What's My Line?

Season 4 Episode 45


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jul 12, 1953 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • GOOF: Arlene causes an unintentional goof by asking John a question as Mr. Pfiffer signs in, leaving Mr. Pfiffer to stand alone at the sign-in board, hopelessly looking back and forth between the panel and the host desks. John's delay in getting to the board also causes the cameraman to clumsily move the camera back and forth, wondering whether to center the guest or leave him on the left side of the frame, and wait until John comes over to the right side of the frame - Garrison Skunk (2004)

  • Quotes

    • Arlene: (being playfully insubordinate to John) "Now see here!"

    • Arlene: (to Mrs. Bulgrin) Do you work for a specific person? I mean, apart from Uncle Sam?

    • Steve: Do people ever come to you to avail themselves of your services?
      Mrs. Bulgrin: Sometimes.
      Steve: Do you ever reach them through the mail?
      Arlene: What male did you have in mind?

    • Steve: What city did you say you were from? I'm sorry, I didn't catch it.
      Mrs. Leila Bulgrin: I'm from Los Angeles. Tujunga, CA really, but I work in Los Angeles.
      Steve: I'll get in touch with you.

    • Arlene: (imitating Duke Ellington's forced whisper disguised voice) And you always talk this way? Because I don't think you can project to New Jersey.
      Bennett: Maybe he plays in New York.
      Steve: Keep after him, Arlene, I think its Ollie the Dragon. (joking about the dragon puppet "Oliver J. Dragon" from the 1947-1957 TV series "Kukla, Fran and Ollie")

    • Steve: Is this thing an out and out medicine?
      Mr. Pfiffer: Yes, it is.
      Steve: Well, out with it, then!

    • John: (short for time on the game with the contestant who makes sea-sick pills) That's eight down and two to go. Mr. Allen, what is it?
      Steve: (taken aback by John's direct question) Is it a... I don't know! Don't ask me that. I just came in here because it was warm!

    • Arlene: (regarding the sea-sick pills, but using an odd pronunciation of "medicinal") It's for medicinal purposes?
      John: For whaaaaaaa?

    • Arlene: (making a pun on hasenpfeffer, a highly seasoned stew of marinated rabbit meat) Well, I think that first off, Mr. Pfiffer's first name should be Hasen.

    • (During the wild guess, Steve jokes about the 4-F draft status category by substituting the 3 fs in Mr. Pfiffer's name.)
      Steve: I think he works for the draft board and decides who's 3-F.

    • Dorothy: Are there three fs in your name, Mr. Pfiffer? How wonderful!
      John: Alright, Mr. Pfiffer, will you bring the three fs in your name and yourself over here and sit them down next to me.

    • Arlene: Do you do any kind of investigation at all?
      (Mrs. Bulgrin motions John into a fifth conference.)
      Arlene: She's investigated Mr. Daly.

    • Bennett: Mrs. Bulgrin, does your job bring you into contact, either physical or by mail, with members of the armed services?
      (John and Mrs. Bulgrin look at each other quizzically.)
      Bennett: (playfully, because John has already had three conferences with the contestant) No more conferences, now!
      Dorothy: They're working up to one.

    • John: We have had a consultation.
      Steve: I noticed that.
      John: It was fun, too.

    • Bennett: (offering a play on words with "face" and "fez") John, I bet you're a Shriner yourself because your fez is so familiar!

    • Steve: (in his normal voice) Do you...do you play a musical instrument?
      Duke Ellington: (forced whisper) I didn't hear you, Mr. Allen.
      Steve: (imitating Mr. Ellington's forced whisper) I'm not doing so well with you, either.

  • Notes

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at eight down. The panel had been getting close, but time had run short. John flipped them all for the final contestant at five down because time ran out. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) MYSTERY GUEST: For jazz legend Duke Ellington, making what was to be his only "WML?" appearance tonight, his nameplate is set in Headline Gothic. Ten years from this episode, in 1963, his granddaughter, Mercedes Ellington (the daughter of Duke's son Mercer Ellington), made history as the first and only African-American woman to become a member of the June Taylor Dancers, who were a part of Jackie Gleason's long-running Saturday night variety show; she remained with the troupe for the rest of the program's run which ended in 1970. Miss Taylor herself, along with the then-current lineup of the June Taylor Dancers, were mystery guests on EPISODE #329 of September 23, 1956.
      (2) "WML?" END CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Beginning with tonight's show, the old practice of flipping end credit cards, which had been in place from "WML?'s" beginnings, has been replaced by the use of 35mm slides that are transitioned from one to the other by a dissolve. The practice of "dissolving" from one slide to the other lasted until EPISODE #848 of February 5, 1967; from EPISODE #849 of February 12, 1967 to the next-to-last EPISODE #875 of August 27, 1967, the transitions would be in the form of an up-to-down wipe. Alas, as of the April 24, 2008 airing of this episode, GSN's unsurprisingly unwelcome and horrifically heavy-handed "crunching" of the end credits continued unilaterally unabated and with no let-up in sight -- or to put it another way, sigh, it was business as usual.
      (3) Following the April 24, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the January 11, 1965 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Steve Allen, with the panel, as usual, consisting of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan. The celebrity guests were "To Tell the Truth" host Bud Collyer and his panel of Kitty Carlisle, Orson Bean, Peggy Cass and Tom Poston; during their segment, a hybrid of "IGAS" and "TTTT" was played, in what proved to be a prescient forerunner of the format of the syndicated 1969-1978 version of "TTTT" -- which didn't just borrow from "IGAS" in formatics, but also in personnel, with Mr. Cullen and original "IGAS" host Garry Moore (who also hosted the new "Truth" for all but its final season and part of the next-to-last season) joining the "TTTT" ladies as series regulars. This particular "IGAS" episode also came a week before the "Night of the Big Switch" between the "IGAS" and "TTTT" panelists, which will be mentioned in the notes to the following "WML?" EPISODE #164. - W-B (2008)

    • Dorothy states, "On my left, the charming young man who is soon going to start his own comedy show on another network, Mr. Steve Allen." This, of course, is Steve Allen's 1953-1957 late night show called "Tonight!" which starts out as a local New York show. It would eventually evolve into "The Tonight Show" starring Ernie Kovacs, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, and in 2009, Conan O'Brian. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      Steve Allen's new show "Tonight!" was a local late night series shown on the NBC flagship station in New York only. The national network "Tonight!" would not premiere until 9/27/54. - Gary16 (2004)

    • REVIEW: This was one night the panel probably would have liked to forget. The show got off to a bad start when the panel was totally stumped by the very attractive federal prosecutor. She also probably set the record for the most conferences by a contestant. Of course, her looks had nothing to do with this. The panel also was stumped by the second contestant who made seasick pills. Ironically, Dolly Mae asked if they were used in the treatment of hangovers. However, the evening wasn't a total loss. Arlene did manage to save face for the panel when she correctly guessed that the mystery guest was music legend Duke Ellington. He showed off his sense of humor as he answered the panel in an almost formal manner. This probably wasn't an act, because Ellington was certainly one of the classiest performers in the history of jazz. Unfortunately, the panel reverted to form in the final game when they failed to guess that the final contestant was a tea bag inspector. He therefore won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2004)

      BREADBOX WATCH!!! The breadbox question wasn't asked on this particular evening. - Sargebri (2004)

    • Regarding Steve Allen's 1953-1957 TV series "Tonight!" - The show originated as a local New York City late night program in June 1953 and went onto the national network in September 1954. Throughout the summer of 1956, Steve Allen was the only host. When Allen's primetime series "The Steve Allen Show" debuted in the summer of 1956, he limited his appearances on "Tonight!" to Wednesday through Friday. A series of guest hosts filled in until October 1, 1956 when Ernie Kovacs took over as permanent host for the Monday and Tuesday broadcast. The last show was broadcast on January 25, 1957. - J.E. McKillop (2004)

      John mentioned that famed swing pianist, composer and conductor Duke Ellington is currently appearing at The Band Box in New York City. Unfortunately, there is very little post-game chat, as is usual for these early 1950s episodes. John mentioned Dorothy's love of music, which prompted Dorothy to chide herself for not identifying Ellington. - Suzanne (2004)

      Tidbits: Dorothy reported that Steve Allen is soon to start his own comedy show on another network. She did not name the show, which is "Tonight!" Arlene announced that Bennett's column reaches 11 million readers. - Suzanne (2004)

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

  • Allusions