What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 17


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Dec 27, 1953 on CBS



  • Notes

    • REVIEW: This was a pretty fun episode. Bennett gave a particularly funny introduction when he said that this was the first time in four days that John didn't have some sort of award. As for the games themselves, the panel had a particularly fun evening. In fact, the first two contestants had very appropriate occupations, considering that four days later, America would be ringing in the New Year. Bennett nearly had the first contestant, but was given a "no" because of a technicality. He called him a champagne dealer instead of a salesman. This left the door wide open for Dorothy to make the correct guess. The next game provided the only hiccup of the night when the panel ran out of time while trying to guess the occupation of the second contestant. He was appropriate due to the fact that many people would be using his ice bags to try to ease their celebration hangovers. The mystery guest was the panel's compatriot, Steverino. He was greeted with wild applause when he stepped from behind the curtain. After he was identified, the panel didn't hide the fact that they were extremely surprised. Arlene actually screamed with glee! She had the honor of guessing her panel mate, who had both the panel and the audience in stitches by using several different voices to fool the panel. For the final game, the audience got a real treat as for the first time in the show's history, unless it was done on any of the "lost" episodes, five people, Dorothy, Steve, Arlene, Bennett as well as guest panelist Peter Lind Hayes, played the final game. Dorothy put the capper on the evening when she guessed that the final contestant worked in the complaint department of Macy's. This definitely was a wonderful way for the panel to say goodbye to 1953. - Sargebri (2004)

      BREADBOX WATCH!!! Though Steve Allen's famous breadbox question wasn't used in any of the games, Dorothy referred to it in the wild guesses before the second game, when she said that the guest's product probably was bigger than a breadbox. - Sargebri (2004)

      Interestingly enough, Steve wasn't the only member of the panel to appear as a mystery guest. Seven years later, on February 5, 1961, Dolly Mae Kilgallen herself appeared as a mystery guest. She had been off the show for a couple of weeks due to "illness" and wanted to surprise her panel mates. However, what many people didn't know until several years later was that Dorothy was actually in a clinic to try to combat her alcoholism. Also, on the final edition of WML on September 3, 1967, John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly himself would become a mystery guest. He finally got a chance to do something that he had always wanted to do, and that was to try to pull a fast one on the panel by appearing as a mystery guest. Of course, he was always on stand-by in case the scheduled mystery guest failed to appear. - Sargebri (2004)

      Besides Steve Allen and Dorothy Kilgallen, there was only one other regular CBS-era "WML?" panelist to appear as a mystery guest while still part of the panel: Fred Allen, on EPISODE #267 of July 17, 1955. The beloved radio humorist had been off the show a few weeks due to an operation for an appendectomy, and had recovered quicker than expected. This 1955 episode was also notable in that it was the only extant "WML?" episode to have five games, a frequent occurrence in the "lost" 1950-1951 period. Publisher/panelist Bennett Cerf didn't make any mystery guest appearances during the show's CBS run, but did appear as a mystery guest within the second week of the syndicated "WML?" in 1968. Only Arlene Francis never made any appearances as a mystery guest, either on CBS or in syndication. - W-B (2008)

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