What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 28


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 14, 1954 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • MASKS: Arlene's mask is usually moderately decorated with designs which look like closed eyes, whereas Dorothy's mask is usually plain satin. Tonight, however, Arlene's mask is very heavily decorated. - cattaur (2008)

  • Quotes

    • Dorothy:(to Mr. Nance) Do you have something to do with those big, dead whales they take around the country, showing?
      John: (nodding yes and then Mr. Nance whispers something to John) Mr. Nance says, Dorothy, he wishes you were home this week, having your baby.
      Dorothy: (laughing) So do I.

    • John: (saying good night to Satchmo and referring to an unused gambit by Louis Armstrong to disguise his voice with a high-pitched falsetto) Why don't you let me say "thank you." Uh, I'm only sorry you aren't going to be here with us longer. I wish you could've gotten higher, but why don't you go over and say hello to the folks on the panel?
      Louis Armstrong: Well, I'll get higher next time, then.

  • Notes

    • FREE PABST PLUG: After Bennett learns that Miss Audrey Conti is employed by Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery, Steve Allen pops the off-camera question, "What'll you have, Bennett?" This is a reference to a Pabst TV and radio commercial that was very familiar to listeners in 1954. The musical jingle, sung to a tune similar to "Ten Little Indians," had the following lyrics: "What'll you have? Pabst Blue Ribbon! / What'll you have? Pabst Blue Ribbon! / What'll you have? Pabst Blue Ribbon! / Pabst Blue Ribbon beer." - Lee McIntyre (2008)

    • SPELLING OUT THE RULES: John notes in this episode that viewers have been criticizing him for always explaining the rules of the game to each contestant before their game begins. He states that he is worried that there might be somebody who doesn't fully understand how the scoring works. Indeed, in the future, John will begin a practice of simply asking contestants if they're familiar with the rules. Finally, towards the end of What's My Line?'s original CBS run, even this was dropped, with John no longer referring to the rules unless he had reason to believe that the guest might be unfamiliar with them, such as would be the case with a guest from a foreign country. - agent_0042 (2008)

      FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at seven down. John noted at the outset of this game that they were trying something a bit different with this game, given that they had so much time. Indeed, normally there was only a few minutes remaining for these final games, but due to the fact that both of the first two regular contestants and mystery challenger Louis Armstrong were guessed so quickly, there was plenty of time left for this final game. The panel, however, never quite got a handle on this contestant's product, ascertaining only that it was something that could be worn below the waist and above the ankles. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) For this pivotal "WML?" episode, which is sponsored by Stopette, the male panelists and Mr. Daly are attired in the more formal wear that will come to define the "look" of the show for the rest of its days. It is partly (but not totally) due to the nature of the image-orthicons (I-O's) inside the RCA TK-10/30 cameras used at the Mansfield Theatre, where the show originated from 1951 to 1960, that the men's suits appear at times to be a step below what will become their trademark look, with the darks appearing lighter than they actually are. (It is also due to such cameras, or more specifically, the pickup tubes that produced the images that originated from these cameras, that a black aura was seen around shiny white objects.) Another factor was the way men's suits looked up to the mid-1950's, with jacket lapels that appeared to hang down compared with the fashions that would come later in the decade and on into the 1960's.
      (2) MYSTERY GUEST: Tonight's show was the first of two appearances by the legendary "Satchmo" himself, Louis Armstrong, whose nameplate as displayed on the panel moderator's desk is set in a smaller (and somewhat harder to read) size of Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed. At the time of this evening's edition, Mr. Armstrong was appearing in the 1953 film "The Glenn Miller Story" which starred Jimmy Stewart as the late bandleader. As a side note, Mr. Stewart appeared on "WML?" EPISODE #687 of November 10, 1963 as a mystery guest, and June Allyson, who played Glenn's wife "Helen Berger Miller," made five appearances between 1954 and 1961, three as a mystery guest and another two in which she made cameo appearances. As for Mr. Armstrong, his second mystery guest spot, on EPISODE #705 of March 22, 1964 -- ten years and eight days from tonight's show -- engendered considerable backstage controversy due to his performing his big hit, the title song from the Broadway musical "Hello, Dolly!," a cappella, at Arlene's request.
      (3) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: To the surprise of absolutely no one, GSN continued its positively pathetic legacy of "crunching" the end credits when airing this episode on May 27, 2008.
      (4) GSN's May 27, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the November 1, 1965 edition of "I've Got a Secret." Host Steve Allen was back in harness after a week off, for which he thanked the California Supreme Court. He introduced the regular panel "backwards" in counterclockwise order (from the viewer's right to viewer's left) as Henry Morgan, Bess Myerson, Bill Cullen and Betsy Palmer. The celebrity guest was Durward Kirby, who brought a little of the show he was co-hosting at the time, "Candid Camera," to the proceedings. It was less than a year from this 1965 "IGAS" episode that Mr. Kirby was replaced as Allen Funt's co-host on "Candid Camera" by Miss Myerson who, in that final 1966-1967 season, was pulling double-duty, as she was still a co-panelist on "IGAS" which also had the rug pulled from under it in 1967. In addition, in the 1970's, Miss Palmer was one of several co-hosts Mr. Funt appeared with during the run of the syndicated version of "Candid Camera." - W-B (2008)

    • Audrey Conti's name is again referenced on EPISODE #299 of February 26, 1956 when yet another "Pabst Brewery Guide," Miss Denise Fischer, is a guest. - Suzanne (2005)

      On January 10, 2005, GSN preempted and skipped this episode to present the third of a three-episode run of syndicated WML episodes as a tribute to the late Jerry Orbach, who had passed away on December 28, 2004. This episode was last seen on GSN on November 28, 2002. - Suzanne (2005)

      After skipping this episode in 2005, GSN ran this episode in its regular rotation on May 27, 2008. - W-B (2008)

      This episode had the new Jack-In-The-Box opening. During the introductions, Bennett said that John Daly was the "Liberace of news analysts." In game one, Dorothy asked the brewery guide if the product she dealt with was bigger than a breadbox. Her occupation was guessed by Bennett Cerf. In game two, Steve Allen asked the whale exhibitor if his product was bigger then a breadbox. After the audience laughed, he asked if it was bigger than 2 breadboxes. Dorothy guessed what he did. After only winning $15, Oran commented that he wished Dorothy had stayed home this week to have her baby! He was currently out of work. Mystery guest Louis Armstrong signed in as Louis Satchmo Armstrong. Despite grunting his answers so the panel would not hear his voice, Bennett had no problem guessing who he was. After shaking hands with the panel, Louis sang a short jazz song about going to Basin Street - the club in New York where he was currently performing. This must have fooled the director, because when Armstrong walks off, you can see the last contestant already standing by the blackboard. In game four, John said that George looked like a football player, and George replied that he had been one at one time. Time ran out before the panel could guess his occupation, so he won the full prize by default. John said he had hoped Dorothy would have guessed it, because she would be needing diapers soon. There was a Remington shaver commercial right after the second Stopette commercial, just before John said "good night" to the panel. During the closing credits, the former "Masks" logo was briefly shown. This was a very funny show. - ymike (2005)

    • DOROTHY MATERNITY WATCH 10 of 10: Dorothy Kilgallen is now nine months pregnant. References are made on this episode regarding her condition. In five days, on March 19, 1954, she will give birth to her third and last child. She will have a baby boy, who she names Kerry Kollmar. He will have red hair. - Suzanne (2005)

      THE LOOK OF THINGS: This episode features the new "three boxes" "Jack in the Box" introduction for the opening sequence. - Suzanne (2005)

      This episode exists for public viewing at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City. The Museum has 170 episodes of WML. - Suzanne (2004)

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

  • Allusions

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