What's My Line?

Season 4 Episode 32


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

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Miss Sadie Taylor - "Nurse For Baby Chimps & Gorillas" (salaried; elderly; from Staten Island, NY)

Game 2: Mrs. Vera Critz - "Inspects Bath Towels" (salaried; she works for the Canon Towel Corp.; from Cabarrus County, NC)

Game 3: Anna Magnani (3/7/1908 - 9/26/1973) - (as Mystery Guest) Her occupation overlay screen read "Italian Film Star Anna Magnani" and her name plaque read "Anna Magnani & Interpreter" - see notes below

There was not enough time left for a fourth game. - Suzanne (2008) . .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)

      • Dorothy Kilgallen: (questioning the nurse of baby chimps and gorillas) Is it in the simian family?
        John Daly: In the who?
        Dorothy: (coyly smiling at John's mock confusion) Simian family.
        John: I don't...I knew a family named Jones up in... (audience laughter)
        Bennett Cerf: It's a publishing company, Simian & Schuster! (An excellent and early example on WML? of one of Bennett's "so bad they're good" puns, referring to his publishing competitor, Simon & Schuster)
        John: (amidst an uproar of laughter from the audience) Whoa, Bennett!

    • NOTES (5)

      • THE WOMEN OF "WML?" TAKE A STAND -- LITERALLY: On this episode, Arlene and Dorothy stood to shake the hand of Italian film star Anna Magnani. Typically, the women on the panel would remain seated when the mystery guest walked by after the end of the round. On certain occasions, this informal rule would be broken; for example, the women stood as a display of respect for former First Lady and United Nations Delegate Eleanor Roosevelt on EPISODE #177 of October 18, 1953. The reason why this special treatment extended to Miss Magnani is unknown, but perhaps this was done as a goodwill gesture in welcoming her to the United States. - BuzzDawg (2008)

      • REVIEW: This was a rather poor night for the panel as they went 1 for 3 on the evening. In the first game, they correctly guessed that the rather matronly looking lady dealt with chimpanzees. Unfortunately, they were unable to guess that she was a caretaker for them. As it turned out, she not only cared for baby chimps, she took care of baby gorillas as well. In the second game, the panel was again stumped. This time, the culprit was a lady from North Carolina who inspected bath towels. In the mystery guest round, the panel was able to salvage this dreadful night by correctly identifying Italian star Anna Magnani. She was making her American television debut and this was her first visit to the States. She was accompanied by an interpreter who helped her answer the panel's questions. As for the purpose of her visit, she was in town to promote the American opening of her 1951 Italian movie, "Bellissima." She definitely looked as if she enjoyed herself on the show and that helped to ease the pain of a rather dreadful night. - Sargebri (2008)

        MORE ABOUT ANNA MAGNANI: Anna Magnani had just arrived from Italy and needed an interpreter to answer the panel's questions. However, two years later, she had mastered enough of the English language to land the role of a lifetime as "Serafina Delle Rose" in the 1955 film "The Rose Tattoo," for which she won a Best Actress Oscar. Ironically, she almost didn't accept the role. Tennessee Williams had specifically written the part of "Serafina" for her when he wrote the play upon which the film was based on. However, Anna chose not to accept the Broadway role, so the part went to Maureen Stapleton, who won the Best Featured Actress Tony for her performance. However, when the play was made into a film, Anna took the role. Interestingly, when she won the Oscar, she was already back in Italy. She had refused to attend the ceremony because she was still uncomfortable with English. When she was informed that she had won, she reportedly responded, "If you are kidding, I will get up right away and kill you - wherever you are." Fortunately, it was not a joke. - Sargebri (2008)

      • SIMIAN SLIP-UP: During the first game, Dorothy asked if the contestant's line was involved in any way with the "simian family." Both John Daly and the contestant seemed to have a bit of trouble with this term, but eventually agreed that the product (baby chimps and gorillas) was in the general family. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) "WML?" FONT WATCH: For the first contestant's "Nurse for Baby Chimps & Gorillas" overlay screen, the ampersand ("&") was set in Futura Demi Bold, in a slightly smaller size than the rest of the overlay which was set in the then-usual Kabel Heavy overlay font. And for Anna Magnani's mystery guest spot, there were two types of displays. The first was an overlay reading "ITALIAN FILM STAR ANNA MAGNANI" which was superimposed over the sign-in board prior to her signing her name -- evidently, this overlay was set at the last minute, with horizontal lines showing where the typefaces were to be positioned clearly in view. (They are normally in an unseen slot at the top and bottom of each letter.) The second overlay consisted of two nameplates on the panel moderator's desk, one on top of the other, both set in Gothic No. 13, the first reading "ANNA MAGNANI" and the second reading "& INTERPRETER."
        (2) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: After a "too-good-to-last" day's respite, GSN reverted back to form with its scurrilous, scandalous and sneaky "crunching" of the end credits on the April 12, 2008 airing of this episode.
        (3) A DOUBLE-DOSE OF STEVE ALLEN, DAY 2: Right after the April 12, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the September 28, 1964 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Steve Allen, with the regular panel of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan in tow. Singer Connie Francis was the celebrity guest. As Steve introduced her, he noted she was starring in a new picture called "Looking for Love." The film -- which bombed at the box office -- was also notable in that it was both the first and last movie credit of Johnny Carson, then two years into his nearly 30-year run as host of "The Tonight Show," and in later years, Mr. Carson would come to regret having made the flick, to the point where he made an occasionally recurring running gag out of offering to buy all existing prints so he could destroy them. It should be noted that for the rest of "IGAS's" run on CBS, they would broadcast a live edition (such as the previous show) every other week. The alternate week shows, such as this installment, were aired pre-taped, in deference to Mr. Allen's busy schedule and his long commute between New York and Los Angeles. - W-B (2008)

      • Anna Magnani, a popular Italian movie star, appears with a female translator. The translator didn't actually translate each question for Anna, but simply stood behind her and whispered the correct responses into her ear. Anna kept her answers short which hid her accent. During the post-game chat, John mentions her 1945 breakthrough film "Open City" and her 1951 film "Bellissima." In 1956, she wins the Best Actress Oscar award for her excellent 1955 film, Tennessee Williams's "The Rose Tattoo" in which she co-stars with Marisa Pavan and Burt Lancaster. This movie is filmed in English, and Anna learned sufficient English to act the part of Serafina Delle Rose. Tennessee Williams had originally written this role with Anna in mind for the Broadway stage, but she had been unable to accept the stage role at the time. Instead, the 1951 stage version was played by Maureen Stapleton. After you have seen the movie, however, you will forever associate this role with Anna, who plays it powerfully and magnificently. - Suzanne (2004)

        Tidbits: John stated that a recent nationwide survey conducted by "Radio-TV Mirror Magazine" chose What's My Line? as the most favorite panel show. The magazine awarded the series their "Annual Gold Award." - Suzanne (2004)

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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)