Drawing out the identity of Stan Lee on Beyond Reason
Comic book icon once sat for examination on 'psychic panel show'
It's beyond reason why Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee was hiding behind a wall in a CBC studio, while an astrologer, a graphologist and a clairvoyant tried to guess who he was.
But that was the premise of Beyond Reason — a program that CBC touted in promotional materials as "television's first psychic panel show."
The show had been on the air for a couple of years before Lee appeared in the 1979-80 season.
While on the show, Lee was asked more than three dozen questions by the panellists.
Some hit the mark more than others.
"Did you ice-skate at one time?" asked Irene Hughes, the clairvoyant.
"Oh, very, very, slightly," said Lee.
Another panellist, astrologer Geof Gray-Cobb, felt the mystery guest was a well-educated man.
"You have a scientific mind," Gray-Cobb said.
"No, I don't think so," Lee said.
Gray-Cobb was not deterred: "Really? I've got here… good education to university level and above."
"No, high school graduate," Lee replied.
No on both counts
In the end, Gray-Cobb guessed that Lee was "a multi-millionaire who has talent for making money" and specifically guessed that he was Hugh Hefner.
Host Paul Soles thought that was a good guess.
"Boy, you were getting close there in a certain way," Soles said.
Hughes and fellow panellist Marilyn Rossner, the graphologist, both figured Lee was somehow involved in publishing.
Soles had previously voiced Spider-Man on the classic 1960s cartoon and his connection to the Marvel Comics universe did not go unmentioned by Lee during the episode.
"You were great at it!" Lee said, laughing as Soles did the voice.
Follow this link to see more stories from the CBC Digital Archives.