What's My Line?

Season 4 Episode 11


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Nov 16, 1952 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
8 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Tiny Heiden (Harold Heiden) - "Frog Catcher" (self-employed; for more than 8 months out of the year, he catches frogs in New York's Catskill Mountains; in spite of his nickname, he is heavy-set; from Hudson, NY)

Game 2: Mrs. Kay Buell - "Hand Paints Men's Shorts" (self-employed; she paints men's underwear; from Erie, PA)

Game 3: Walter Winchell (4/7/1897 - 2/20/1972) (as Mystery Guest) He signed in as "W. W." and used a kazoo to answer his questions.

There was not enough time left for a fourth game. - Suzanne (2004) . .moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    John Daly

    John Daly

    Moderator (1950-1967)

    Arlene Francis

    Arlene Francis

    Regular Panelist (1950-1967)

    Dorothy Kilgallen

    Dorothy Kilgallen

    Regular Panelist (1950-1965)

    Hal Block

    Hal Block

    Regular Panelist (1950-1953)

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (10)

      • Steve: (to the contestant who hand paints men's shorts) Is there an end product of any kind involved here?
        Kay: Yes. (loud laughter from audience)
        Steve: I guess eventually I'll find out. Right now, I don't know.

      • Hal: (to Mrs. Buell, who replies "yes" to each question) Is it by any chance worn? Is it worn below the neck? Is it worn below the waist? Here's where I get in trouble.

      • Hal: (taking a free guess as to the line of Mrs. Buell) I think she's a secretary and she's on her last lap.

      • Arlene: Congratulations, Dorothy Kilgallen!
        (said after Arlene uses the three questions that Dorothy suggested to correctly guess the frog catcher.)

      • Steve: Does the product have any effect on one's health in any way?
        John: (in an exaggerated upper crust accent, following a conference with Tiny) There is a circumstance under which the application of the product might yield beneficial results.
        Steve: My next question is - what did you say?

      • Hal: (after the "two footed or four footed" debate on how many legs a frog has, Hal comes up with a great play on "forfeit")
        We may have to 'four feet' the question.

      • John: I'm afraid that's 8 down and 2 to go and I'm afraid we're going to have to throw in the towel. Mrs. Buell hand paints men's shorts.
        Hal: Hand paints them?!
        John: Hand paints them.
        Hal: When can I come in for a sitting?

      • Dorothy: (regarding the product of the contestant who paints shorts) Is it anything that's bulletproof?
        John: (mishearing) Waterproof?
        Dorothy: Bulletproof.
        John: Bulletproof?!

      • Steve Allen: "Since it's attractive, I assume it's not a necessity. Could I uh..."
        (A burst of laughter from the crowd interrupts him)
        Steve Allen: (looking toward the laughing audience and seeking their approval) "I couldn't?"

      • Dorothy Kilgallen: (once rival celebrity journalist Walter Winchell was guessed after a series of answers by kazoo) To think that I sat here letting you give me the Bronx cheer for five minutes!

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the second contestant at eight down because time was running short. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) THE LOOKS OF THINGS: Guest panelist Steve Allen's nameplate is set in Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed, likely from his prior appearance on the panel. This is the first extant show in which Mr. Allen is attired in the formal wear that will soon come to be synonymous with "WML?" It is also not the last time Steverino and Hal Block will sit on the "WML?" panel together; in fact, they were seated together on the final six shows Mr. Block appeared in, as first aired between EPISODE #139 of January 25, 1953 and EPISODE #144 of March 1, 1953. On another note, there was no nameplate for Walter Winchell's mystery guest appearance at the very beginning of his game. His nameplate was added (off-camera) not long after the segment started.
        (2) "THE FAMILY THAT WRITES TOGETHER...": Tonight's mystery guest Walter Winchell, making his only "WML?" appearance this evening, and regular series panelist Dorothy Kilgallen were both in the employ of the Hearst publishing empire, although they worked for two different New York newspapers that the company owned. Dolly Mae, of course, wrote for the New York Journal-American as a reporter and the "Voice of Broadway" columnist, while Mr. Winchell's paper of origin was the tabloid Daily Mirror. The Mirror was started in 1922 to compete with the Daily News, but while the Mirror had a reasonably healthy circulation, it was not very profitable. The Mirror ended up being the first of the New York newspapers that were around for much of "WML?'s" run to shut down, publishing for the last time on October 16, 1963, several months after the crippling 114-day newspaper strike of 1962-1963. Walter then wrote for a time at the Journal-American, albeit with a far more reduced presence and profile than in his heyday, within its final few years in existence. There was another New York Daily Mirror, which bore no relation to the paper that Mr. Winchell wrote for for many years, and which was published from January 4, 1971 to February 28, 1972.
        (3) MORE ABOUT TONIGHT'S MYSTERY GUEST: Mr. Winchell once had a connection to a former "WML?" mystery guest, as prior to joining the Daily Mirror he wrote for the New York Evening Graphic which was published from 1924 to 1932 and run by Bernarr Macfadden, who was a mystery guest on the now-lost EPISODE #65 of August 26, 1951. Another columnist who toiled at the Graphic early in his career was Ed Sullivan, who would go on to become a long-running columnist for the Daily News, as well as host of a long-running Sunday night CBS variety show. As for Mr. Winchell, his appearance this evening, coming after Desi Arnaz' mystery guest spot last week, was nothing short of ironic, as within a few months of tonight's show the columnist would accuse Desi's then-wife, "I Love Lucy" star Lucille Ball, of Communist ties, in an ultimately failed attempt to destroy her career and derail her run as the "First Lady of Television."
        (4) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Tonight's show was the first to credit Frances Trocaine as program manager. Her name and position were placed below "coordinator of production" Bob Bach on the pertinent card graphic. Miss Trocaine will be credited in that capacity through EPISODE #432 of September 14, 1958, and then will be credited as co-associate producer (with Mr. Bach) between EPISODE #433 of September 21, 1958 and EPISODE #470 of June 28, 1959. Alas, as has been customary at the time of the March 23, 2008 airing of this episode, GSN just couldn't refrain from its usual odious, onerous, outrageous and overbearing habit of "crunching" the end credits.
        (5) GARRY MOORE "IGAS" COUNTDOWN WATCH - 18 SHOWS TO GO: Following GSN's March 23, 2008 airing of tonight's show, the cable and satellite channel ran an edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, which was originally telecast "live from New York" on February 17, 1964. The regular panel of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson was once again assembled, and the celebrity guest was Bobby Darin. Prior to the introductions of the panelists, a birthday cake was brought out for Mr. Cullen, who would celebrate his 44th birthday the next day on February 18, 1964. - W-B and agent_0042 (2008)

      • GOOD EVENING, MR. AND MRS. AMERICA, AND ALL THE SHIPS AT SEA!!! This was the famous weekly radio broadcast opening line of mystery guest Walter Winchell. Winchell's appearance on the show capped what was a rather unsuccessful, but wild night on the show. What really made it interesting, though, was the fact that Steve Allen and Hal Block were on the panel together. Of course, Steverino wound up replacing Hal when he was fired a few weeks after this episode was broadcast. As for the games themselves, the panel was stumped for all the contestants, a rarity in the early days of the show. Arlene came close with the first contestant when she was able to figure out that he had something to do with frogs. Unfortunately, they never were able to figure out that he was a frog catcher. However, they did have a lot of fun with him due to the good-natured ribbing about his rather large size. The second contestant won by default because the panel was going way off track in trying to find out her line, which was hand painting men's underwear. Walter Winchell really provided a lot of fun by using a kazoo to answer the panel. This was necessary because Winchell had one of the most distinctive voices on radio and television. His fine vocal qualities would come in handy a few years later when he would serve as narrator on the classic crime drama "The Untouchables." This may have been a rather poor showing by the panel, but they certainly had a good time and wound up providing a lot of entertainment for the viewers. - Sargebri (2004)

      • Good-natured, heavy-set Mr. Heiden smiled at the numerous "fat jokes" the panel tossed his way, so it was apparent that he was at least somewhat accepting of the comments. If the comments hurt his feelings, he never let it show. Possibly, his nickname "Tiny" was self-appointed. Nevertheless, it was still a bit unsettling from a 2004 point of view to see Dorothy, Steve Allen and Hal pour on the fat jokes. Examples were: Dorothy - "I guess it would take too long for me to take a look at the label in your coat." Steve - "We'll have to wait for the picture to come out." Hal - "From looking at Tiny, I think he eats between meals." As for Hal's "fat jokes," sometimes the audience laughed, as in the above quote, and sometimes they didn't. They gave a lukewarm response to Hal's "123 day" diet joke. Possibly, even for 1952, the audience felt that the panel had carried these insensitive remarks a bit too far. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

        Kay Buell was the contestant previewed at the end of EPISODE #128. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      • Walter Winchell (1897-1972) was a gossip columnist, radio celebrity and television broadcast journalist. He is thought of as the "father of modern gossip column." He has said, "The way to become famous fast, is to throw a brick at someone who is famous." For him, it worked! At his peak, he was a national institution, with a syndicated daily column and a weekly radio broadcast that reached millions. Winchell presided over cafe society from his table at the Stork Club, gathering tips for his column. - Suzanne (2004)

        On behalf of Goodson-Todman, John presented Walter Winchell with a check for $1000 for the Damon Runyan Memorial Cancer Fund. - Suzanne (2004)

        Screenwriter Ernest Lehman's novella, "Tell Me About It Tomorrow" was adapted to the screen in 1957 as "Sweet Smell of Success." Also a freelance writer, Lehman wrote profiles of New York gossip columnists Dorothy Kilgallen and Walter Winchell. Kilgallen and Winchell were the inspirations for the character, "J.J. Hunsecker," described as "the most powerful newspaper columnist in New York." In the film, this character was played by Burt Lancaster. - Suzanne (2004)

        Tidbits: For the record, the announcer states the following words each week to introduce the panel: "And now, let's meet our What's My Line? panel of well-known personalities whose lines you already know. First, the popular columnist whose "Voice of Broadway" appears in the New York Journal-American and papers coast-to-coast, Miss Dorothy Kilgallen." From here on, the panelists introduce each other. - Suzanne (2004)

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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)