What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 2


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Sep 13, 1953 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
4 votes

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Episode Summary

Game 1: Frank Allen - "African Hunting Guide" (self-employed; he is visiting America from his home country of England; he is a professional big game hunter in Nairobi and Kenya, where he is known as a "great white hunter"; he was the technical advisor and the guide for the cast of the 1953 film "Mogambo" which features Clark Gable and tonight's mystery guest Ava Gardner)

Game 2: Mrs. Charlotte M. Durofchalk - "Runs Maternity Hospital" (self-employed; from Johnson City, NY)

Game 3: Ava Gardner (12/24/1922 - 1/25/1990) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Miss Ann Meservie - "Wraps Moustache Wax" (salaried; from Jersey City, NJ) . .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 (3)

      • Steve Allen: (regarding the first contestant) Frank Allen was my great uncle's name -- I think this man is an impostor.

      • Bennett: Good night you African Wolf, Mr. Daly.

      • Steve: Is it smaller than a birdbath?
        John: How big a bird did you have in mind?
        Steve: One of those storks that was flapping around.
        John: Yes, it's smaller than a birdbath.
        Steve: Is it smaller than a breadbig... er... breadbox?
        Ann Meservie: Yes.
        Steve: Is it smaller than a loaf of bread?
        Ann Meservie: Yes.
        Steve: Is it smaller than a large bar of soap?
        Ann Meservie: Yes.
        Steve: Betcha lose a lot of them, huh?

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at four down because time ran out. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) "WML?" ANNOUNCER WATCH: After a week off, Lee Vines has returned to the announcer's microphone this evening.
        (2) "WML?" NAMEPLATE FONT WATCH: As has been the case for the last few months, the nameplates for Miss Kilgallen and Miss Francis are the pre-1952 ones set in Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed, while those for Mr. Allen, Mr. Cerf, Mr. Daly and mystery guest Ava Gardner are set in the usual Title Gothic Condensed No. 11.
        (3) MYSTERY GUEST: Ava Gardner had been married three times; Frank Sinatra was the last of her husbands. He was also the last of Miss Gardner's former husbands to have appeared on "WML?," both as a mystery guest and a guest panelist, within the same EPISODE #838 of November 27, 1966. Both of her other ex-husbands, Mickey Rooney (from 1942 to 1943) and Artie Shaw (from 1945 to 1946), had also made appearances on "WML?" as both mystery guests and guest panelists. As a side note, Ava's "Mogambo" co-star, Clark Gable, never made any appearances of any kind on "WML?"; nor did Humphrey Bogart, who co-starred with her in "The Barefoot Contessa" which came out the following year, 1954.
        (4) "WML?" CONTESTANT PREVIEW WATCH: For the second straight week, on GSN's May 3, 2008 airing of this episode, there was no preview photo shown of one of the regular contestants who was to appear the next week. It was cut by GSN to allow more time for advertising.
        (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Yet again, on May 3, 2008, it was "crunch" time for the end credits, to the rolling eyes of GSN's long-suffering viewing audience.
        (6) Following the May 3, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the March 15, 1965 edition of "I've Got a Secret." Host Steve Allen welcomed back the usual gang of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan to the panel. Singer Neil Sedaka -- whose early "teen idol" fame had only recently passed, and a decade before his big 1970's comeback with such hits as "Laughter in the Rain" and "Bad Blood" -- was the celebrity guest. At the time of GSN's 2008 airing of this episode, they ran their own new commercial break in place of the opening "IGAS" sponsor billboard, which in all likelihood was for a cigarette manufacturer, given the cable and satellite channel's prohibition of cigarette advertising on vintage game shows. This was also evident on the March 1, 1965 "IGAS" episode. - W-B (2008)

      • REVIEW: The panel had a pretty good performance this particular evening. Dorothy got credit for a correct guess when she said that the first contestant was a hunter. Actually, he was a hunting guide, but she still got full credit. Dorothy also guessed that the second contestant ran a maternity hospital. This in itself is ironic, because Dorothy is pregnant! Little did anyone know, the stork would later make a visit to Dolly Mae in a few months when she welcomed her son Kerry into the world. Next up was the mystery guest round, and things really picked up when the sexy Ava Gardner walked out. At this time, Ava was Mrs. Frank Sinatra. Ironically, Dorothy was the one who asked the first question, but it was Bennett who eventually identified Ava as the mystery guest. Coincidentally, Frank Allen, the first contestant, assisted Ava and Clark Gable during the filming of "Mogambo," which Bennett mispronounced as "Mogumbo." Unfortunately, the panel ran out of time before they were able to figure out that the final contestant wrapped moustache wax and she wound up winning the full $50 by default. - Sargebri (2004)

        MUMBO JUMBO: Bennett wasn't the only one who mispronounced the movie title "Mogambo" tonight, as heard during the Ava Gardner segment. Earlier in the evening, during the post game discussion with the African hunting guide, John also seemed to refer to the movie as "Mogumbo." - hankgillette (2008)

        FRANK AND AVA: Things must have been really interesting in the Sinatra household this evening. Of course, mystery guest Ava Gardner was in the middle of her controversial marriage to "Old Blue Eyes" and Frank Sinatra was in the middle of his feud with Dolly Mae Kilgallen. What made the Sinatra/Gardner marriage so controversial was the fact that Sinatra left his wife Nancy, the mother of his three children, for Ava. This upheaval, along with a hemorrhaged vocal chord, almost derailed Sinatra's career. However, if it weren't for Ava, Sinatra probably wouldn't have landed the role of Maggio in 1953's "From Here to Eternity." That was the role for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and the role that saved his career. Unfortunately, Sinatra and Gardner divorced a few years later in 1957. However, even though they were divorced, the two of them remained close. In fact, when Ava became involved in a physically abusive relationship with her "The Bible" co-star George C. Scott, Frank called some of his friends to rescue her. Also, Frank paid for Ava's funeral in 1990 and also left a bouquet of flowers on her grave with a note on it in which he showed he still had deep feelings for her. - Sargebri (2004)

        FRANK AND MIA: Ava Gardner wasn't the only one of Frank's wives to appear on What's My Line? as a mystery guest. On EPISODE #838 on November 27, 1966, when Frank served as both a mystery guest and a guest panelist, his then-current wife Mia Farrow also was a mystery guest on the show. His marriage to Mia was considered equally as controversial as his marriage to Ava, based alone on the fact that Mia was so much younger than Frank. In addition, Frank's current and former wives weren't the only members of the Sinatra household to appear on What's My Line? His daughter Nancy Sinatra made two appearances. Her first appearance was on the February 28, 1965 episode, with her then-husband Tommy Sands. Her second and final appearance was on the August 14, 1966 episode, a few months before her father's famous appearance. - Sargebri (2004)

        BIOGRAPHY: Coincidentally, A&E broadcast an episode of "Biography" featuring Ava Gardner a few hours after this WML episode aired on GSN. It talked about her career and relationships. It also brought up the fact that later in her career, she only appeared in films either when she needed the money or when she wanted to work with her longtime friend John Huston. Two of those films, 1974's "Earthquake" and 1976's "The Blue Bird," which is an American/Russian collaboration remake of a 1940 Shirley Temple film, are among two of the worst films in history according to the book of the same name. - Sargebri (2004)

        BREADBOX WATCH!!! Steve asked his ubiquitous breadbox question during the final game with a slight variation or two...or three...or five! He asked first if it was "smaller than a birdbath," then if it was "smaller than a breadbox," then "smaller than a loaf of bread," then "smaller than a bar of soap" and finally, "smaller than a bar of hand soap." - Sargebri (2004)

      • John states that this is Ava Gardner's television debut. Ava Gardner was married to Frank Sinatra from November 7, 1951 until their divorce on July 5, 1957. Author Kermit Schafer wrote in a game show bloopers book that at this time in 1953, Ava and Frank's marriage was already on the rocks. The following line of questioning takes place during her game;
        Arlene: "Are you married?"
        Gardner: "Yes."
        Arlene: "Are you glad?"
        Kermit writes in his book, "At this point, Stopette, the sponsor, paid for a full minute of silence."
        Although Kermit exaggerates about the minute of silence, there definitely is a pause, and Gardner decidedly doesn't answer Arlene's question about being glad. The camera shows Gardner with a far-away look on her face, lips pursed. Arlene quickly moves to a different question, and the game again picks up the pace. - Suzanne (2004)

      • DOROTHY MATERNITY WATCH 4 of 10: Dorothy Kilgallen is now three months pregnant. No announcement has been made on WML yet. Her son Kerry Kollmar will be born on March 19, 1954. - Suzanne (2004)

        THE LOOK OF THINGS: As we first saw on EPISODE #166, we again see the Stopette opening sequence featuring blindfolds. This alternate opening also features Dr. Jules Montenier, the famous cosmetic chemist. - Suzanne (2004)

        Tidbits: Dorothy mentions that Steve is about to make his television dramatic debut next Tuesday night on the 1950-1955 TV series "Danger," after which Steve draws his jacket up to his neck like an overcoat. Steve's episode was titled "Five Minutes to Die," and also starred his future wife Jayne Meadows. - Suzanne (2004)

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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)