What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 7


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Oct 18, 1953 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
5 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Charles Meshech Frost - "Makes Chewing Tobacco" (salaried; he works for Bloodhound Chewing Tobacco Company, whose brand motto was "A Dog-Gone Good Chew"; from North Carolina, city not named; he said he has a son named Jack, but this may have been a pun on Jack Frost, or maybe he truly does have a son named Jack; there is no way of knowing) Game 2: Mr. Ray Jones - "Bathtub Salesman" (salaried; from Maplewood, NJ) Game 3: Eleanor Roosevelt (10/11/1884 - 11/7/1962) (as Mystery Guest) Former First Lady of the United States from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945. Game 4: Mrs. Edith Hemstead - "Writes Television Commercials" (salaried; from Bellerose, Long Island, NY) . .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)

      • Bennett: (to the final contestant) Uh, this is a service that is, uh, given indiscriminately to both sexes?
        John: Well, we don't like the word "indiscriminate."

    • NOTES (6)

      • MRS. ROOSEVELT: Because of the distinctive quality of Eleanor Roosevelt's voice, she didn't speak her answers to the blindfolded panel but instead nodded to John who put voice to her responses. However, once the panel members removed their blindfolds and the "chit-chat" phase of the segment began, John continued to do all the talking (or so it seemed) and Mrs. Roosevelt got in only a few words. This was very frustrating to viewers interested in the iconic First Lady. - carolcloud (2010)

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant just two down because time ran out. The panel had not come anywhere near her line. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND SET WATCH: Tonight, Remington Rand is the sponsor whose wares are displayed on the panel desk. Also, the glittery, bold "WHAT'S MY LINE?" logo is still hanging over the panelists, though not nearly as prominently emphasized as it had been during the stretch from EPISODE #165 to EPISODE #167.
        (2) MYSTERY GUEST: This was the only "WML?" appearance of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. For this occasion, her nameplate on the panel moderator's desk is set in the usual Title Gothic Condensed No. 11 font. In keeping with her status, her plaque reads "MRS. ROOSEVELT."
        (3) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: After the end-of-show plug for Stopette/Finesse, "WML?'s" end credits once more cut short after the showing of the "In Association with the CBS Television Network" slide card graphic, as had been the case last week. Also, GSN, on its May 8, 2008 screening of this vintage episode, continued its assault on the viewers' senses by its pathetically persistent and cruelly consistent "crunching" of the end credits.
        (4) Following the May 8, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN reran the April 19, 1965 edition of "I've Got a Secret" with host Steve Allen, the usual panel of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan, and celebrity guest Woody Allen. During Woody's segment, he provided one of the earliest examples on television of his talent for playing the clarinet by performing a duet with Miss Myerson playing the flute. For decades afterwards, Woody performed on clarinet in person every Monday night at various New York venues, and he continued to display his musical accomplishments on additional TV appearances and live various engagements throughout the world. - W-B (2008)

      • JOHN'S FINGER SPLINT: On tonight's episode only, John Daly is wearing a wooden or plastic finger splint on his left index finger. The splint, which resembles a Popsicle stick, is bandaged to his finger in three places. John was not shy about letting the camera see his splint, but no explanation was offered as to how he injured his finger. John evidently recovered swiftly, because the splint is not worn on next week's episode. - Suzanne (2008)

        DOROTHY MATERNITY WATCH 5 of 10: Dorothy Kilgallen is now four months pregnant. No announcement has been made on WML yet. Her son Kerry Kollmar will be born on March 19, 1954. - Suzanne (2004)

        TONIGHT!: Dorothy mentioned that Steve Allen's "Tonight!" show starts at 11:20 PM each weekday evening. It seems like a strange starting time, but maybe a nightly news program ran from 11:00 PM to 11:20 PM. - Suzanne (2004)

        TONIGHT!: Steve Allen's "Tonight!" series was at first a local NYC program only, shown on the local NBC affiliate WNBT, until it went national on September 27, 1954. "Local news" in the early 1950s was still very much in its infancy, so there was probably only 20 minutes or so that WNBT could produce (if any at all) to air before "Tonight!" In fact, during Johnny Carson's first few years of hosting, "The Tonight Show" actually began at 11:15 PM, and in 1967 Johnny refused to do the 11:15 PM until 11:30 PM portion since by that point in time, he didn't have 100% network clearance, due to the fact that some stations still had 15 minutes of news, and others had the full half-hour of news. - Gus Splittorf (2004)

      • REVIEW: The panel did really well this particular evening. Bennett figured out that the first contestant made chewing tobacco with the panel only getting two "no's." Of course, the part that got the most laughs was when Steve asked if Arlene could use this product, which would definitely be a sight. It was then Dorothy's turn to score a win for the panel as she figured out that the second contestant sold bathtubs. Dolly Mae also did a good job in figuring out that the mystery guest was "First Lady to the World" Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt was on the show to promote United Nations Week. Unfortunately, the panel's luck ran out when they ran out of time before they could figure out that the final contestant was a writer of commercials. As a result, she won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2004)

        MRS. ROOSEVELT: Eleanor Roosevelt was probably the most popular First Lady in American history. Of course, she was the face of her husband after he became crippled with polio. She would often travel the country to campaign for him and make speeches on his behalf. She also was a great champion of civil rights. After her husband Franklin's death, she became active in the formation of the United Nations, which her husband was planning to start after World War II. She eventually became a spokeswoman for the organization up until her death in November 1962. She truly was the "First Lady to the World." - Sargebri (2004)

        BREADBOX WATCH!!! Though Steve Allen's now-famous breadbox question wasn't used, Dorothy did ask the bathtub salesman if his product was bigger than a birdbath. - Sargebri (2004)

        JACK FROST: During his sign in, when Charles Frost interjected that he had a son named Jack, nobody - not John Daly, not even punster Bennett Cerf - acknowledged the humor in the name. "I have a son named Jack," means he named his kid Jack Frost! His son would have been a perfect contestant for "The Name's the Same"! - Lee McIntyre (2004)

        RESPECTFUL: Out of respect, in deference to the wife of the former U.S. President, all members of the panel, including the ladies, stood to shake Mrs. Roosevelt's hand. This is a rare occurrence on What's My Line? - Lee McIntyre (2004)

      • Eleanor Roosevelt, at age 69 on this game show appearance, promoted the 8th annual observance of United Nations Week. She explained that this special week exists to prepare for United Nations Day. United Nations Day was established to commemorate the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, and is held each year on October 24th. Eleanor's husband, former president Franklin D. Roosevelt, died in 1945. They had 6 children, although one of them died as an infant. Their son, James Roosevelt, makes three 1958-1959 What's My Line? appearances. He appears once as a mystery guest and twice as a guest panelist. - Suzanne (2004)

        In his 1978 WML book, Gil Fates explained that mystery guests were paid a fee of $500. He didn't say whether this was the full amount or if it was in addition to their game winnings. Gil wrote, "We did deviate from our established policy twice." Once was in 1953 for Eleanor Roosevelt, who asked that $1000 be voluntarily donated to the charity UNICEF. Gil goes on to say, "But one other lady actually demanded, and got, $1000 for her appearance. I have no intention of revealing her identity." And to this day, the identity of the second recipient is still a mystery! - Suzanne (2004)

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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)