What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 39


Aired Daily 12:00 AM May 30, 1954 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Mrs. Helen Cutillo - "Drives Trolley Car" (salaried; she works for the privately-owned Philadelphia Transit System; from Philadelphia, PA)

Game 2: Ferd T. Hopkins (Ferdinand T. Hopkins, Jr.) - "Makes Seasick Remedy" (self-employed; elderly; his medication for seasickness comes in capsule form; although the name of his pharmaceutical product was not mentioned on the air in 1954, a 2008 net search reveals it was named "Mother Sill's Seasick Remedy"; from Somers, NY, in New York's Westchester County; the Hopkins Farm was known as the "Muscoot Farm on the Muscoot River")

Game 3: Eartha Kitt (1/17/1927 - 12/25/2008) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Miss An'a Tarasevich (she included the apostrophe in her first name) - "Owns & Operates Bar" (self-employed; from Newark, NJ) . .moreless

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John Daly

John Daly

Moderator (1950-1967)

Arlene Francis

Arlene Francis

Regular Panelist (1950-1967)

Bennett Cerf

Bennett Cerf

Regular Panelist (1951-1967)

Dorothy Kilgallen

Dorothy Kilgallen

Regular Panelist (1950-1965)

Steve Allen

Steve Allen

Regular Panelist (1953-1954)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Dorothy: (regarding Eartha Kitt) I am thinking of somebody who is rather -- is rather prominently connected with Santa Claus and I don't mean the one who saw mommy kissing.

    • Dorothy: Are you a woman?
      Eartha: (makes a shrill whistle sound, but does not speak)
      Dorothy: A bird woman.

  • NOTES (5)

    • EARTHA KITT -- A TALENT SPANNING THE AGES: This episode featured the first of three mystery guest appearances on What's My Line? by Eartha Kitt. Read more about her in the notes to EPISODE #472 of July 12, 1959. - agent_0042 (2008)

      FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at seven down because time was running short. The panel ascertained this contestant's line just as he was performing his flip. John flipped them all for the second contestant at six down. In this case, the panel was able to ascertain that the contestant made some sort of remedy in capsule form, but they could not identify the exact malady it treated. Finally, John flipped the cards for the final contestant at three down, but Arlene did figure out that she was involved in some way with a bar. On the whole, despite all of the regular contestants winning the full prize, the panel did rather well for the evening. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: For the first time since EPISODE #205, Remington is back in harness as alternating sponsor.
      (2) MYSTERY GUEST EARTHA KITT: Tonight's episode is the first of three appearances, all as mystery guest, by legendary songstress Eartha Kitt. Her other appearances were on EPISODE #472 of July 12, 1959 and EPISODE #574 of July 23, 1961. For her mystery guest spot this evening, Miss Kitt's nameplate on the panel moderator's desk is set in the regular Title Gothic Condensed No. 11.
      (3) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: GSN, on the June 7, 2008 presentation of this episode, yet again forced its captive viewing audience to endure their malevolently malicious and maddeningly mischievous "crunching" of the end credits.
      (4) Following GSN's June 7, 2008 airing of tonight's show, the cable and satellite channel ran an edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Steve Allen, which originally emanated "live from New York" on February 14, 1966. The panel on this episode consisted of Betsy Palmer, Arthur Godfrey (filling in for vacationing Bill Cullen), Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan. The celebrity guest was Phyllis Diller, who brought along her dress designer; Miss Diller's secret was that she had just been named among the ten worst-dressed women in the nation. Towards the end of this "IGAS" installment, famed songwriter Harry Ruby appeared on stage to play and sing a few excerpts of his more famous compositions on the piano. - W-B (2008)

    • An'a Tarasevich has a lovely name. I haven't seen it spelled that way in years, as transliteration of Eastern European languages has changed. The Slavic form is usually Anja or Anya now, though her name could even be a variant of Anka. - Dan Albertson (2005)

      Tonight's reference to the ongoing Army-McCarthy hearings: There is one reference made to The Army-McCarthy hearings on this episode. When John goes into a huddle with the lady trolley driver, Steve wisecracks, "Just like Cohn and McCarthy." McCarthy's assistant, Roy Cohn, was often seen whispering into the Senator's ear during the hearings. - stopette (2005)

      As the lady trolley driver from Philadelphia leaves, Bennett asks her if they still had streetcars there. John says, "yes," and adds that it's a profit-making concern because the system in Philly is a private company. However, that is no longer so, as it has ceased being a private company. Until about 1970, the PTC, or Philadelphia Transit Company, ran the buses and streetcars, but now it's all been consumed by the taxpayer-paid regional SEPTA (South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) which includes the passenger trains as well. Even today in 2005, there are still some existing Philly streetcar routes. - stopette (2005)

      In her questioning of Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Kilgallen asks, "Are you famous for your fondness for and relationship to Santa Claus?" This question seems to puzzle both Eartha and John, in spite of the fact that Eartha released a huge pop single just six months before, "Santa Baby." The lyrics are outrageously materialistic and the song, done tongue-in-cheek in Eartha's sultry peek-a-boo style, will still be heard at Christmases half a century later. - Lee McIntyre (2005)

      The lyrics can be seen here:


    • REVIEW: The panel had a terrible night this particular evening. The panel was marginally successful as they figured out that the first contestant was a trolley car driver, but the contestant still won the full prize as time had run out. They also ran out of time while they were questioning the second contestant who made seasick pills. However, Dolly Mae, who would be leaving for a two-week European vacation, gave a great performance when she correctly guessed that the mystery guest was Eartha Kitt. What really made it special was that Dorothy did it without getting a single "no." Unfortunately, the panel did revert to form as they ran out of time while questioning the bar owner and she wound up winning the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

      Mystery guest Eartha Kitt was once described by Orson Welles as "the most exciting woman in the world." In 1967, Kitt would replace Julie Newmar in the "Batman" television series role of "Catwoman." Newmar was forced to give up the sexy role due to her unavailability while filming the motion picture "Mackenna's Gold." However, in 1968, Miss Kitt was involved in a very huge controversy. While visiting the White House, Miss Kitt made several remarks in opposition to the war in Vietnam. When Lady Bird Johnson heard these comments, she began to cry. As a result of the bad press and eventual blacklisting that followed, Kitt was virtually exiled from the United States. She moved to Europe, where she lived and worked for the next ten years. She eventually returned to America and is still going strong, well into her seventies. - Sargebri (2005)

    • ALOHA JOHN: John made it back safe and sound from his trip to Honolulu, Hawaii. He said he had a fun time, and advocated that the United States grant Hawaii statehood. The Hawaiian Islands became a U.S. territory in 1900 and were admitted as the 50th state in 1959. - Suzanne (2005)

      Tidbits: It is mentioned that Dorothy will be absent for the next two episodes. We are told that she'll be going to Europe, but no reasons why are given. During the goodbyes, Dorothy told us that her friend Margaret Truman will be temporarily taking her place on the panel. - Suzanne (2005)

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


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