What's My Line?

Season 3 Episode 53


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Aug 31, 1952 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • SIGNING IN DIFFICULTIES: During Mr. Hersholt's signing in with his real name (after crossing out Dr. Christian) he puts enough pressure on the art paper to make it move within the frame. - cattaur (2008)

    • THE NAMEPLATE: When Jean Hersholt's mystery challenger spot began, there was no nameplate for him on the desk. Not long into the segment, John Daly, while still seated in his chair, is caught on camera reaching over and placing Jean's nameplate in the holder. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • GOOF: After greeting the panel at the end of his game, mystery guest Jean Hersholt makes a U-turn after shaking Dorothy's hand. He heads back to the curtain entrance spot, and in doing so, nearly bumps into the final contestant who is entering to sign in. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

  • Quotes

    • Artie Shaw: (to the mystery challenger) Would you be recognizable to most people by some distinctive physical characteristic?
      Arlene Francis: (to Artie) Like two heads, you mean? (burst of laughter from the audience)
      John Daly: I just counted his heads. I think I'll give a 'no' answer on that.

    • Arlene Francis: (trying to guess the line of the contestant who raised white mice) Well, could it be a mice? (laughs at using the word "mice" instead of "mouse") A mice!

    • John Daly: That's four down and six to go, Mr. Kilga- MISS Kilgallen.
      Dorothy: If Mr. Kilgallen were in this spot, he might do better!

    • Hal Block: (at the end of the game for the contestant who raised white mice) And thereby hangs a tail.

  • Notes

    • When Hal Block correctly guesses the mystery guest, he gives the character name that Jean Hersholt signed in with, Dr. Christian. - cattaur (2008)

    • FLIP REPORT: John awarded the full prize to the final contestant due to time, but once again, he flipped the cards back to zero rather than to $50. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" ANNOUNCER WATCH: Yet again, the announcer tonight is Hal Simms.
      (2) THE LOOKS OF THINGS: With Bennett away on vacation, John and the male panelists tonight are decked out in formal attire or a reasonable facsimile thereof. This is the first extant episode to have a guest panelist's nameplate set in Title Gothic Condensed No. 11, on this occasion for bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw, who this evening is making his second and final "WML?" appearance (his first had been as a mystery guest on EPISODE #3 of March 2, 1950, one of the very few "WML?" episodes of the pre-1952 era to still survive). For this show, all regular contestants' occupation overlay screens are set in Kabel Heavy which was first used last week. And for Jean Hersholt's mystery guest spot, his nameplate, like Mr. Shaw's, is set in Title Gothic Condensed No. 11.
      (3) MYSTERY GUEST: This was the first and last "WML?" appearance of the beloved actor and humanitarian Jean Hersholt. He died in 1956 of cancer, four years after his "WML?" appearance this evening. That same year of 1956, his nephew Leslie Nielsen made his first major film appearance in the movie "Forbidden Planet," in the role of "Commander Adams."
      (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH AND ROGUE CAPTIONS WATCH: For GSN's March 12, 2008 airing of this episode, the cable and satellite channel once again could not resist the temptation to indulge in their incessant, insensitive, intemperate and impudent "crunching" of the screen during the end credit sequence. And, once again, a rogue closed-captioning feed could be seen for GSN's "High Stakes Poker." In this case, however, the feed was only seen at the beginning of the broadcast and was quickly removed.
      (5) Following the March 12, 2008 airing of tonight's "WML?" edition by GSN, the cable and satellite channel ran an edition of "I've Got a Secret" which first emanated "live from New York" on November 11, 1963. The usual crew of host Garry Moore and panelists Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan (in another of the rare times in this period that he wore a straight necktie rather than the customary bow ties that were part of his attire for years) and Bess Myerson was once again in place, and the celebrity guest was insult comic Jack E. Leonard. - W-B (2008)

    • REVIEW: This was a pretty good showing for the panel tonight. Arlene really was hot as she correctly guessed the first two contestants. Orchestra leader Artie Shaw, who had a good outing subbing for Bennett, opened the door for her by narrowing the animal to a rodent used in experimental work. He didn't guess "mouse," since Dorothy had gotten a misleading "no" when she asked if these animals could be inadvertently in your house. After Artie guessed "guinea pigs" and got a "no," Arlene eventually correctly guessed "mouse" to win the game. Hal Block provided the funniest moment of the night when he guessed, almost by accident, that the mystery guest was Jean Hersholt. Hersholt first signed in as his popular character "Doctor Christian." Hersholt's most famous role was that of "Grandpa Adolph Kramer" in the 1937 Shirley Temple film version of "Heidi." However, his most famous contribution to cinema was not a role he played, but the honorary Oscar that bears his name, the Jean Hersholt Award. The award recognizes those in the film community who, like Hersholt himself, display the greatest contribution to humanitarian and charitable causes. Also, Mr. Hersholt wasn't the only member of his family to go on to have a successful entertainment career. His nephew, Leslie Nielsen, would go on to have a very successful career in both film and television, especially in the slapstick "Naked Gun" films. - Sargebri (2004)

    • The contestant preview picture at the end of EPISODE #117 didn't really look anything at all like either of the male contestants on tonight's show. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      Tidbits: During Arlene's introduction of Hal Block, she said he has "written for Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Burns and Allen and others too humorous to mention." - Suzanne (2004)

      Artie Shaw (5/23/1910 - 12/30/2004)

      Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Artie Shaw, Arlene Francis, Hal Block. Bennett Cerf had the night off.

  • Allusions

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