(The following was transcribed from a segment of
"To Tell the Truth"* as it was originally broadcast on September 9, 1958, based on a recently discovered air check.)

ANNOUNCER: What is your name, please?

GOD #1: I am God.

ANNOUNCER: What is your name, please?

GOD #2: I am God.

ANNOUNCER: What is your name, please?

GOD #3: I am God.

BUD COLLYER: All three claim to be God, however only one of them is the real God—the other two are imposters. Panel, read along with me, if you will, the following affidavit: "I am God. I created the earth, the sky, the heavens, and the universe. I am everywhere, I see everything, I hear everything, and I know everything. I certify that these statements are true, so help" Let's start with Orson Bean.

ORSON BEAN: Thank you. God number one, you look like a fellow who could do some heavy lifting...according to the Bible, how many days did it take you to create this—excuse the pun—Godforsaken planet?

GOD #1: Seven days.

BEAN: God number two, do you agree?

GOD #2: Yes, seven days.

BEAN: Number three?

GOD #3: Um, I would say six days.

BEAN: I'm sorry, number three, I'm having a little difficulty understanding you, maybe it's your accent.

COLLYER: I believe he said six days, Orson, if it's of any help.

BEAN: All right. God number one...What is pi? And I don't mean lemon meringue.

GOD #1: Pi is the number representing the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle.

BEAN: Number two, do you agree with that assessment?

GOD #2: Yes.

BEAN: Number three?

GOD #3: Yes, basically.

BEAN: And, number three, do you know the actual number for pi?

GOD #3: Yes. It's, let's see, three point one four one five nine...two six five...three five nine...

BEAN: Thank you, thank you, number three, I believe you—and in you. God number one...spell "rhododendron."

GOD #1: R, H, O, D, O, D, E, N, D, R, O, N.

BEAN: God number two, what is the capital of Kansas?

GOD #2: Topeka.

BEAN: God number three, what is the largest prime number—

(Buzzer sounds)

COLLYER: Thank you, Orson. Kitty Carlisle.

KITTY CARLISLE: Number one...who wrote the Broadway play, "You Can't Take It With You"?

GOD #1: George S. Kaufman.

CARLISLE: Number two?

GOD #2: George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.

CARLISLE: Number three?

GOD #3: George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.

CARLISLE: Thank you, number three. Let me ask you this: Ira and George Gershwin collaborated on many songs, but with whom did George Gershwin collaborate on "Swanee"?

GOD #3: Me?

CARLISLE: Yes, number three.

GOD #3: Irving Caesar.

CARLISLE: Thank you. God number one, who wrote the classic, "Night and Day"?

GOD #1: Cole Porter.

CARLISLE: Number two, name the very talented duo responsible for the delightful musical comedies "Fancy Free" and "On the Town."

GOD #2: Comden and Green.

CARLISLE: God number three, who originated the role of Curly in the original Broadway production of "Oklahoma!"?

GOD #3: Alfred Drake.

CARLISLE: Number one, same question.

GOD #1: Alfred Drake.

CARLISLE: Number one, with whom did Richard Rodgers collaborate before Oscar Hammerstein?

GOD #1: Lorenz Hart.

CARLISLE: Number two, in the light opera, "The Merry Widow," who—

(Buzzer sounds)

COLLYER: Thank you, Kitty. Tom Poston.

TOM POSTON: Number one, how many Hawaiian Islands are there?

GOD #1: Seven.

POSTON: Number two? Same question.

GOD #2: Nine.

POSTON: Number three?

GOD #3: Eight.

POSTON: Number one, what happens when you churn butter too long?

GOD #1: You get cheese.

POSTON: Number two, who owns the Empire State Building?

GOD #2: Who owns it? The State of New York owns it.

POSTON: Number three, where would you most likely find a barracuda?

GOD #3: The Caribbean Sea.

POSTON: Number one, who is on the fifty dollar bill?

GOD #1: Grant.

POSTON: Number two, who is on the five hundred dollar bill?

GOD #2: McKinley.

POSTON: Very good, not too many people know that.

COLLYER: Time for maybe one more question, Tom.

POSTON: Okay, God number three: What is a pastrami, turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich called at the Stage Delicatessen?

GOD #1: That would be the "Eddie Cantor."

(Buzzer sounds)

COLLYER: Peggy Cass.

CASS: God number one, who's the senior Senator from Illinois?

GOD #1: Everett Dirksen.

CASS: Number two, what is the current price of gold? The reason I ask is I just got my dentist's bill—wow!

GOD #2: Per ounce?

CASS: Yes, per ounce.

GOD #2: Thirty-two dollars.

CASS: Number three, what's the flying time between Paris and Buenos Aires?

GOD #3: Nine-and-a-half hours by jet. Fourteen by turbo-prop.

CASS: Number one, into what body of water does the Mississippi River flow?

GOD #1: The Gulf of Mexico.

CASS: God number two, who was the first man to run a mile in less than four minutes?

GOD #2: Roger Bannister.

CASS: God number three—

(Buzzer sounds)

COLLYER: Thank you, Peggy. And now, panel, it's time to vote. Is the real God...Number one? Number two? Or, number three? Please mark your ballots.

(Theme music plays for about fifteen seconds)

COLLYER: Okay, time's up. Remember, for each incorrect vote our imposters receive one hundred dollars. Let's start with Orson Bean.

BEAN: I liked number three right off the bat, he was the only one who knew God created the earth in six days—he rested on the seventh—but they were all so good it was a tossup. Number three, by a whisker.

COLLYER: That's one vote for number three. Kitty Carlisle?

CARLISLE: Yes, they were all wonderful, and I, too, liked number three's answers—he knew that Irving Caesar co-wrote "Swanee"—so I voted for...number three.

COLLYER: That's two votes for number three. Tom Poston.

POSTON: Well, number one knew the correct number of Hawaiian Islands—seven—but then number three knew about the Eddie Cantor sandwich—in fact I think I've seen number three at the Stage Deli on more than one occasion—and for that reason, I voted for number one.

COLLYER: So that's a vote for number one. Thank you, Tom. That leaves Peggy Cass.

CASS: Gee. I liked number three, but I also liked number two—she knew the price of gold and she knew who Roger Bannister was—this is just a hunch...number two.

COLLYER: All right, there you have it: two votes for number three, one for number two, and one for number one. Now, will the real God please...stand up.

(Audience reacts and applauds)

COLLYER: Well, number three it is. Now let's meet our imposters. Number one, let's start with you, you got one vote, worth a hundred dollars. What is your name and what do you do?

GOD #1: My name is Leroy Watkins and I'm Vice President in Charge of Community Relations for the Chase Manhattan Bank here in New York.

(Audience reacts and applauds)

COLLYER: Thank you, and number two, tell us your name and what you do, please.

GOD #2: My name is Helen Margolis and I'm a fifth grade teacher at Rego Park Elementary School in Queens.

(Audience reacts and applauds)

COLLYER: Thank you very much, and I might add that you also earned one hundred dollars for your efforts.

POSTON: Bud, I'd just like to ask God something, if I could—I've always wanted to know this: What killed off the dinosaurs?

GOD: A large comet. Wiped out all living things larger than a tortoise.


BEAN: And I bet they didn't have comet insurance in those days.

COLLYER: Well, thank you, God, for being here, and thanks to all of you out there for watching. I'm Bud Collyer saying, goodnight, and always remember to tell the truth. Good night everybody!

(Theme music begins and the audience applauds)

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*"To Tell the Truth" ran, in one form or another, for nearly twenty years. This early incarnation was hosted by Bud Collyer, and featured a panel made up of Peggy Cass, Orson Bean, Kitty Carlisle, and Tom Poston.

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