What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 33


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Apr 18, 1954 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • Dorothy tells John that he forgot to flip a card for the arch support maker, so without questioning her, John flips a card. - Garrison Skunk (2005)

      Upon watching this segment, I think it was Dorothy who made the goof, not John. She was seen taking notes during this game, which would have taken her mind off the actual game. John does appear to flip a card for every "no" that was received. It is possible that Dorothy thought that Steve received a "no," but he didn't, he "passed" to Arlene after receiving a "yes." This is probably the "missing flip" that Dorothy was looking for, if she had "done the math" and thought that the score seemed too low by the time the questioning got back to her. - Suzanne (2008)

      It appears that Dorothy was a bit unclear on what was going on. Bennett asked the contestant if his product had any medicinal purpose, to which the contestant responded in the negative. John, however, seemed dubious in the matter, and allowed Bennett to press with a more precise line of questioning. At that point, Bennett then asked if it was any sort of bunion plaster, which resulted in a clear "no" and John flipping a card. Of course, ultimately, the whole thing mattered little, as the contestant won the game by default due to time. In the end, all the cards were flipped. - agent_0042 (2008)

  • Quotes

    • Bennett: On my left, to the surprise I'm sure of nobody, is our superlative news analyst, panel moderator, flipper of five dollar cards -- John Charles Daly.

    • John: Thank you very much, Ed Wynn! A wonderful wonderful guest. I think Bennett will agree, you should have all been allowed to take off your masks!

    • (A conference is called.)
      Steve: I think I got a way we can get it.
      Dorothy and Arlene: How?
      Steve: Next time Dorothy's on, Arlene, you ask Bennett!

    • Arlene: Do you sing?
      (Ed Wynn strikes a slightly off-the-mark note.)
      Arlene: Off-key?

    • Steve: Do you have your own television show?
      John: Would you repeat your question, please?
      Steve: No.

    • Dorothy: Are you playing this violin yourself?
      (With a loud "slap," Ed Wynn hits his cheek with the back of the violin and does a "cross-eyes" head-shaking take before answering Dorothy with a note. The audience and John laugh uproariously, and even Ed Wynn has to laugh, too!)
      Bennett: (off-camera) This is the most fun I've ever had on this program!

    • Dorothy: Nobody has established the sex of this person, have they?
      John: Right!
      Arlene: They're having lunch with Bennett, Dorothy! Let's keep it clean!
      Bennett: Doesn't prove a thing!

    • (Arlene gets three "yes" violin notes in a row.)
      Arlene: You're stuck on that note! You're no Jack Benny.

    • Steve: Is this lunch you're going to have with Bennett a business lunch? In other words, is Bennett going to give you the business at this lunch?

    • Steve: (wearing his bunny mask) My first question is, "What's up, Doc?"

    • Dorothy: Are you an actor or actress?
      John: What other did you have in mind?

    • Bennett: (struggling with his bunny mask) A fine predicament for a publisher to find himself in! I feel like Rabbit Taylor! (audience laughs at Bennett's pun on Robert Taylor) John, I have to start this procedure in a peculiar way. I want you to answer me this question. Because, I had occasion to make a lunch date the other day with someone I like and admire very deeply, and I got the impression, while this conversation was in progress, that possibly this was the Mystery Guest, tonight. And if it is, I don't think it would be cricket for me to go on. So would you please whisper to the Mystery Guest and find out if I'm right? And if I am - I may be way off base - but if I am, I'm going to disqualify myself. And I want to get this thing off, anyhow.
      John: What's the question?
      Bennett: Is this person going to have lunch with me tomorrow?
      (John whispers to Ed Wynn, who nods his head "yes.")
      John: (icily) Take off the mask and retire from the scene. You are going to have lunch. (Normal voice) Alright... Bennett Cerf is disqualified from the game, so we'll begin with Miss Dorothy Kilgallen.
      Dorothy: Well, I guess instead of playing What's My Line? I could play "Who Would Be Likely To Have Lunch With Bennett Cerf Tomorrow?"

    • John: And now we come to the special feature of our program - the appearance of the panel with long ears.

    • John: (after Mr. Ford's line was ascertained) Oh, by the way, one of you had mentioned the swallowing of swords? - Mr. Ford's wife. The Ford family have done very well here.
      Arlene: They're cut-ups!
      John: (laughing and reiterating) They're cut-ups!

    • Steve: Do you perform in front of large audiences, rather than medium-sized audiences?
      Fred Ford: Large?
      Steve: You know... not many people, just big people. (audience laughs, Steve turns to Dorothy) Is the circus still in town?
      Dorothy: Um hum.
      Steve: It is. (turning to Mr. Ford) Are you in any way connected with the circus?
      Fred Ford: I am.
      Steve: I see. (Steve thinks for a minute.) Umm... you're an elephant.

    • John: All right, Mr. Ford, if you come over here now and sit down next to me, we'll give the customary free guess as to what your line may be and we always begin those free guesses with Miss Dorothy Kilgallen.
      Dorothy: (coming close, knowing that the circus is still in town) I think he's a clown.
      John: A clown? Mr. Allen?
      Steve: I think he's connected with baseball. I think Fred Ford works for Ford Frick. (loud laughter from audience)
      John: Miss Francis?
      Arlene: I think Mr. Ford is a farmer in Ohio and sees the corn grows as high as an elephant's eye out there.
      John: Mr. Cerf?
      Bennett: (referring to Ford Motor Company's popular slogan) I think Mr. Ford coined that phrase "There's a Ford in your future."

    • Steve: Let's put it this way... do you not have one of these on right now? You should know that.
      John: Is you askin' if I gots one of these things?

    • Steve: (regarding the first contestant's product) Is this something used more by women than men?
      (There is a single chuckle in the audience.)
      Steve: One man thought that funny. Perhaps he's been used more by women.

  • Notes

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at eight down because time ran short. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH - AND A TURNING POINT: Tonight's show was sponsored by Remington electric shavers -- and is the first episode on which the "jack-in-the-box" opening has also been applied to Remington Rand's products. Up to this point, such an opening was only used on Stopette-sponsored episodes. EPISODE #201 was thus the last episode with the "masks" opening.
      (2) MYSTERY GUEST: Tonight was beloved comedian and actor Ed Wynn's only "WML?" appearance, for which his nameplate on the panel moderator's desk is set, as usual, in Title Gothic Condensed No. 11. However, his son, actor Keenan Wynn, went on to appear on "WML?" twice -- both times as a guest panelist, on EPISODE #402 of February 16, 1958 and again on EPISODE #454 of March 1, 1959.
      (3) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: As always, GSN's cockeyed "crunching" of the end credits continued without interruption when this episode was aired on June 1, 2008.
      (4) GSN's June 1, 2008 airing was followed by an edition of "I've Got a Secret" which was first telecast "live from New York" on December 13, 1965. Host Steve Allen held court with the usual panel of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan, and the celebrity guest was Miss America 1966, Deborah Bryant. - W-B (2008)

    • The Army-McCarthy Hearings will begin in four days on April 22, 1954. During their run, many references to them will be made on WML. - Suzanne (2005)

      Ed Wynn was beloved by audiences from vaudeville to silent films to television in a career that spanned well over half a century. From comedian to serious actor, he played all types of roles, and played them enormously well. For Walt Disney's 1951 animated classic "Alice in Wonderland," Ed Wynn was both the inspiration for the Mad Hatter's persona and was also his off-screen voice. - Lee McIntyre (2005)

      Interestingly, on my cable system, the Ed Wynn "violin" segment led directly into a Comcast commercial which featured a single violin playing - to advertise the poor performance of printed ads over Comcast cablecast ads. - Garrison Skunk (2005)

      Ed Wynn wasn't the only member of his family to have a great career in television and film. His son Keenan Wynn was also a great character actor and would become a familiar face in television and film. Perhaps his most famous role was his brief appearance in the 1964 classic dark comedy "Dr. Strangelove" playing the role of Colonel "Bat" Guano. - Sargebri (2005)

      HAPPY EASTER!!! Even though the panel stumbled in the first game, they went on to have a fairly decent night. In the first game, they were completely stumped by the first contestant who made arch supports. Unfortunately, they were so far off track that John threw in the towel and flipped over all the cards, so the contestant won by default. However, they did rebound nicely when Arlene correctly guessed that the second contestant was a knife thrower. John mentioned that the guest's wife was a sword swallower. Coincidentally, yet another sword swallower was on the show two weeks earlier and managed to stump the panel. This previous guest was probably not Mr. Ford's wife, because she had a different surname. The mystery guest round was a very interesting affair. First, the panel wore special "bunny" masks because it was Easter. The second thing that made it interesting was the fact that Bennett voluntarily disqualified himself because he had a lunch appointment for the following day with mystery guest Ed Wynn, and from a previous conversation, he correctly suspected that Ed was going to be the mystery guest. Perhaps the most humorous thing about the round - besides the masks - was that Ed used a violin to answer the panel, because he feared that his very distinctive voice would tip the panel off. Of course, once he started talking, he was easy pickings and Steve correctly guessed him. This definitely was a fun Easter for all. - Sargebri (2005)

      HAPPY EASTER SUNDAY 1954! In reflection of the Easter holiday, all of the panel's mystery guest masks are bunny head masks, complete with long, upright "floppy" ears and whiskers. - Garrison Skunk (2005)

    • Tidbits: Next Tuesday, Steve Allen will make an appearance on "The Milton Berle Show." Arlene Francis is portrayed in an article in the current issue of Look magazine. Bennett Cerf has a cold tonight - you can hear it in his voice, and John also announces it. - Suzanne (2005)

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

  • Allusions

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