What's My Line?

Season 4 Episode 46

EPISODE #164

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Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jul 19, 1953 on CBS
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EPISODE #164
AIRED:
Game 1: Mrs. Myrtle Dobbert - "Dynamiter" (salaried; from Elkhorn, Wisconsin)

Game 2: Mrs. Jeannette DeHon - "Fraternity Housemother" (salaried; she works at the University of Florida; from St. Petersburg, Florida)

Game 3: Ronald Reagan (2/6/1911 - 6/5/2004) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Jim Young - "Bird Bath Salesman" (self-employed; he sells bird baths made of clay and concrete; he donated his winnings to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis; from Mentor, Ohio) . .moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
    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

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Dorothy: (pondering the identity of mystery guest Ronald Reagan) Oooh, I'm torn.
        Steve: I've got some Scotch tape.
        Dorothy: Thank you, Steve. I think I'm going to need it.

      • John: Until we see you again, this is John Daly saying, good night, Dorothy.
        Dorothy: Steve, you should have gotten that last contestant, you're with the birds.
        Steve: Hey, strictly for, as a matter of fact. Incidentally, I'm very sad to tell you that our Lady Dynamiter has been arrested for dynamiting a lady. Good night, Arlene.

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: John awarded the full prize to the second contestant at seven down because time was running out, but he reverted to the old practice of flipping the cards back to $0, rather than flipping them forward to the full $50 amount. Possibly, he might have been distracted by the new look of the cards. For the final contstant, he returned to the now standard practice of flipping all the remaining cards when time again ran out for that game at seven down. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) A PEEK INTO THE FUTURE: Tonight, we see a new "WML?" logo over the sign-in board, positioned where the previously-used Stopette logo had been. Unbeknownst to either cast or crew, this modification was essentially a forerunner of the design of the top of the sign-in board as seen from EPISODE #731 of September 20, 1964 to the final CBS EPISODE #876 of September 3, 1967. In those final three years, "WML?" had completely dispensed with putting sponsor logos atop the sign-in board and instead showed the then-current "WML?" logo -- which, after EPISODE #751 of February 14, 1965, would be the "mod" logo design that would be associated with the program from then on, including the 1968-1975 syndicated run. Likewise, the absence of sponsor product placement on the flip cards also anticipated the future look of "WML?," although by the time this occurred a decade down the road, a different hand-painted typeface would be used for the dollar amounts on the flip cards.
        (2) MYSTERY GUEST: Tonight's "WML?" edition was the first of two appearances by future President Ronald Reagan. On his second appearance, on EPISODE #311 of May 20, 1956, Mr. Reagan was a guest panelist. Less than two weeks from now, on July 31, 1953, he appeared in an edition of "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" called "The Doctor Comes Home," in which he co-starred with the future mom of "Leave It to Beaver," Barbara Billingsley. Among his long list of credits before forsaking acting for politics, Mr. Reagan was in two movies that were released in 1953: "Tropic Zone," which co-starred Rhonda Fleming; and "Law and Order," which was of no relation to the long-running TV cop series of the same name, but rather a Western which also featured Dorothy Malone, Preston Foster, and the future "Professor" of "Gilligan's Island," Russell Johnson. A year from tonight's show, in 1954, Mr. Reagan became host of the anthology series "General Electric Theatre" which had premiered on CBS on February 1, 1953; he will remain with the program, also acting in some installments, up to its last episode on September 16, 1962. Mr. Reagan's nameplate for his mystery guest appearance tonight is set in the usual Title Gothic Condensed No. 11 font.
        (3) RONALD REAGAN ON OTHER GOODSON-TODMAN SHOWS: Besides his appearances on "WML?" and "The Name's the Same," the latter of which was mentioned in Suzanne's notes below, Ronald Reagan made a memorable appearance on "I've Got a Secret" on October 5, 1955. His appearance was considered among the highlights of "IGAS's" nearly 15-year (1952-1967) run on CBS, to the point where it was often featured on retrospectives of most memorable game show moments.
        (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: In the "what else is new?" department, GSN continued with its corruptible and controversial "crunching" of the end credits when this episode was shown last on April 25, 2008.
        (5) Following the April 25, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran an edition of "I've Got a Secret" which was first telecast "live from New York" on January 18, 1965. Host Steve Allen kept court with the regular panel of Tom Poston, Peggy Cass, Orson Bean and Kitty Carlisle -- regular to "To Tell the Truth," that is. As for the usual "IGAS" panel of Henry Morgan, Bess Myerson, Bill Cullen and Betsy Palmer, they were sitting in on that same night's edition of "TTTT." The evening of January 18, 1965 was called the "Night of the Big Switch," due to the "IGAS" and "TTTT" panels trading places. For this special "IGAS" edition, the celebrity guest was Alan King.
        (6) OTHER "IGAS"-"TTTT" CROSSOVERS: Coupled with last week's "IGAS" edition, these two "Big Switch" shows anticipated the future direction of the 1969-1978 syndicated version of "TTTT," with original 1952-1964 "IGAS" host Garry Moore and panelist Bill Cullen in the same respective capacities on the new show, joining Miss Cass and Miss Carlisle from the CBS "TTTT" as the main regulars. For Kitty Carlisle and Orson Bean, this "IGAS" edition was a homecoming of sorts, as it was on "IGAS" in its early months on the air in 1952 that they initially cut their teeth as Goodson-Todman panelists. In addition, Peggy Cass previously appeared on "IGAS" on November 20, 1961 and June 17, 1963, and Tom Poston was on the August 9, 1961 edition of "IGAS." As well, Mr. Poston had his own "sort-of" homecoming, in his case with Steve Allen, due to the fact that he had been a regular on "The Steve Allen Show" prior to Mr. Allen's move to California in 1959. Meanwhile, on "TTTT," the "IGAS" panel in both its 1950's and 1960's configurations made individual appearances over the years. Prior to this "TTTT" edition, Bill Cullen was on the October 19, 1964 installment, and Henry Morgan appeared on the show in both nighttime and daytime between 1963 and 1967. As to the ladies of the first "IGAS" decade, Jayne Meadows made frequent appearances on the "TTTT" panel in both the nighttime and daytime versions between 1959 and 1962; Laraine Day, a frequent 1950's "IGAS" panelist, was on the December 11, 1961 "TTTT"; and Faye Emerson did guest panelist shots on both versions of "TTTT" between 1960 and 1963. From "IGAS's" second decade, Betsy Palmer was in two back-to-back "TTTT" editions on December 24 and 31, 1957, the same year she first became a regular "IGAS" panelist. Miss Palmer would also appear as a panelist on the daytime edition in May of 1967, during a week when co-producer Mark Goodson filled in for regular host Bud Collyer; one of the episodes from that week, which was preserved on color videotape, aired on GSN in 2007 when their "Black and White Overnight" block was only on once a week. Finally, Bess Myerson was on both the daytime and nighttime "TTTT" occasionally, between 1963 and 1967. And at the time original "IGAS" host Garry Moore was tapped to host the syndicated "TTTT" in 1969, he was not exactly a stranger to the CBS version, having served as a guest panelist on the November 5, 1962 episode. Only Steve Allen made no known appearances of any kind on "TTTT." - W-B (2008)

      • On November 30, 2004, GSN aired a July 1953 episode of "The Name's the Same" featuring Ronald Reagan as the guest star. Prior to his game, a teenager appeared who was also named Ronald Reagan, who was no relation to the late President. For the "I'd Like to Be" portion of the show, Reagan pretended that he wanted to be Sir Edmund Hillary, the conqueror of Mt. Everest. The host was Robert Q. Lewis and the panel consisted of Carl Reiner, Joan Alexander and Bill Stern. - Suzanne (2004)

        GSN aired this episode on June 12, 2004 as a tribute to Ronald Reagan's June 5, 2004 death. The day previously, June 11, 2004, Ronald Reagan's national funeral service had been held at Washington's National Cathedral. Reagan's body was then flown to his Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA, where a private sunset memorial service was held as he was laid to rest. - Suzanne (2004)

      • REVIEW: For the second straight week, the panel had a night they would have liked to forget. They totally bombed, no pun intended, when they couldn't figure out that the first contestant had something to do with dynamite. Dorothy came very close, but with one question left to go, she asked if she sold dynamite instead of used it. However, as Dorothy pointed out, it was hard to believe that a sweet, matronly lady could ever blow up things. The panel did equally bad when they were questioning the second contestant, who was a fraternity housemother from the University of Florida. The panel was all over the place with their questions and John threw in the towel and the guest won by default. The evening wasn't a total loss, as Dorothy successfully guessed that the mystery guest was none other than Ronald Wilson Reagan. Little did anyone know that thirteen years after his appearance on the show he would move from being a B-actor and start on the road to becoming one of the most influential figures of not only the 20th century, but perhaps of all time. Of course, in 1966, Reagan defeated then-governor, and 1958 mystery guest, Edmund G. "Pat" Brown for the office of Governor of the State of California. Reagan held the office from 1967 to 1975 and a year later ran, unsuccessfully, for the Republican nomination for president. Four years later, he launched an extremely successful presidential campaign and served from 1981 to 1989. Reagan lived fifteen more years until 2004 when he lost his long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Also of note, at the time of his appearance on the show, he had just married his beloved Nancy. It was also at this time that Reagan was head of the Screen Actors Guild, which many saw as his first step in the political arena. Unfortunately, the panel ran out of time before they could figure out that the final contestant was a birdbath salesman. He then flew off with the full $50 by default. - Sargebri (2004)

        BREADBOX WATCH!!!! Steve asked his favorite breadbox question in the first game. He also asked if the product was smaller than a loaf of bread, and then smaller than a cake of soap. Later in the episode, Dorothy asked the "B" question in the final game. - Sargebri & Garrison Skunk (2004)

        Ronald Reagan made two appearances on WML. The first was as a mystery guest on this episode. He adopted a goofy persona, smiled a lot and made some silly faces for fun. Clips from this 1953 episode are included in the 2003 "CBS at 75" television special. Reagan's second appearance was as a guest panelist on May 20, 1956. - Rick Valley (2004)

      • THE LOOK OF THINGS: The flip cards on this episode don't advertise "Stopette" on them, as they previously had, by showing the outline of the Stopette bottle. This set of white cards shows plain black numbers for the dollar amounts of the prize won. On the following episode, they will be given spray-painted dark borders. Also new to this episode is the "What's My Line?" logo over the sign-in board, which has replaced the Stopette logo. - Suzanne (2004)

        DOROTHY MATERNITY WATCH 2 of 10: Dorothy Kilgallen is now one month pregnant. She probably doesn't even know it yet herself. Her son Kerry Kollmar will be born on March 19, 1954. - Suzanne (2004)

        Ronald Reagan enjoyed himself very much! He used several different voices in an attempt to fool the panel, but they finally nabbed him. Unfortunately, he and Mr. Daly had no post game conversation at all. After his identity was guessed, he stood up, shook hands with John and exited. - Suzanne (2004)

        Tidbits: Dorothy mentions Steve Allen's new record album on Brunswick Records, "Grimm Fairy Tales for Hip Kids," and then Steve Allen briefly holds up a copy of the record and passes it to Dorothy. (More about this record on the following episode guide.) - Suzanne (2004)

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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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