What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 34


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Apr 25, 1954 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • During the middle part of the Ferry Boat Captain game, John Daly suddenly gets a very confused and distracted look on his face. After about 30 seconds, he is back to being his usual jovial self. It has been speculated that Mr. Daly was getting conflicting signals from backstage as to whether there were only two or three minutes remaining for game play in this segment of the live telecast. - Garrison Skunk (2005)

  • Quotes

    • Steve: (using his free guess at the line of the first contestant for a quip) I think this Jack London is an impostor.

    • John: (to the first contestant, Jack London, who would have found himself well at home on "The Name's the Same") I have always enjoyed your books.

  • Notes

    • FERRY FUN: Although John Miller was the first ferry boat captain to appear as a contestant on What's My Line?, he would not be the last. EPISODE #334 of October 28, 1956 (which was seen in 2008 as part of a tribute to Charlton Heston) featured Miss Jean Chapman, who was technically a ferry boat pilot. The third and final appearance of a ferry boat guest occurred on EPISODE #421 of June 29, 1958, where Kathy Gretschman, a female ferry boat captain, challenged the panel. In 2006, Kathy was still living and a news article was written about her appearance on the 1958 program. Thus, John Miller was the only male contestant with an association with a ferry boat. - agent_0042 (2008)

      FLIP REPORT: John flipped two cards for the second contestant at two down, bringing her score to a total of four down. The panel had guessed her line, but John said that he felt that it wouldn't be right for her to receive such a small prize when she had come all the way from California. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: The main sponsor this evening was Stopette.
      (2) This time out, when introducing Steve, Dorothy mentions he has "his own show, five nights a week, here in New York." This contrasts with her incorrectly mentioning his "Tonight!" show in past episodes as being "on another network" -- which won't happen until September 27, 1954 onwards.
      (2) MYSTERY GUEST ARLENE DAHL: Tonight's show marked the first of a total of three appearances by actress Arlene Dahl. She will also appear as a mystery guest on EPISODE #494 of December 13, 1959. Miss Dahl's other appearance on "WML?" was a cameo, on an episode where her then-husband, Fernando Lamas (whom she married on June 25, 1954, exactly two months to the day from tonight's show), was a mystery guest in the first of his two "WML?" appearances. Of Mr. Lamas' spouses, only his final wife, Esther Williams, (to whom he was married from 1969 until his death in 1982), made more "WML?" appearances, including a memorable guest panelist shot on the special "West Coast" EPISODE #397 of January 12, 1958, which emanated from CBS Television City in Hollywood, California. For this evening, Miss Dahl's nameplate on the panel moderator's desk is set in Title Gothic Condensed No. 11, as usual in this period. At the time of tonight's show, she had reached the end of her run as host of the "Pepsi-Cola Playhouse" which ran on ABC from October 2, 1953 to June 26, 1955; she was replaced by Anita Colby, who in turn was replaced in October 1954 by future "WML?" guest panelist and mystery guest -- and early "To Tell the Truth" panelist -- Polly Bergen. Miss Dahl was also in two movies that came out later in 1954: "Woman's World" and "Bengal Brigade."
      (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: GSN's highly vociferous, vituperous and virulent "crunching" of the end credits once more violently manifested itself on the June 2, 2008 airing of this episode.
      (5) Following the June 2, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the December 27, 1965 edition of "I've Got a Secret," with host Steve Allen and the panel of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan. Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong was the celebrity guest. - W-B (2008)

    • STOPETTE REINVENTS ITSELF: Over the past few weeks, during the new "boxes" opening credits, the redesigned Jules Montenier, Inc. Stopette commercials now proudly proclaim: "New Stopette - America's leading spray deodorant with its anti-immunity factor." Anti-immunity factor? One can only speculate that there was a rumor that continued use of Stopette would cause the product to cease working, and their advertising department was trying to counter the claim. - Suzanne (2005)

      MORE ABOUT STOPETTE'S ANTI-IMMUNITY FACTOR: At the time, 1954 newspaper advertising (as seen below) for Stopette suggested that if your present deodorant had stopped working, it might have been because you'd built up an immunity to it. It then went on to state that unlike these deodorants, Stopette would grow in effectiveness each time you used it, thanks to this supposed "anti-immunity factor." - agent_0042 (2008)

      Independent Press-Telegram
      Sunday, February 14, 1954
      Newspaper Advertisement Text:

      NOW, THE DEODORANT THAT WON'T WEAR OUT! New Stopette with the anti-immunity factor... its effectiveness won't fade away. Does your present deodorant still work? Perhaps you've built up an immunity. Now, there's an answer for this "deodorant immunity." Dr. Jules Montenier's New Stopette with the Anti-Immunity Factor. You'll never grow immune to New Stopette. Actually, it grows in effectiveness with daily use. Gives you more and more (instead of less and less) protection. Are you sure your deodorant works everyday? It will, if you change to New Stopette with the Anti-Immunity Factor.

    • HEARINGS: The Army-McCarthy Hearings began three days ago on April 22, 1954. - Suzanne (2005)

      DIFFERENT PICKPOCKET: Jack London is not the "famous plugola master" pickpocket discussed in Gil Fates' 1978 WML book. The man Fates wrote about, Victor G. Perry, appears as a contestant on EPISODE #278 on October 2, 1955. Fates gives Perry the pseudonym of "Mal Fuller." - Suzanne (2005)

      REVIEW: As has happened for the past few weeks, the panel started off slow and made like gangbusters later. The first contestant, a professional pickpocket, completely stumped the panel. Unfortunately, Bennett waited until the pickpocket's game had one question left to go before he asked him if he were in sports or entertainment. If the panel had asked that earlier, they might have had a chance. However, in the next game they were luckier, as Bennett correctly guessed that the second contestant sold bubble bath. During that game, the audience strongly disagreed with John when he said that the bubble bath product did not have a foamy head. Next, it was Dorothy's turn as she correctly guessed that the mystery guest was the lovely red-headed Arlene Dahl. Bennett put the cap on the evening by guessing that the final contestant was a ferry boat captain. - Sargebri (2005)

      ARLENE DAHL: A few months after this show aired, in June of 1954, Arlene Dahl married Latin heartthrob Fernando Lamas. Their union produced another famous heartthrob in Lorenzo Lamas. Lorenzo would grow up to star in several television series, including the 1981-1990 campy primetime soap opera "Falcon Crest." - Sargebri (2005)

    • Tidbits: Theatre Arts magazine features an article about WML in their May 1954 issue. Bennett tells us that Arlene is dubbed, "The flirtatious member of the panel." Bennett also mentions John's previous role in the 1949-1950 television comedy/drama series, "The Front Page." Since this was so many years ago, maybe that's why John gives Bennett the quizzical look. The series was loosely based on the 1931 film of the same name. - Suzanne (2005)

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

  • Allusions

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