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Regular Panelist (1950-1967)
Regular Panelist (1951-1967)
Regular Panelist (1950-1965)
Regular Panelist (1950-1953)
Hal Block: (introducing John Daly) And on my left, is a man whose views of the news could blow a hot fuse.
John Daly: (as the fourth female contestant comes on stage, with nary a "Lady Barber" in the bunch!): This, as you all note, is "Ladies Night" on What's My Line?
MORE ABOUT BONNIE BAKER: It has been surmised that the character Dottie Hinson (played by Geena Davis) in the 1992 movie, A League of Their Own was based on Mrs. Baker. - exapno (2008)
(1) "WML?" ANNOUNCER WATCH: Once again tonight, Hal Simms handles the task of introducing "our 'What's My Line?' panel of well-known personalities whose lines you already know."
(2) A SMALL DETAIL: When Arlene mentions Hal Block's upcoming TV Guide article, she is referring to a local New York publication that had been in operation since 1948. It would be less than eight months from tonight's show before the nationally-published magazine of the same name first hit the newsstands.
(3) THE LOOKS OF THINGS: Once again tonight, Bennett is wearing a business suit with a straight necktie, Hal has reverted to his 1950's "travelling salesman" look, and John is decked out in the semi-formal attire that is customary for him in this period. Arlene, meanwhile, is back to her more "stylish" appearance that will become her trademark on the program. The occupation overlay screens, as always in this period, are hand painted typesetting, and there is no nameplate on display for Perle Mesta's mystery guest appearance tonight.
(4) MYSTERY GUEST: This was the first of two mystery guest appearances by "The Hostess with the Mostest," Perle Mesta. Her second appearance, on the Chicago-based EPISODE #323 of August 12, 1956, was under considerably more controversial circumstances, as she was a last-minute replacement for Harry S. Truman who was President of the United States at the time of tonight's show. On the 1956 edition, a proposed mystery guest appearance by Truman was vicariously vetoed by former General Douglas MacArthur, then Chairman of the Board of Remington Rand, which at the time was one of two alternating sponsors of "WML?" In April of 1951, Truman had removed General MacArthur from command of United Nations forces fighting in the Korean War, an act for which the General never forgave him. That night, the main sponsor was Helene Curtis Industries, Inc., which only a few months before had acquired Jules Montenier, Inc., whose "Stopette" brand was the sole "WML?" sponsor as of tonight's edition.
(5) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Only director Franklin Heller is mentioned among the production crew in tonight's end credits, which were once again subjected to GSN's hideous, heinous and horrific "crunching" of the screen on the most recent airing of tonight's edition on March 10, 2008.
(6) GSN's March 10, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by a repeat of a "live from New York" edition of "I've Got a Secret" which first aired on October 28, 1963. Host Garry Moore introduced his panelists as Bill "Goblin," Betsy "Spook," "Ghastly...er, Ghostly" Henry Morgan, and "Bewitching" Bess Myerson. This was less than a year prior to the premiere of the 1964-1972 ABC sitcom "Bewitched." The celebrity guest was Groucho Marx, whose "IGAS" appearance here came only fifteen days after his riotous mystery guest appearance on "WML?" EPISODE #684 of October 13, 1963. On this "IGAS" show, Mr. Marx's answers were provided by Dayton Allen, which was an irony in and of itself given Dayton's having been a regular on "The Steve Allen Show" -- and Steverino's assuming the hosting duties of "IGAS" less than a year from this episode. - W-B (2008)
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League lasted only 11 years from 1943 to 1954, but newfound interest in it was revived by the 1992 film "A League of Their Own," starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna. The WML EPISODE #202 of April 11, 1954 also featured another contestant from this all-girls baseball league. - Suzanne (2004)
Perle Mesta was an influential Democratic Party fund-raiser and party hostess in the 1940s & 1950s. Appointed by President Truman, she served as Minister to Luxembourg from 1949-1953. The 1950-1952 Broadway comedy musical "Call Me Madam" was based on her life. She was known as the "Hostess with the Mostest." She donated her winnings to the Purdue University Scholarship Fund. - Suzanne (2004)
During the mystery guest game, John said, "I see weenies all over the place." For unknown reasons why, in these days, "weenie" was used synonymously with "idea." Later in the series, this word becomes one of Dorothy Kilgallen's pet words. She uses it on EPISODE #405 of March 9, 1958, and many other times during 1958. I never could discover how the two words got "linked" (pun intended) to each other. - Suzanne (2004)
REVIEW: This was another all-female edition of WML as all the contestants, including the "hostess with the mostest" Perle Mesta, were of the feminine persuasion. This also was a night that the big three, Dorothy, Arlene and Bennett, really shined. Dorothy correctly guessed that the first contestant was a female baseball player. Bennett then correctly guessed that the second contestant made braces. Dorothy again took center stage when she guessed that the mystery guest was Perle Mesta. Arlene then provided the coup de gras when she correctly guessed that the final contestant was a veterinarian. All in all, the panel did a splendid job. - Sargebri (2004)
While questioning the lady baseball player, Hal Block gets some laughs as he racks up 16 "yes" answers in a row. Some of his questions include: "Do you take off part of your costume?" "Is music played where you preform your work?" and "Do you hold anything in front of you?" Hal was under the false impression that she was an exotic dancer. He finally got a "no" when he asked, "Would you be embarrassed if the bubble broke?" - Garrison Skunk (2004)
Trivia from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League 1943-1954 web site: In mid-season 1950, the Kalamazoo Lassies fired their (unnamed) manager. Mary "Bonnie" Baker was then sent over from the South Bend Blue Sox to finish the season as their manager. Mary Baker appeared on the popular television show, What's My Line? and her picture also appeared in Life magazine. Mary later returned to Regina, Saskatchewan and became Canada's first female radio sportscaster. - Garrison Skunk (2004)
Tidbits: Arlene states that Hal Block is on the cover of TV Guide Magazine this week. Indeed, he is on the cover of the August 15 to 22, 1952 issue. The cover story was titled "Confessions of Hal Block - The Nine Biggest Threats to Marriage." - Suzanne (2004)
Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis, Hal Block.
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