What's My Line?

Season 4 Episode 4


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Sep 28, 1952 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • GOOF: There was no nameplate for mystery challenger Chuck Dressen. - agent_0042 (2006)

    • As happens from time to time on B&W kinescopes, the camera lingered a bit too long on the opening commercial sign board, resulting in a ghosted image of "Stopette presents What's My Line?" which was superimposed over Jane Schmahl's trip in front of the panel. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

  • Quotes

    • Abe: I want everybody to know I write my own material.

    • Bennett: Mr. Byers, I'm going to ask you a question, unlike Abe Burrows, which you can answer yes or no.

    • Bennett Cerf : You might say he was a banker, John, if he buys and sells banks.

      John Daly: Well, actually, I think, but you see, actually, he isn't.

      Arlene Francis: He's a negotiator.

      John Daly: I think, the general terminology we know, although officially it could never be described, so he's a broker. But he was -- it, it would not be allowed under banking laws to call him a broker. Actually, he buys banks and he sells banks.

      Dorothy Kilgallen: He's a bank broker.

      John Daly: But he's not a banker himself. He's a bank broker. To use the term loosely.

    • Bennett: (snickering at Hal's having missed a beautiful lady contestant) What a pity Hal Block isn't here tonight!
      Abe: What's a' matter with me?

    • John: Actually, I think Mr. Byers is one of the toughest we've ever had. He buys and sells banks. He moves in and...
      Arlene: Well, what is his telephone number, John?

    • John: It has tangible qualities, and it has values that can be called intangible.
      Abe Burrows: Well, you're flipping around like a Roseland Dancer now!
      John: I have to on this one Abe, I have nowhere to go!

      (Abe's comment refers to Manhattan's famous Roseland Ballroom which opened in the 1920s and is still open as of 2006.)

    • John: Let me put it this way - the thing is, uh, valuable by and of itself as a term of reference to its basic existence. See, I can be just as confusing as you can!

    • Abe: Now, when you say it's worth $1,000, is that intrinsically or because that's what it's worth? For instance, I'll show you a check of mine for $1,000, but it's worth $200.
      John: Ah, I see what you mean!

    • Bennett: Gee, something my wife would like a pair of, and they're worth more than a thousand dollars? Um...
      John: You know, Christmas is coming up, Bennett. You're getting yourself in a lot of trouble, boy!
      Bennett: I know!

    • Dorothy: May I see your hands, please?
      Henry: My wife told me you'd want to see those.
      Dorothy: (chuckling) Well, she was right.
      Henry: I'm glad to see you back on the program.
      Dorothy: Thank you.

    • John: (to Brooklyn Dodger manager Chuck Dressen) Well, we all hope you don't have any trouble with the World Series, and thanks for coming...
      Bennett: (a known Yankee fan) Now wait a minute, we don't all hope that at all!

    • Bennett: And on my left is the Queen Bee of Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens. She'll tell you about the other "Burrows" herself - Miss Arlene Francis.

      (Notice Bennett's clever pun on the word "boroughs.")

  • Notes

    • TODAY'S BASEBALL GAME: On Sunday, September 28, 1952, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves played against each other at Ebbets Field. The game ended in a tied score of 5-5, having been suspended due to darkness after the 12th inning ended. Tonight's mystery guest, Chuck Dressen, rested his regular players, and by the fifth inning, he had removed all but one of them. The World Series began on Wednesday, October 1, 1952 at Ebbets Field. The Yankees won in six games to capture their 4th World Series title in a row. - cerfnet (2009)

    • At the end of the 1963 "I've Got A Secret" episode that GSN aired in 2008 after this WML episode, Garry Moore urged the audience to see the upcoming "Lucy Show" that immediately followed the original broadcast. He said he had previewed it and thought it was marvelous. He was right; the episode of the "Lucy Show" he promoted is titled "Lucy Conducts The Symphony" and it is an all-time Lucy classic. - Stan16mm (2008)

      FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the final contestant at four down because time ran out. - agent_0042 (2006)

      MYSTERY SOLVED? Going to commercial before the mystery guest spot, John comments, "Here's a mystery that solves itself right before your eyes." GSN, of course, edited out the vintage plug that followed John's comments. However, it would be a fair guess that the mystery was perspiration and Stopette was what solved it. - agent_0042 (2006)

    • (1) BASEBALL HALL OF FAME TRIBUTE: GSN aired this episode on August 4, 2006 as part of a month-long airing of "WML?" episodes with at least one game featuring a baseball-related figure, in honor of the Baseball Hall of Fame's 70th anniversary.
      (2) "WML?" END CREDITS WATCH: On the kinescope of tonight's show, a splice in the film caused director Franklin Heller to be the only crew member listed. - W-B (2006)
      (3) THE LOOKS OF THINGS: Abe Burrows is the only member of the panel tonight to wear a regular business suit and straight tie. Both Bennett and John are formally attired. Mr. Burrows' nameplate appears to be set in Gothic No. 13, though it's unclear from the kinescope recording and the full-shot angle of the panel. Also, there is no nameplate for Chuck Dressen's mystery guest spot.
      (4) GSN "REGULAR ROTATION" AIRINGS: Besides the aforementioned 2006 airing during the Baseball Hall of Fame tribute, the most recent airing in "regular rotation" was on March 16, 2008. This episode's prior "regular rotation" airing was on October 24, 2004.
      (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: When GSN most recently aired this episode on March 16, 2008, the cable and satellite channel resisted their usual and unwelcome urge to "crunch" the screen for the first time since the February 25, 2008 airing of the final EPISODE #876 of September 3, 1967.
      (6) GSN's March 16, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by a New Year's edition of "I've Got a Secret" which was first transmitted "live from New York" on December 30, 1963. (The cable and satellite channel skipped the Christmas edition of "IGAS" which originally aired on December 16, 1963.) Host Garry Moore had the panel of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and guest Ruby Dee (filling in for Bess Myerson who was in California covering the Tournament of Roses Parade) read their own introductions. The guest celebrity was former "$64,000 Question" host Hal March, and the Ferko String Band also put in an appearance. - W-B (2008)

    • FIVENINEGAL'S THOUGHTS: First of all, WELCOME HOME Dorothy! The show just isn't the same without her! Although, what WAS that on the front of her dress? A huge flower adorned her bosom, and it was frightening! On a happier note, Dorothy's hair looked absolutely LOVELY. Abe Burrows made a great guest panelist. There was a funny moment when he declared, "I've come to the conclusion that this is very difficult." Also cute was Arlene telling him, "This may be your last appearance on 'What's My Line?'" The entire "valuable" questioning {see quotes section} had me falling off the sofa laughing! It's interesting to note that Abe was smoking, but then, he regularly smokes on the concurrent 1952 "The Name's the Same" also. I thought Dorothy handled the boorish Chuck Dressen comments very gracefully. You could tell she was nervous, but her smile never left her. Great episode all around! - fiveninegal (2004)

      ANOTHER DRAMA FOR DOROTHY! During Chuck Dressen's post-game chat, the first thing he said was that Dorothy evidently knew more about managing the team than he did. At first, she took this as a compliment, and smiled and laughed. Then, Chuck went on to say that Dorothy had printed in her column that he had had trouble due to difficulties between a certain player and himself. John uneasily said, "There wasn't?" Dorothy somewhat nervously added, "Well, I, I don't remember it, but, uh, I'm a fan anyway." Chuck next emphatically stated, although with a smile, "The only trouble I have is with the other players." It was now obvious that he had been sarcastic with Dorothy, and this was his way of "getting back" at her on the air. As he exits, and shakes hands with the panel, when he gets to Dorothy's seat, he stops and speaks to her. You can see Dorothy shrugging her shoulders. Maybe he was quizzing her on where she had gotten her column information? At any rate, the whole situation must not have been pleasant for Dorothy. - Suzanne (2004)

      WELCOME HOME DOLLY MAE!!! This was Dorothy's first time on the show since her European vacation. The panel pretty much broke even this evening but still had a lot of fun. John was right about the first contestant having the most difficult occupation ever covered on the show, due to the fact that you rarely hear of anyone buying and selling banks for a living. However, Bennett redeemed the panel by correctly guessing that the second contestant taught classes for expectant fathers. Arlene must have picked up a few things from Martin because she was able to figure out that the mystery guest was then-current Dodgers manager Chuck Dressen. As Bennett, a Yankee fan, pointed out, this was just before the beginning of the 1952 World Series. Of course, the Yankees won the series 4 games to 3. Unfortunately, time ran out as the panel was questioning the buffalo rancher, so the contestant won the game by default. - Sargebri (2004)

      At the beginning of the show, John welcomes a new CBS affiliate. Beginning with this episode, WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio joins the What's My Line? family of stations, broadcasting on channel 5. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      In 1955, WEWS switched its network affiliation to ABC, after WJW-TV, Channel 8, was persuaded to take on CBS affiliation by WJW's then-owner, Storer Broadcasting. The station, which was also known as WJKW-TV from 1977 until 1985 when it reverted to the WJW calls, remained a CBS affiliate until 1994 when it switched to Fox. Since 1996, WJW has been owned by Fox itself. WEWS remains the Cleveland ABC affiliate to this day. - W-B (2007)

      During the introductions, Abe Burrows holds up a small-sized magazine. He announces that John Charles Daly is on the back cover of this week's issue of Quick magazine, but offers no explanation why John was given this honor. Abe Burrows is the father of respected director James Burrows, who directed episodes and pilots of television shows all the way from "Mary Tyler Moore" and "Bob Newhart" through "Taxi" and "Cheers" up through "Fraiser" and "Will & Grace" and many, many more shows. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      Miss Jane Schmahl was the contestant previewed at the end of EPISODE #121. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      Chuck Dressen may have written in the N.Y. Post newspaper that the Dodgers wouldn't "blow it again," but they blew it again. If you want to see the painful details, visit the web site below. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      Baseball Almanac:


    • Tidbits: Welcome back, Dorothy. It was mentioned that she had been in Paris, France.

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

  • Allusions