What's My Line?

EPISODE #170

Season 4, Ep 52, Aired 8/30/53
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  • Episode Description
  • Game 1: Miss Mildred Gilmore - "Private Eye" (self-employed; from Los Angeles, CA) Game 2: Miss Nancy Vrana - "Bartender" (salaried; from Chestertown, NY) Game 3: Ann Sothern (1/22/1909 - 3/15/2001) (as Mystery Guest) Game 4: James Dennebaum - "Test Driver of Army Trucks" (salaried; John said that the occupation overlay screen was wrong and that he is actually a test driver of army tanks; from Schenectady, NY) . .

  • Cast & Crew
  • John Daly

    Moderator (1950-1967)

  • Arlene Francis

    Regular Panelist (1950-1967)

  • Bennett Cerf

    Regular Panelist (1951-1967)

  • Dorothy Kilgallen

    Regular Panelist (1950-1965)

  • Ann Sothern

    Mystery Guest

  • Fan Reviews (0)
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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (2)

    • John: (to the first contestant, who is from Los Angeles) For a long time I've been saying, "You've had a long journey and I have a short one for you," but I think people are getting tired of that, so I'll just say, why don't you go down and meet the panel, please?

    • Bennett: And on my left is our famous moderator who has got his toughest audience to face tonight because his sons, John Neale and John Charles, are sitting out in the audience tonight -- Johannes Charles Daly.

    Notes (5)

    • LAST WEEK'S PREVIEW PHOTO: Miss Gilmore appears to be the contestant whose "preview picture" was shown at the end of EPISODE #169. However, on the May 1, 2008 airing of tonight's episode, GSN cut the "preview picture" from the end of the program. This was presumably done to allow more time for GSN advertising. - cattaur (2008) FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at five down because time was running short. The panel had come fairly close, identifying both an association with inspections and with a vehicle, but they did not have time to ascertain the exact line. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) MYSTERY GUEST: Tonight's show was the first of three appearances by Ann Sothern. Only tonight's telecast and her final appearance on EPISODE #747 of January 17, 1965 are still extant on kinescope. Her second appearance, on EPISODE #363 of May 19, 1957, is one of the sixteen post-1952 episodes that tragically no longer exist. For her appearance tonight, her nameplate on the panel moderator's desk is sloppily misspelled as "ANN SOUTHERN" and is set in the usual Title Gothic Condensed No. 11. Her daughter, Tisha Sterling (from her 1943-1949 marriage to actor Robert Sterling) later became an actress herself, and among her many roles included a younger version of Miss Sothern's character, "Tisha Doughty," in the 1987 film "The Whales of August" which proved to be Ann's last movie appearance. (2) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: As woefully expected, GSN indulged in its deplorable and despicable procedure of "crunching" the end credits on the May 1, 2008 airing of this episode. (3) Right after the May 1, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the March 1, 1965 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Steve Allen. On this show, a "civilian," Lorraine Bloy, who had been selected (out of the audience) as this week's guest panelist in the prior episode, filled in for Bess Myerson on the panel. She bravely sat alongside Henry Morgan, Buddy Hackett (who himself was subbing for Bill Cullen) and Betsy Palmer. The celebrity guests were Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland, who were then appearing in the movie "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte." It should be noted that the opening sponsor was edited out by GSN on that 2008 airing. Since they have been showing the Toni Home Permanents, Jello Gelatin, and Dream Whip ads, maybe this week was sponsored by a cigarette manufacturer, which is now verboten to air on GSN, per the policies of the network. - W-B (2008)

    • REVIEW: The panel, especially Steve, had a pretty decent night this particular evening. However, it was Arlene who correctly guessed that the first contestant, who was wearing a very big hat, was a private investigator. In the second game, even though Steve was given credit for a correct guess, he made a mistake and said that she was a barmaid instead of a bartender. Of course, the difference is that a barmaid just serves drinks while a bartender not only serves the drinks, but mixes them as well. However, Steve did legitimately guess that the mystery guest was screen legend Ann Sothern. After her game, she told John that everybody on the West coast loves What's My Line? Unfortunately, the panel ran out of time before they figured out that the final contestant tested tanks for the Army, and he wound up winning by default. - Sargebri (2004) Coincidentally, in December 2004, Miss Sothern's 1953 appearance on Goodson-Todman's "The Name's the Same" was aired by GSN one night before this WML episode was aired. - Sargebri (2004) BREADBOX WATCH!!! The breadbox question wasn't used in any of this evening's games. - Sargebri (2004)

    • Ann Sothern promoted her television series which was not mentioned by name. In checking IMDB, her current show was the 1953-1957 primetime comedy sitcom "Private Secretary." Ann played a secretary named Susie McNamara. - Suzanne (2004) Ann Sothern's show, "Private Secretary," was rerun on CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) during the late 1970s. For its original run, it was shown on CBS. It aired early Sunday night, while WML aired late Sunday night. Her next television series, "The Ann Sothern Show," ran from 1958 to 1961. From 1965-1966, she provided the voice of the 1928 Porter automobile in the comedy series "My Mother the Car." - Lucky Cowboy (2004)

    • Tidbits: The panel's introduction of each other again included the small talk which was absent on the previous episode. Bennett said that John's two sons, John Neale Daly (age 15) and John Charles Daly (age 12), were in the audience. John said that New York was having a heat wave. - Suzanne (2004) Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Steve Allen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.

    Trivia (3)

    • GOOF: John repeatedly referred to the first contestant as "Mrs. Gilmore," intead of the correct "Miss Gilmore," a point that was later clarified by Bennett Cerf. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • GOOF: In a rare type of WML mistake, John announced during the final game that the occupation overlay screen had had a mistake in it, and that both the home audience and the studio audience were going to get a surprise. The screen had read "Test Driver of Army Trucks" but after John ended the game due to lack of time, John said that the guest was a test driver of Army tanks, not trucks. - Suzanne (2004)

    • GOOF: During the mystery guest round, Ann Sothern's name plaque incorrectly read "Ann Southern." - Suzanne (2004)

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