What's My Line?

Season 4 Episode 12


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Nov 23, 1952 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • Sounds of New York: A rather noticable siren can be heard twice during Dorothy and John's first exchange in the Pretzel Twister segment. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

  • Quotes

    • Bennett: (taking a free guess at the line of the second contestant) I think she runs the children's room at one of the branch libraries.

    • Hal: (to the chorus girl dresser) Would it be kind of odd if I did what you do?
      John: It would be catastrophic!

    • Arlene: (purringly, taking a wild guess as to the line of the final contestant, in a Southern accent) Oh, I hope he's in oil!
      Hal: I think he's a masher in a potato factory.

    • Hal: And now, a newsman who had his first scoop at five years old. I think it was vanilla -- John Charles Daly.

    • John: Ah, you were a dancer from the other side? Well, I'm certainly glad you danced in to see us and visit us on What's My Line?

    • Hal: Well, would I enjoy watching what you do?
      (both John and Mrs. Alexander laugh, then she whispers something to John, which causes John to lean backwards, laughing twice as hard)
      John: Mrs. Alexander says, 'would he!'

    • Hal: (taking a free guess at the line of the first contestant) I think he's a panhandler in a pie factory.

  • Notes

    • IN REMEMBRANCE: On Thursday, November 20, 1952, Sister Elizabeth Kenny died. She had been the mystery guest on the now lost EPISODE #109 of June 29, 1952. She was the first former mystery guest to pass away. - cerfnet (2009)

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the final contestant at seven down because time ran out. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" FONT WATCH: For the second contestant's spot, two typefaces are used for the occupation overlay screen -- the usual Kabel Heavy for the occupation, and Futura Demi Bold for the "(Night Club)" part. This is the first appearance on "WML?" of the latter typeface, which would go on to become the main overlay font for contestants' occupations and mystery guests' names beginning with EPISODE #313 of June 3, 1956 and continuing, with few exceptions, to the end of the show's CBS run in 1967. And the "Rochester" nameplate for the mystery guest is set in Title Gothic Condensed No. 11.
      (2) MYSTERY GUEST: Tonight's show marked Eddie "Rochester" Anderson's only "WML?" appearance. Besides his long involvement with Jack Benny, Mr. Anderson also supplied the voice of basketball player "Bobby Joe Mason" in the 1970-1972 cartoon series "The Harlem Globetrotters" (for which none of the actual members of the legendary basketball troupe ever voiced themselves), and also voiced the character in three episodes of the 1972-1974 series "The New Scooby-Doo Movies" where the Globetrotters appeared as "celebrity guests."
      (3) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: GSN's blasphemous and heretical practice of "crunching" the screen during the end credits continued apace and unabated on the March 24, 2008 screening of this episode -- or if counted in GSN's parlance, on the "broadcast day" of Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008.
      (4) GARRY MOORE "IGAS" COUNTDOWN WATCH - 17 SHOWS TO GO: Right after the March 24, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated a "live from New York" edition of "I've Got a Secret," with host Garry Moore and panelists Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson, which was originally broadcast on February 24, 1964 -- which was 44 years and 1 month from this most recent GSN airing. The celebrity guest was Morey Amsterdam. - W-B (2008)

    • Eddie Anderson signs under the name of his famous character "Rochester." Sadly, he exits immediately after his game and we do not get to hear him speak one word in his normal gravelly voice. For his mystery guest disguised voice, he used a high-pitched squeaky voice. - Suzanne (2004)

    • During the pretzel twister game, Hal received a "no" from John when he asked, "Would you put mustard or chili sauce on this?" In the intervening years since 1952, Hal would have been able to challenge that answer, because mustard has become quite the popular pretzel topping over the past 52 years. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      Dorothy makes a cute little pretzel twisting pantomime when she guesses the pretzel twister. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      John mentions a side bet he won with Walter Winchell from his mystery guest appearance on EPISODE #129. Winchell bet John a Gruen watch that the panel would identify him within three questions. They didn't, so Winchell promptly paid off. When John rests his left arm on his elbow, the new, shiny gold-toned Gruen watch is visible on this episode. Hal asks where the panel's watches are! - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      The male contestant preview picture shown at the end of this episode is the same one that was shown at the end of EPISODE #124. It will also be shown at the end of EPISODE #131. What's up with this? - Garrison Skunk (2004)

    • REVIEW: This was a pretty good episode, especially for the distaff members. Dorothy was able to successfully guess that the first contestant was a pretzel twister. Of course, he probably would have been very well suited for the end of the show, where they usually place the contestants with the more unusual occupations. Arlene was next to score for the panel when she was able to figure out that the adorable elderly lady was a dresser for a bunch of chorus girls. In the mystery guest round, it was once again Dorothy's turn as she correctly guessed that the mystery guest was none other than Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. The funny thing about that round was that John invoked the name of Johnnie Ray. Of course, Dolly Mae would later have her disastrous affair with the bisexual singing teen idol. As was usually the case with all the final contestants, the panel ran out of time before they figured out that he was a fire hydrant salesman. He therefore won the game by default. - Sargebri (2004)

      Tidbits: What does John's comment about the second guest mean? He said she was "a dancer from the other side." The other side of what? Does he mean off-Broadway? Was there a nightclub named The Other Side? This might be an unsolvable 1952 mystery. - Suzanne (2004)

      Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis, Hal Block.

  • Allusions