What's My Line?

Season 5 Episode 52


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Aug 29, 1954 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • GOOF: John accidentally initially installed Ivy Baker Priest's nameplate upside down. The mistake was quickly noticed and corrected, but not before it was shown on camera. John made a humorous remark regarding the fact that he didn't even have a blindfold on. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • GOOF: Debbie Reynolds' necklace falls off during her game. More info under "notes." - Suzanne (2005)

  • Quotes

  • Notes

    • THE BLINDFOLDS ARE ALL IN PLACE: This was the first time in quite a while that the panel was asked to wear their blindfolds for two segments on the program. During the goodbyes at the end of the program, each of the panel members was seen holding their blindfold over their face. - agent_0042 (2008)

      FLIP REPORT: John flipped five cards for the first contestant after Arlene guessed her line at two down. He flipped all the remaining cards for the final contestant at five down because time ran short. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) STEVE ALLEN WATCH: In three shows from now (or two shows, among the still-extant "WML?" episodes) Mr. Allen's run as a regular panelist will come to an end, as his "Tonight!" show goes national 29 days from tonight's "WML?" episode.
      (2) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WARDROBE WATCH: The main sponsor this evening is Stopette. And for the first time in about a month, Bennett is back to wearing dark jackets.
      (3) A FIRST? - This may be one of the first "WML?" episodes, if not the first, to incorporate the use of a camera zoom lens, as seen utilized during the shots with Mr. Daly, the regular contestants, and the mystery guests.
      (4) MYSTERY GUEST NAMEPLATE WATCH: United States Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest's nameplate appears to be set in Title Gothic Condensed No. 11; however, due to the nature of the kinescope recording, it is unclear if it was all metal-foundry set, or partly typeset and partly handwritten, especially the way the "P" in her surname is presented on her plaque. As for Debbie Reynolds' nameplate, it is definitely set in the font in question.
      (5) MORE ON THE FIRST MYSTERY GUEST: Besides being U.S. Treasurer from 1953 to 1961, Ivy Baker Priest is also known as the mother of Pat Priest who was the second actress to play "Marilyn Munster" (replacing Beverly Owen after the first thirteen episodes) on the 1964-1966 CBS sitcom "The Munsters."
      (6) MORE ON THE SECOND MYSTERY GUEST: Debbie Reynolds makes the first of a total of five "WML?" appearances this evening. Most of her appearances on the show, up to her final appearance on EPISODE #702 of March 1, 1964, were as a mystery guest; however, Miss Reynolds made one memorable guest panelist appearance, on EPISODE #550 of February 5, 1961, on which Dorothy Kilgallen appeared as a mystery guest, after Dorothy's being treated for what today would be called "substance abuse." At the time of Debbie's mystery guest spot tonight, she was in two films released in 1954, "Susan Slept Here" (as "Susan Beauregard Landis") and "Athena" (as "Minerva Mulvain").
      (7) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: While tonight's show may have been known for a technical breakthrough, for GSN, on its June 20, 2008 airing of this episode, it was the "same old, same old," with its cavalier and contemptible "crunching" of the end credits once again maliciously manifesting itself.
      (8) Right after the June 20, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the June 13, 1966 edition of "I've Got a Secret" with host Steve Allen and the regular panel of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan. The celebrity guest was Robert Goulet. It should be noted that due to a production error on the original airing, the overlay which displayed the program staff was shown twice during the end credits, with the overlay displaying the production supervisor, associate director and stage managers shown in-between. - W-B (2008)

    • WARDROBE MALFUNCTION: When the cards are at $10 down, John Daly calls for a conference with Debbie Reynolds. Right after they confer, Debbie's pearl choker necklace falls off, but she immediately catches it on her chest and professionally carries on as if nothing had happened. - Suzanne (2005)

      REVIEW: After an impressive start, the panel batted .500 this particular evening. Arlene got things rolling when she figured out that the matronly-looking first contestant was a bouncer. Also, because she only won $10, John flipped over a few more cards so she wound up with $35. For the second game, the panel was asked to blindfold themselves for fear that they might recognize the second guest, United States Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest. The plan worked a little too well, as they were totally stumped by her. After the game, John asked if she could sign some $100 bills he was carrying! Mrs. Priest quickly and humorously responded, "I never sign anything on Sundays." Debbie Reynolds had the panel going for a couple of minutes with her phony European accent. However, when Bennett asked if she were seen on the covers of several newspapers smooching it up with her then-boyfriend Eddie Fisher, she knew the jig was up. After the round, Eddie came out from backstage for a couple of minutes and waved at the audience. Unfortunately, the panel ran out of time with the phone booth salesman and he won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

      Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher really looked like a happy couple this particular evening. A year later, they would marry. Unfortunately, in 1959, a few years after this episode aired, Eddie would leave "America's Sweetheart" for Elizabeth Taylor, who was the widow of his close friend Mike Todd. The story behind the whole episode is that when Todd was killed in a plane accident, Eddie and Debbie would visit Liz every day to keep her company. However, as this was going on, Eddie and Liz were growing extremely close. They eventually fell in love and Eddie left Debbie for Liz. This immediately snowballed into one of the biggest scandals in Hollywood history. As a result, Eddie received a lot of negative press and his career was all but destroyed. Yet another Eddie Fisher scandal occurred a few years later, when Liz dumped Eddie for Richard Burton during the filming of "Cleopatra." - Sargebri (2005)

    • DEBBIE: As of February 2005, Debbie Reynolds is one of the relatively few mystery guest stars who is still living. At age 72, she was welcomed just a few months ago into the Casino Legends Hall of Fame at the Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. She is as beautiful today as she was fifty years ago when she was known as America's Sweetheart. For a picture of Debbie Reynolds, probably taken in 2004, visit the URL below. - Lee McIntyre (2005)


      U.S. Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest was in office from January 28, 1953 to January 20, 1961. After her eight years in national office, Priest continued her political career in California, where she successfully ran for state treasurer in 1966 and again in 1970. She became the first woman elected to a statewide office in California, serving alongside Gov. Ronald Reagan. - Suzanne (2005)

      Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds were married from September 1955 until their divorce in May 1959. - Suzanne (2005)

    • Tidbits: Dorothy tells us that Steve Allen is a "bracelet snapper," which gives us a small clue about Steve's playful personality. - Suzanne (2005)

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

  • Allusions

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