betsy: I hope I wrote…I hope the note was all right, I can’t remember what I said anymore.

Garry: You just said you’d like to meet him, and you can’t complain, you did, in front of thirty-six million people.

Betsy: Oh my…



One Response to “Mark Goodson: Track Star Investigator!”

  1. Tommy Gun says:

    I can’t believe how good Mark Goodson was in this. He was so straight-faced, really not smiling at all. He seems like such a nice, cool guy, I wish we could have seen more of him. This is definitely one of the best secrets ever.

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