MYSTERY GUEST WALLY COX: Part of the merriment during Wally Cox's appearance was due to the fact that he adopted a gruff, semi-literate persona while answering the panel's questions. In reality, he was a soft-spoken, self-effacing utterly-lacking-in-self-confidence intellectual, who reminds us somewhat of Bob Newhart's early style. Not mentioned during this "WML?" episode was that fact that at the time of his appearance on "WML?," Wally was appearing in the highly popular weekly comedy show on "another network," "Mr. Peepers." (I remember watching the program in the very early 1950s when I was a youngster, and although some of the humor was over my head, I certainly remember the character played by Wally Cox, school teacher "Robinson Peepers.") The series also featured another actor familiar to "What's My Line?" fans, Tony Randall. Tony's character was "Mr. Peeper's" best friend.
From Wikipedia: (begin quote) Mr. Peepers was an early TV sitcom that aired on NBC from July 3, 1952 to June 12, 1955. It starred Wally Cox as junior high school science teacher Robinson J. Peepers. Others in the cast included Tony Randall as history teacher Harvey Weskit; Georgann Johnson as Harvey's wife, Marge; Patricia Benoit as school nurse Nancy Remington, later married to Peepers; Marion Lorne as often confused English teacher Mrs. Gurney, and Ernest Truex and Sylvia Field as Nancy's parents. The humor in the series tended to be realistic and unforced. The acting style of Patricia Benoit, in particular, was so incredibly transparent that it was, at times, hard for viewers to believe that they were watching actors performing, rather than a hidden-camera view of real life. Running jokes tended to involve Peepers coping with misbehaving inanimate objects and with acutely embarrassing moments. Typical: Peepers sees a hopscotch grid chalked on a sidewalk and, thinking himself alone, plays the game with abandon, only to discover that his girlfriend Nancy has been silently watching the entire time. The episode in which Peepers married Nancy was, for 1954, a blockbuster ratings event, but it also marked the beginning of the series' slide in popularity. Mr. Peepers was aired live, and thus was not preserved except in the form of kinescopes on 16mm film. It was performed on stage before a large audience at the Century Theater, 932 7th Avenue, New York, NY. (end quote)
"Mr. Peepers" might be seen in reruns today, except that the program's producer, Fred Coe, apparently wasn't as vigilant as "WML?'s" Gil Fates, and many of the "Mr. Peepers" kinescopes have been lost to history. To learn more about "Mr. Peepers," and to follow a link to the DVD set of extant episodes, visit the link below. - Lee McIntyre (2008)