What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 17


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



  • Notes

    • 1) The panel has fun guessing the occupation of Alfred Laurence, the champagne salesman. (With so many New Year's Eve toasts to be made just four days after this show's original broadcast, how appropriate to have an occupation dealing with champagne!) Bennett elicits that the product might make a glamorous woman appear more appealing and glamorous, or under certain circumstances, might make her less glamorous. However, John takes exception to Mr. Laurence when Dorothy Kilgallen asks, "Is this anything that would either alter, improve, or reveal, or conceal a woman's figure?" and Mr. Laurence replies, "Under certain circumstances!"
      2) A second "seasonal" guest is the complaint adjuster for Macy's Department Store, who of course is very busy this December 27, 1953, just two days after Christmas. The panel guesses her occupation in record time, under two minutes. Of course, the panel is larger than normal, for by this time Steve has JOINED (not replaced) Peter Lind Hayes on the panel, so we have five panelists crammed into four chairs. Great fun!
      3) Everyone is in good form this evening, and there are too many funny lines to catalog them all. One stands out, however. After determining that the product of the second guest (ice bags) could be said to be "worn" on the head, Bennett calls a conference. Peter wonders aloud, "What about medicinal? Like a corn plaster?" Bennett replies, "You couldn't wear that on the head." Peter shoots back, "Well you could. It all depends on where you get corny!" ... Now THAT'S corny! - Lee McIntyre (2004)

      STEVE ALLEN: Steve Allen was born the day after Christmas, 1921 and died of an apparent heart attack the day before Halloween, 2000. He was 78. In his entertainment career, he was impresario, radio host, TV entertainer, composer, musician, businessman (owned a motorcycle shop), actor, singer, author and more. During a portion of his WML stint in 1953, Steve was also master of ceremonies of Arlene Francis' "Talent Patrol" program. Andy Williams once said, "Steve did so many things, he's the only man I know who's listed on every one of the Yellow Pages." While Steve's wit was at times nearly as off-the-wall as that of Ernie Kovacs or Soupy Sales, his contributions to the entertainment media seem to this observer to have been much broader, more long lasting, substantial, and - if you'll pardon the word - uplifting. Steve's last book was "Vulgarians at the Gate: Raising the Standards of Popular Culture," a provocative assessment of the tastelessness of popular culture. He completed the book only days before his death. It was published posthumously in 2001, received terrific reviews, and rose to #7 on the Los Angeles Times non-fiction Bestseller List. Steve married Jayne Meadows on July 31, 1954, almost two months before he left WML as a regular panelist. Someone once asked Steve how he and Jayne Meadows had stayed happily married for so many years when show business tries so hard to break people apart. He said, "It's not what I know about marriage. It's that I'm married to Jayne Meadows; and that simple fact makes all the difference in the world." - Lee McIntyre (2004)

      OBSERVATION ABOUT STEVE ALLEN: In another forum ("on another network"), someone asked whether forum members thought Steve was a comedic genius or a big bore. Many members opined that they thought Steve was quite talented but that his comedic talents were underutilized on WML. I'd suggest that to get an idea of Steve's quick wit and versatility, all one needs to do is watch him in action as the mystery guest tonight. - Lee McIntyre (2004)

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