What's My Line?

Season 4 Episode 31


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Apr 05, 1953 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
8 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Miss Betty Shingler - "Cures Hams" (self-employed; she cures the Country Cured Ham which is cured with sugar; she is the wife of the Governor of Georgia, Mrs. Herman Talmadge; from Lovejoy, GA; she stumped the panel)

Game 2: Martin Ritter - "Makes Bridal Garters" (self-employed; he presented John with a lace garter and said, "Here's a Tonight's Fashion original"; from NYC, NY)

Game 3: Red Buttons (2/5/1919 - 7/13/2006) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Miss Sara Marlowe - "Trapeze Artist" (salaried; she works for the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus; Arlene guesses her line by saying "Trapeze Performer" during the free wild guess! Bennett then guesses her place of employment during the free wild guess!; she is a member of The Flying Concellos; John had her show her "strong and calloused" hands; she is currently performing at Madison Square Gardens) . .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 (0)

    • NOTES (5)

      • REVIEW: The panel put in a good performance this evening and went an impressive 3 for 4, which included a very rare correct wild guess. Things didn't get off to a good start, though, as they were stumped by Mrs. Betty Talmadge, who signed in using her maiden name of Betty Shingler. The panel did guess that she had something to do with hams, but Bennett guessed that she smoked ham, which was wrong. In actuality, she cured them using a sugar-based process. The panel had better luck in the second game as Steve, with a huge assist from Dolly Mae, correctly guessed that the gentleman from New York made bridal garters. In the mystery guest round, Bennett correctly identified Red Buttons. Red was on the show to promote his weekly television show. The big shocker came in the finale when Arlene correctly guessed that the young lady was a trapeze artist and then Bennett correctly guessed that she worked for Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. After that, John felt sorry for her and flipped over two of the cards so that she wouldn't leave empty handed. This definitely was a special night. - Sargebri (2008)

        RED BUTTONS: When Red Buttons was being questioned during the mystery guest round, Steve asked him if he acted in motion pictures, and Red answered "no." Of course, this was about six years before Red began his film career. In fact, he would go on to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in the classic 1957 film "Sayonara." - Sargebri (2008)

      • BRIDAL GARTER FUN: After Martin Ritter presented John Daly with the bridal garter, the show cut to a commercial break. When they came back from the commercial, John could be seen wearing the bridal garter on his left forearm. He remained wearing it for the rest of the show. - puzzlingpixie (2008)

        FLIP REPORT: John flipped two cards for the final contestant after her line was ascertained during the free guess segment, awarding her a prize of $10. He stated that they "never let anybody leave with absolutely nothing." - agent_0042

      • (1) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: Besides toying with John's name for the first time, this is one of the first instances of Bennett referring to him as "panel moderator."
        (2) "WML?" MEDIA WATCH: Tonight's "WML?" episode was a milestone in that it was the first to be covered by the national TV Guide in its first issue, dated April 3-9, 1953, featuring Lucille Ball's infant son, later to grow up as Desi Arnaz, Jr., on the cover. On the New York City edition (later designated New York Metropolitan Edition), the listing for "WML?" on WCBS-TV (Channel 2) carried this description after the panel list: "5th place in New York City, ARB." This was a reference to the American Research Bureau, a competitor to A.C. Nielsen in measuring TV ratings. ARB's ratings system would later be called "Arbitron." By the 1960's, Arbitron had become the corporate name as well, and the company became primarily known for their measurement of radio ratings.
        (3) MYSTERY GUEST: This was the first of three "WML?" appearances by Red Buttons; on one of them, EPISODE #470 of June 28, 1959, was when the British "WML?" "chairman," Eamonn Andrews, subbed for John, in what turned out to be the last time Mr. Daly was off the program. At the time of his mystery guest appearance tonight, for which the nameplate reading (what else?) "RED BUTTONS" was set in the usual Title Gothic Condensed No. 11 font, Mr. Buttons was riding high as host of his own comedy-variety series, "The Red Buttons Show," which debuted on CBS on October 14, 1952. In addition, he had a hit on the charts in this year of 1953 with "The Ho Ho Song" (Columbia (4-)39981), while the flip side, "Strange Things Are Happening (Ho Ho, Hee Hee, Ha Ha)," also had a minor run on the charts. His show had a few regulars, including Pat Carroll, who would be a fixture on some Goodson-Todman game shows in the 1970's, including the 1972-1973 syndicated version of "I've Got a Secret" and the wild and crazy 1970's version of "Match Game"; and Paul Lynde who would become most famous as the "center square" on the original 1966-1981, Peter Marshall-hosted version of "The Hollywood Squares." Unfortunately, Mr. Buttons' second season on CBS faded significantly in the ratings, and in 1954 he moved to NBC where he went through two different formats, first as a straight variety show and then a situation comedy. In these combined forms, the program lasted until May 13, 1955. Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, in their book "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable Shows, 1946-Present," characterized "The Red Buttons Show" as having "gone through literally dozens of writers in his quest to find a workable format."
        (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: On its April 11, 2008 airing of this show, for the first time in what seemed an eternity, GSN actually resisted its usual temptation to "crunch" the screen, thus enabling its lucky viewers to see the end credits in their full glory -- and to actually hear the "Rollercoaster" closing theme.
        (5) "NOW, LIVE FROM NEW YORK, HERE IS THE BEGINNING OF THE STEVE ALLEN 'IGAS' ERA!": The April 11, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the first extant episode of "I've Got a Secret" to be hosted by Steve Allen, and indeed, his first solo episode as the regular host, which originally aired "live from New York" on September 21, 1964. Mr. Allen was hardly a stranger to "IGAS," having sub-hosted the much-earlier August 7, 1952 edition; appearing as a guest on June 15, 1955, February 10, 1960 and March 4, 1963; and serving as a guest panelist on March 8, 1961. Besides the new host, this "IGAS" installment inaugurated a new set, designed by Ronald Baldwin, which replaced Henry May's previous set. This updated set will remain in place to the end. The panel lineup remained the same as had been in place since 1958-1959, only the order would be changed. From now until the series' cancellation in 1967, the panel would be assembled as Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan. In addition, Telecast Enterprises, Inc., which had been set up during the 1959-1960 season following Goodson-Todman's sale of "IGAS" to CBS and the previous host, Garry Moore, will likewise remain the production company of record to the end. For this pivotal edition, which on GSN would mark the start of a nearly three-month period where the "Black and White Overnight" block became something of a "Steve Allen hour," the celebrity guest was Edie Adams. - W-B (2008, updated 2009)

      • WOW! Arlene wins a free wild guess on game four! The trapeze performer, Sara Marlowe, didn't even show a look of shock or surprise when Arlene stated her profession. She did, however, momentarily look disappointed when John called off the game. John stated that this is the third time that this has happened in three years. However, Arlene's 1952 interview and later panel comments on EPISODE #216 lead me to believe that this is probably the fifth win. - Suzanne (2004)

        For a list of the episode numbers and dates that the 1950 to 1955 "Wild Guesses" or "Free Guesses" were won, see EPISODE #253. - Suzanne (2004)

      • Tidbits: Bennett introduces John as John "Charlie Boy" Daly. As a youth, John went by the name Charlie. - Suzanne (2004)

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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)