What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 23


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Feb 07, 1954 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • John pronounces Victor Borge's name as "BORG-ee" at the end of the show. - Garrison Skunk (2005)

    • John makes a rare error during the snake charmer's game, skipping over Arlene to pass the questioning from Steve to David Wayne. He catches his error and then calls upon Arlene. - Garrison Skunk (2005)

    • OH, SAY CAN YOU... HEAR? Throughout the show's earlier years, one problem that plagued both panelists and contestants was their inability to hear one another well. This was due to the desire to avoid any possibility of audio feedback caused by having the onstage speakers very loud. We frequently hear the contestants asking the panelist to repeat a question, and we sometimes hear the panelists, particularly Bennett Cerf, asking the contestant to repeat an answer (especially when panelists are blindfolded during the Mystery Guest segment). This was particularly noticeable last week, when one contestant wore an old fashioned hearing aid. You could see him holding its microphone pack and pointing it directly at the panel. Even then, John would repeat most questions for him.

      Less noticeable, perhaps, are the subtle and not-so-subtle gestures Steve Allen has made for two weeks in a row during the announcer voiceover at the beginning of the show. Last week, during the camera's wide shot of the panel while the announcer was bringing them on, we could see Steve cup his hand over his ear as he shot a look off camera - an obvious indication that he couldn't hear what was being said. This week it is even more noticeable, for after cupping his hand over his ear and getting no satisfaction, he shrugs his shoulders as if to say, "Oh, well. Forget it." It is probably because of the difficulty the panel has hearing, that Dorothy Kilgallen frequently looks offstage to her right when she begins introducing the panelist on her left. Although it sounds to us as if she's taking her cue from the announcer, it's likely that she can't hear him, and is watching for a visual cue from the floor manager, who is listening over a headset. - Lee McIntyre (2005)

  • Quotes

    • John Daly: With John's permission, and yours too, Dave, I'd like to tell a wonderful story. David Wayne and John Hodiak had dinner together the other night and Dave said to John, "Gee I'm terribly nervous, I'm going to be on that What's My Line? program tomorrow night. I've never done that before." And John said, "What, are you going to be the Mystery Guest?"

    • David Wayne: Would you be in a play in which no girl was involved?
      John Hodiak: Yeah.
      David Wayne: Did we play poker last night? (audience laughs) John Hodiak!

    • Steve: Was that a double "no"?
      John: That was a double negative. I'm sorry about it and we won't use it again. We'll split infinitives instead.

    • (After John Hodiak and John Daly hesitate a few moments before replying to a question)
      Steve: (blindfolded) I think he got sore and went home.

    • Dorothy: Is it an animal with four legs?
      John: Uh, Noooooooooooo. 6 down 4 to go, Mr. Allen.
      Arlene: You know what's left, Steve.
      Steve: I guess we can skip over three.
      (Big audience laugh)
      Steve: (continuing) Is it a two-legged animal?
      John: Uh, Nooooooooooo.
      Steve: It's a one-legged animal!
      John: 7 down and 3 to go, Mr. Wayne. I'm going to give you one more minute. Oh, Arlene. Excuse me.
      Arlene: These are animals that have no legs?
      John: That's essentially right. Wait a minute, we have to have a conference.
      (As John confers with Mrs. Aldrich, Dorothy gets a "weenie" and conveys it to Steve by making snake crawling motions with her hand and arm. Steve gets the message, but unfortunately, Dorothy doesn't get through to Arlene in time before John comes back.)
      John: We don't want you to take too technical a position here...
      Arlene: (interrupting) You don't?
      John: ...but I think in the general description, the animal would be described as legless.
      Arlene: Is it an animal found in the sea?
      John: In the sea? (dramatic pause) Nooooooooooo. 8 down, 2 to go, Mr. Wayne.
      Arlene: No legs? How does it get around?
      (The camera cuts to a very puzzled looking David Wayne. We hear Dorothy giggling and Mr. Wayne turns to look. The camera goes to the shot of all four panel members. Arlene, still in the dark says, "What?" To give her a hint, first Dorothy and then Steve start making snake crawling motions with their arms and hands. Arlene then gets it and laughs at herself, but poor David Wayne is still clueless. Steve starts making a pantomime of a snake striking out to bite, to help David out. Arlene, laughing says, It's a snake! David Wayne makes a comical "oh, okay" look to the camera, then turns to John.)
      David Wayne: It just suddenly came to me. Is it a snake?

    • John: Happy as a birddog?
      Eve Aldrich: Yes.
      John: Miss or Mrs.?
      Eve Aldrich: Mrs.
      John: Mrs. Eve Aldrich. Where are you from?
      Eve Aldrich: Waterloo, Illinois.
      John: Waterloo, Illinois. Well, very nice. They had a battle, but they hadn't had the battle there. The battle takes place here tonight and there's the battlefield. Would you go meet the panel, please?

    • Steve Allen: I think she's in charge of legerdemain at the Magic Chef cooking factory back there in Waterloo.

      (This is one of Steve's throwaway lines, and a nice pun, too: Magic Chef was a manufacturer of gas and electric ranges in Waterloo Iowa, and "legerdemain" is simply a five dollar word for "magic." Steve had confused the states, since the contestant was from Waterloo, IL and Magic Chef was in Waterloo, IA.)

  • Notes

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at six down because time had run out. - agent_0042 (2008)

      (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: This evening's main sponsor is Remington electric shavers.
      (2) GUEST PANELIST: Tonight's show was the only appearance of actor David Wayne on the panel, and his only appearance on the CBS incarnation of "WML?" Mr. Wayne later appeared twice on the syndicated version, in both cases as a mystery guest, in 1968 and 1972. Over the decades, David did much television, including the short-lived 1975 detective series "Ellery Queen," in which he played "Inspector Richard Queen," father of the title character who was played by the late Jim Hutton. As a side note, Mr. Hutton never appeared on either the CBS or syndicated incarnations of "WML?"
      (3) MYSTERY GUEST: Tonight's show was the only time actor John Hodiak appeared on "WML?" More than a month from tonight's show, Mr. Hodiak co-starred in the 1954 film "Dragonfly Squadron," in which he played "Major Matthew Brady." His "John Hodiak" nameplate on the panel moderator's desk is set in Headline Gothic. As a side note, his onetime wife, Anne Baxter, never made any appearances on the CBS version of "WML?," but did appear twice as a mystery guest during the course of the syndicated run, first in 1971 and again in 1974.
      (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: GSN was delayed a bit in its "crunching" of the screen during its May 23, 2008 airing of this episode, although the audio of a promo for one of their shows was heard in any event.
      (5) Following the May 23, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the October 4, 1965 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Steve Allen, with the panel on this installment consisting of Bess Myerson, Bill Cullen, Carol Channing (filling in for Betsy Palmer) and Henry Morgan, and Arthur Godfrey as the celebrity guest. - W-B (2008)

    • PUBLICITY PHOTOGRAPHS: Behind-the-scenes photographs of this episode were taken, most likely for publicity purposes. It is very rare to find behind-the-scenes photos of this particular television series. - Brandy Beard (2007)

      KATRINA HODIAK: Here is an interesting tidbit of information about John Hodiak's only daughter, Katrina Hodiak. As of 2005, she is now in her early fifties and is the great-granddaughter of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Her mother, Anne Baxter, is the granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright. Katrina was an actress and composer, appearing in the 1980 film "Jane Austen in Manhattan," in which she co-starred with her mother Anne Baxter. Her father suffered from hypertension and died the year after he appeared on WML. He had been married to Anne Baxter, who also suffered from heart problems and died in 1985. John was only 41 when he passed away and was memorable both on Broadway and in several movies. - dteetime (2005)

    • REVIEW: The panel bounced back nicely from the previous week's bad performance and did quite well this particular evening. Guest panelist David Wayne figured out, with help from Dorothy, Steve and Arlene, that the first contestant was a snake charmer. It was especially funny since Dorothy and Steve were making snakelike motions with their hands to give David a hint. In the next game, Dolly Mae was successful in figuring out that the second contestant made bulletproof vests. David was also successful when he guessed the mystery guest was John Hodiak, who at the time was appearing in "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" on Broadway. The way David figured it out was just as funny, because he asked if they had played poker together the previous evening. Unfortunately, the panel's run ended when they ran out of time in the final game and the jelly bean polisher won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

      JOHN HODIAK promoted his Broadway play, "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial," which ran at the Plymouth Theatre from January 20, 1954 to January 22, 1955 for a total of 415 performances. Hodiak played the role of "Lt. Stephen Maryk." His Broadway co-stars were Henry Fonda and Lloyd Nolan. This play was adapted from the 1951 book "The Caine Mutiny" written by Herman Wouk. A motion picture, also titled "The Caine Mutiny," was released in 1954 starring Humphrey Bogart, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray and Jose Ferrer. The Broadway play only covered the courtroom scenes from the book, whereas the movie covered the entire story from the novel. - Suzanne (2005)

    • JOHN HODIAK of the mile-wide smile appears in nearly three dozen movies in a career that spans just over a dozen years. His last picture, "On the Threshold of Space," will be released in 1956, the year after his death. While shaving in his Tarzana, California home, the 41-year-old will suffer a sudden and fatal heart attack, just 20 months after this week's mystery guest appearance. During this week's episode, David Wayne narrows the field when he asks Hodiak, "Have you appeared in any plays?" "Yeah." "On Broadway?" "Yeah." "This year? "Yeah." The affirmative answer is surprising, for the year began just five weeks ago. In fact, Hodiak appeared in "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial." The play opened at Broadway's Plymouth Theater only 18 days ago. The play will close after just one year. - Lee McIntyre (2005)

      Unless it happened on one of the early "lost" episodes, this is the first time that it has been announced that a guest panelist has been asked to return by popular demand. Last week's appearance by Victor Borge was so refreshing, we are delighted this week to hear John announce at the end of the program, "And now, I think I have a piece of news that's going to please all of you who were with us last week. By public clamor, we have turned again to Victor Borge [John incorrectly pronounces it "BORG-ee"] who is going to sit on the panel with my three colleagues as Bennett Cerf's replacement for next week. We had a great deal of fun with Victor last week, and are very happy we're going to have him back again." - Lee McIntyre (2005)

      YOU WON'T GET RICH, BUT YOU'LL HAVE FUN! Over time, we see WML giving less and less prominence to the prize money to be won, which was never more than $50, in favor of emphasizing the fun to be had. Whereas in early WML shows in 1950 and 1951, great attention was paid to the amount of the prize, last week's EPISODE #192 found John saying in the show's introduction, "We hope that they'll have a lot of trouble so that our guests will carry home some prizes, although the more important thing is that they have some fun." This week, John downplays the prize further, saying during the introduction, "We trust that the panel finds them very interesting and has a lot of trouble with them, so that our guests have some fun and have a small prize to go home with." Eventually, virtually all reference to the prize money will be eliminated, and in its final seasons, when a game is called for lack of time, instead of John saying, "We've run out of time and so you win the full prize by default," he'll simply say, "I'm going to turn over all the cards." The producers finally recognize what we viewers have known all along: The game is not about the prize money (unlike "The $64,000 Question," which will make its debut on CBS in 1955 and "The $64,000 Challenge," which will come along a year later), but strictly about the fun, the banter, and the graciousness of a family of friends enjoying a parlor game and allowing us to sit in and observe. - Lee McIntyre (2005)

      DAVID WAYNE: This week's guest panelist, David Wayne, introduces John Daly by referring to an article about him in the current (cover date February 23, 1954) issue of "Look" magazine. He displays the magazine on camera, showing a picture of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh on the cover. Mr. Curtis will appear as a WML mystery guest next January (1955), during an episode in which coincidentally Miss Leigh will be serving as a guest panelist! (Miss Leigh will make three WML mystery guest appearances between 1954 and 1961.) In addition to the article about John Daly, this 1954 issue of Look magazine also contains a feature about Howard Hughes (of interest during the time of the GSN rebroadcast in 2005 because of the movie about Hughes, "The Aviator," in current release). - Lee McIntyre (2005)

      David Wayne: "I think she's the new manager of the Dodgers."

      Taking his free guess, David Wayne says of snake charmer Eve Aldrich, "I think she's the new manager of the Dodgers." He probably says this because her last name, Aldrich, reminds him of the last name of Walter Alston, hired by Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley to be the baseball team's manager in November of last year. Alston will help guide the team's move to Los Angeles, California, where he will serve as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers until 1976. - Lee McIntyre (2005)

    • David Wayne manages to pull a "Steve Allen" on Steverino himself. For the last round of wild guesses, Steve says, "I think he makes clam chowder." Quick-thinking David then responds with, "I think he clams up!" - Garrison Skunk (2005)

      Tidbits: Arlene mentions that David Wayne's co-star in the 1953 film "How to Marry a Millionaire" is Marilyn Monroe, and that he is now appearing on Broadway in "The Teahouse of the August Moon." Also during the introductions, David Wayne holds up a current copy of Look magazine. It featured an article about John Daly which referred to John as "the man in the catbird seat." - Suzanne (2005)

      David Wayne (1/30/1914 - 2/9/1995)

      Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Steve Allen, Arlene Francis, David Wayne. Bennett Cerf had the night off. He was on a lecture tour in California.

  • Allusions