What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 12


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Nov 22, 1953 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
4 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Mrs. Hattie Sholes - "Packs Sardines" (salaried; elderly; from Rockland, ME)

Game 2: Everett Meador - "Makes Horses' Feedbags" (salaried; from Brooklyn, NY)

Game 3: Van Johnson (8/25/1916 - 12/12/2008) (as Mystery Guest) No actual game was played due to a leak in the press.

Game 4: Miss Lynne Gordon - "Hypnotist" (self-employed; from New York City, 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)

      • We see a rare John Daly gaffe on this episode. After Dorothy guesses that the occupation of Everett Meador deals with horses' feed bags, John inadvertently gives away the specific occupation when he says the following:

        John: A little cleanup work, Miss Dorothy. What does Mr. Meador have to do with making - uh, with - uh, uh - with feed bags?

        Dorothy: Thank you, John. He makes them!

        John: Very good. I don't know how you learned. Well, Mr. Meador, I flipped a card, so I'll flip a card.

        And with that, John awarded an additional $5 to the contestant. - Lee McIntyre (2004)

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: In the second game, John flipped a single card, bringing it from six down to seven down, after he accidentally blurted out the contestant's exact association with the product. Whether or not John's gaffe ultimately had any effect, however, is questionable, because "makes" and "manufacturers" were usually the first guesses of the panelists when asked to identify the exact line after guessing the product. John flipped the remaining six cards for the final contestant at four down, though not without struggle. After having struggled with the cards throughout the night, the $25 card through the $50 card came off one of the rings, and were left hanging lopsidedly, as if they had been hypnotized by the final contestant. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight, Stopette is the opening sponsor whose product is shown on the panel desk, sign-in board and flip cards.
        (2) In a sad coincidence, tonight's show aired exactly ten years to the day before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
        (3) WOULD-BE MYSTERY GUEST: Though his would-be mystery guest appearance tonight ultimately came to naught, this was nevertheless the first of four appearances by screen legend Van Johnson, the last of which was EPISODE #670 of June 30, 1963. One of his other appearances, on EPISODE #517 of June 12, 1960, marked the beginning of a six-year run for "WML?" at CBS "Studio 52." At the time of his appearance tonight, Mr. Johnson was in three films that were released in 1953: "Confidentially Connie," "Remains to Be Seen," and "Easy to Love." The next year, 1954, he appeared in three films that are considered classics today: "The Caine Mutiny," "Brigadoon," and "The Last Time I Saw Paris." This evening, Mr. Johnson's nameplate on the panel moderator's desk is set in the usual Title Gothic Condensed No. 11 font.
        (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: When aired on May 13, 2008, the end credits sequence of this episode was plagued, as usual, by GSN's foul and fiendish "crunching" of the screen.
        (5) Following the May 13, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the May 24, 1965 edition of "I've Got a Secret," with host Steve Allen and the panel of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan. The celebrity guest was Sam Levenson. The second game featured legendary baseball pitcher Warren Spahn and catcher Doug Camilli. At the time of their "IGAS" appearance, Mr. Spahn was in the middle of a stint with the New York Mets, where he remained until July of 1965 when he moved to the San Francisco Giants, where he would close out his long career; and Mr. Camilli was playing for the Washington Senators. The secret was that Mr. Spahn had pitched against Mr. Camilli when the latter was with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and also pitched against Doug's father, first baseman Dolph Camilli, who was also a Dodger during the team's long run in Brooklyn. This is yet another "IGAS" episode with a truncated opening; however, it is also one of the few "IGAS" episodes where GSN showed the original closing sponsors, in this case, Maxwell House coffee and Dream Whip non-dairy dessert topping. - W-B (2008)

      • FIRST GUEST: The dear elderly Hattie Sholes was so frail she had a difficult time wielding the piece of chalk when signing her name, and John actually had to offer encouragement several times as she struggled to finish her signature. It was heartening to see how gentle the panel was in questioning her. I was surprised Goodson-Todman would risk having someone this elderly on a live network television show. On the other hand, John had almost as much trouble with the flip cards as dear Hattie did answering questions about her line as a sardine packer! - Lee McIntyre (2004)

        THE BATTLE OF THE FLIP CARDS: John humorously "fights" with the flip cards on this episode. They appear to get stuck, and some of them fall off one of the rings. During the first game John says to Bennett, "I'm fixing the set here, you go on, Mr. Cerf." Toward the very end of the show, John really hams it up by standing and dramatically tugging on the cards! - Suzanne (2004)

        More on THE BATTLE OF THE FLIP CARDS: At the end of the final round, John gets so frustrated that the flip cards are binding and won't properly flip, that when he tries to award the full prize to Miss Lynne Gordon when time ran out, he forgets to announce her occupation, until he is queried by an off-camera panelist. - Lee McIntyre (2004)

      • REVIEW: Between the equipment malfunctions, a small boo-boo on the part of the normally unflappable John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly (aka the "Velvet Whip") and the accidental revelation of mystery guest Van Johnson, it wasn't surprising to see John break out in a little bit of hysterics this particular evening. However, the panel did have a relatively successful night. Steve managed to guess that the sweet elderly lady in the first game was a sardine packer. It was also in the first game that John begins to have problems with his trusty flip cards. In the second game, Dorothy managed to guess that the first contestant had something to do with horses' feed bags, but she got help in guessing the line when John accidentally let it slip that the guest made them. Van Johnson showed what a good sport he was when he came out even after both Daily Variety and Walter Winchell revealed that he was scheduled to be the mystery guest. Even though the fun was somewhat spoiled, he still wanted to come out to try the voice he was going to use if they had gone ahead with the game. The final contestant for the night, a female hypnotist, wound up winning her game by default. It was at this point that John forcibly threw over the cards and put an exclamation point on a very fun night! - Sargebri (2004)

        BREADBOX WATCH!!! The breadbox question was never used in any of the games. - Sargebri (2004)

      • LEAKED GAME: No mystery guest round game is played because the identity of the mystery guest had been leaked by the press. John explained that Daily Variety on the West coast first printed the story, and then Walter Winchell picked it up today and also revealed in his newspaper column that Van Johnson was going to be on What's My Line? So, as soon as Van Johnson comes on stage, signs in and sits down, John tells the panel to take off their masks. Van and John talk for a minute or two, and John asks Van to try out his "would have been" WML mystery voice. - Suzanne (2004)

        DOROTHY MATERNITY WATCH 6 of 10: Dorothy Kilgallen is now five months pregnant. No announcement has been made on WML yet. She stood up tonight to shake Hattie's hand, and she is not showing yet. Her son Kerry Kollmar will be born on March 19, 1954. - Suzanne (2004)

        Tidbits: Dorothy announced that Steve was lauded in the current issue of Time Magazine. - Suzanne (2004)

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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)