What's My Line?

Season 4 Episode 28


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 15, 1953 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Mrs. Lavaughn Garner - "Hotel Plumber" (salaried; she works at the Biltmore Hotel in her home town of Oklahoma City, OK; there was a rare program goof at the beginning of her game, because the flip cards were already set to $50, but John noticed this and turned them back to $0 at the start of her game)

Game 2: Carl Lawson - "Makes Chicken Coops" (self-employed; he said that the company he works for is going to ship each WML panelist a 5 lb. box of frozen chicken meat; from Gainesville, GA)

Game 3: Fred MacMurray (8/30/1908 - 11/5/1991) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Theodore Kaufman - "Fire Eater" (self-employed; from Astoria, Long Island, NY) . .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)

Bennett Cerf

Bennett Cerf

Regular Panelist (1951-1967)

Dorothy Kilgallen

Dorothy Kilgallen

Regular Panelist (1950-1965)

Steve Allen

Steve Allen

Regular Panelist (1953-1954)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Bennett: (trying to figure out the line of the first contestant) I'll try the oil.
      John: The oily bird catches the worm.
      Bennett: Oh my.

  • NOTES (5)

    • DIFFERENT CAMERA ANGLES: Regarding the placement of the CBS television camera, during the opening introduction, John Daly was shot from the side instead of from the front. We did not see the usual full face closeup tonight. - EricHalfabee (2008)

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining card for the first contestant at nine down because time ran out. John also flipped the cards for the final contestant at six down for the same reason of time running out. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) John's moderator's desk is not the only new thing about tonight's show. Announcer Lee Vines' opening line of his intro has now been shortened to "And now, let's meet our award-winning 'What's My Line?' panel." The "...of well-known personalities whose lines you already know" portion of this opening, which had been in place since the first year, has been jettisoned. The "award-winning" wording will continue in this form through about 1959, after which it was modified to "And now, let's meet our award-winning panel of 'What's My Line?'" As mentioned in the notes to last week's show, these "award-winning" intros will continue through EPISODE #582 of September 24, 1961.
      (2) "WML?" FONT WATCH: The occupation overlay screen for the first contestant is set in a typeface which suggests that this was a last-minute addition to tonight's show. That's because the font is the display type seen on the outside of movie theatres (to show which films were playing at which times), churches (to show the times of the services) and homemade movies, among others. This typeface will be seen on occasion over the next decade or more whenever a last-minute switch in contestants or mystery guests was effected on "WML?" The other two regular contestants' overlays are set in the regular Kabel Heavy font. And for mystery guest Fred MacMurray's spot, his nameplate, while set in the usual Title Gothic Condensed No. 11, has no smaller size for the "ac" part of his surname, therefore it reads "FRED MACMURRAY."
      (3) SPEAKING OF THE MYSTERY GUEST: This is the first of three "WML?" appearances by actor Fred MacMurray, who at the time of tonight's show had just completed a movie, "Fair Wind to Java," in which he played "Captain Boll." Later in 1953, he starred in another film, "The Moonlighter," in the role of "Wes Anderson"; his co-star here was his old "Double Indemnity" co-star, Barbara Stanwyck. On another subject, within a few years of "My Three Sons'" cancellation in 1972, Mr. MacMurray was the commercial spokesperson for Greyhound Bus Lines for several years.
      (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Like death and taxes, GSN's "crunching" of the end credits was among the certainties of this world as of the April 9, 2008 airing of this episode.
      (5) GARRY MOORE "IGAS" COUNTDOWN WATCH - 1 MORE SHOW TO GO: The April 9, 2008 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by a rerun of the June 15, 1964 edition of "I've Got a Secret." This was the next-to-last extant "IGAS" episode to be hosted by Garry Moore, and as the show was celebrating its 12th anniversary, various production crew members appeared, with a few demonstrating some musical talents. The "classic '60's" panel of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson is once again in place, and will remain on "IGAS" after the hosting reins passed from Mr. Moore to Steve Allen. - W-B (2008)

    • This was another instance in which the panel batted .500. They were totally stumped by the female plumber. It was understandable, though, and nobody could blame them, since the contestant was a very attractive young lady. She just didn't look the part of a plumber! However, they did redeem themselves when Arlene correctly guessed that the second contestant built chicken coops. After the game, he promised to send them each a five pound box of frozen chicken breasts. Steve was also successful in guessing that the mystery guest was Fred MacMurray. During the 1950s, MacMurray would become associated with Walt Disney Studios and would appear in several of their films, including classics such as 1959's "The Shaggy Dog" and 1961's "The Absent Minded Professor." Seven years after this broadcast, MacMurray would appear in the role that he would be synonymous with, that of widowed aircraft engineer "Steve Douglas" in the classic 1960-1972 television sitcom "My Three Sons." Ironically, when he took on the role, he was semi-retired and didn't want to work every day. In fact, he would film most of his close-ups early each season and would pretend to interact with the rest of the cast, who would film their parts much later. Also, "My Three Sons" is one of the few shows to move from one network, ABC, to another, CBS, and still remain successful. It was on ABC from 1960 to 1965 and it concluded its run on CBS, where it would continue from 1965 to 1972. As usual, the panel ran out of time before they could guess that the final contestant was a fire eater and he wound up winning by default. - Sargebri (2004)

    • THE LOOK OF THINGS - This is the first episode with John's new host desk. Now, instead of sitting at an old desk that shows nicks and signs of wear and tear, he has a shiny new desk with fancy new molding around the top and under the flip cards. The new desk has longer side panels which hide John's chair from the view of the camera. No longer will we be able to see the cushion on John's chair that makes him sit taller in his seat than the contestant. For now, the panel desk remains the same. However, on EPISODE #155, the panel too will receive a new desk. - Suzanne (2004)

      Tidbits: Again, no mention of Hal Block. They never made an announcement. During the free guess segment of the first game, Steve Allen borrowed one of Hal's regular lines when he proclaimed, "I think she's a doll." - Suzanne (2004)

      Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Steve Allen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.