What's My Line?

Season 6 Episode 12


Aired Sunday 10:30 PM Nov 21, 1954 on CBS



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Robert Q. Lewis: (making a multi-level pun about "codes" and "colds" in his free guess) Mr. Morse cures codes.

    • Bennett Cerf: Well, Mr. Williams, am I correct in assuming you are not related to Governor "Soapy" Williams?
      John: (very slowly) Are you correct in assuming that he is not related to...
      Arlene: (as John trails off) It's too late! It's too late!

    • Bennett Cerf: (when he found out that Ginger Rogers was the mystery guest) Just three hours ago, this perfidious wench threw her arms around my neck and told me she had an important meeting she was going to this evening with executives from United Artists.

  • Notes

    • MORE TIDBITS: In the second game, for his wild free guess, Bennett once again made a joke (as he had in EPISODE #231 of November 7, 1954) about the contestant being involved with peaches shaven by Remington shavers. Unlike that earlier episode where the sponsor was Stopette, Remington Rand was, in fact, the sponsor this time around. Robert Q. Lewis' free wild guess, with full apologies to the second contestant, was that he was unemployed. RQL stated that he had never seen this particular line on the show. For the fourth time in a row, John dispensed with both the panel walk-by and the free wild guess for the final contestant, which now seems to be the customary practice for any final contestant where time is short. The panel ended up guessing him so quickly, however, that they were left with an unusually large amount of time to talk. - agent_0042 (2008)

      FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at just one down. The panel was not in the least fooled by the attempt to disguise this contestant's identity. Governor Williams donated his full prize to the Muscular Dystrophy Association of America. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: For the second straight week, Remington electric shavers is displayed at pertinent points of the set.
      (2) BAD PUN ALERT: There were two such plays on words, each from a different male panelist. First, Robert Q. Lewis introduced Arlene as "the prettiest thing you'll ever find at 'Home'" -- a reference to the daily late morning "Home" TV series that Miss Francis hosted through 1957; and second, Bennett offered a "daily/Daly" play on John's surname when he said that, unlike such Broadway productions as "Fanny" and "Reclining Figure," the panel moderator is on "daily, including Sundays."
      (3) "HOWDY, COUSIN!" Tonight was the first of a total of six appearances by Phyllis Cerf's first cousin, and Fred Astaire's longtime dancing partner, Ginger Rogers. Phyllis Cerf, of course, is Bennett Cerf's wife. Miss Rogers' final appearance, on EPISODE #803 of February 3, 1966, was as a guest panelist; but all other times including this evening, Ginger was a mystery guest. For her spot tonight, Miss Rogers' nameplate on the panel moderator's desk is set in the regular typeface for such plaques, Title Gothic Condensed No. 11. Ginger was in two films in 1954: "Black Widow," in which she played "Carlotta 'Lottie' Marin," and which had its New York premiere on October 28, 1954; and, earlier in the year, the drama "Beautiful Stranger," in the role of "'Johnny' Victor." In addition, on October 18, 1954, Miss Rogers was part of an all-star cast that appeared in a TV adaptation of Noel Coward's "Tonight at 8:30" that aired on "Producers' Showcase" on "another network" (aka NBC).
      (4) A PORTENT OF THE FUTURE: After the final contestant's game was over, he went to greet the panel, starting from the anchor section (on the viewer's right) and moving to the far end (on the viewer's left) in what, up to this point in the series, was solely being done by mystery guests, and not too long from now would be done by all contestants, both regular and celebrity, especially after the "walk-bys" of earlier years are dispensed with.
      (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: While this was one of those rare nights on "WML?" when the panel had a perfecto, for GSN every night is a perfecto -- in terms of exasperating and annoying its viewing audience with its unnecessary, unwarranted and unwanted "crunching" of the end credits, as evidenced again on the June 30, 2008 airing of this episode.
      (6) The June 30, 2008 GSN airing of tonight's show was followed by the November 21, 1966 edition of "I've Got a Secret," with Rosanno Brazzi as the celebrity guest. In his honor, host Steve Allen "Italianized" the panel's names during the intros as "Bettina Palmiero," "Guillermo Cullenza," "Elizabetta Mirasoni," and "Enrico Morganetto." Early on in this telecast, electronic music pioneers Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley performed a music piece on an early synthesizer called the "Ondioline." Mr. Kingsley would go on to write an instrumental called "Popcorn" which was a Top 10 hit for "one-hit wonders" Hot Butter in 1972. Coincidentally, this 1966 "IGAS" episode aired exactly twelve years to the day after the 1954 "WML?" episode shown just prior by GSN -- which was also the case on the previous day's airings of the vintage 1954 "WML?" and 1966 "IGAS" shows. - W-B (2008)

    • Ginger Rogers is a first cousin of Phyllis Cerf, who is Bennett Cerf's wife. - Suzanne (2005)

      REVIEW: This was one of those nights the panel could have dreamed about, because it was one of those rare occasions where they had a perfect night. In the first game, Dorothy correctly figured out that the first contestant was a casting director. After the game, Arlene exclaimed that she couldn't believe he was indeed a casting director, because he was so young. However, Bennett stepped in and jokingly said something to the effect that he soon will be old. Bennett, with a big assist from Arlene, figured out that the second contestant made mustard plasters. Bennett later returned the favor when he gave Arlene a subtle hint that led to her determining that the mystery guest was none other than Bennett's favorite cousin-in-law, Ginger Rogers. After the game, Bennett called Ginger a "perfidious wench" due to the fact that she had, earlier tonight, fooled him by telling him that she was going to spend the evening with executives from United Artists. In the final game, Bennett saw right through Governor G. Mennen "Soapy" Edwards' disguise when he eschewed his trademark polka dot bow tie in favor of a regular necktie. Even Michigan native Robert Q. Lewis saw through his disguise and was planning on disqualifying himself. After the game, John flipped over all the cards and Governor Williams donated all of his winnings to the charity that would become synonymous with Jerry Lewis, Muscular Dystrophy. He also mentioned the fact that after Thanksgiving, the firefighters and the letter carriers would be going around and collecting for the charity. He also brought five of his trademark bow ties and gave them to the panel. This pretty much put the capper on what was a perfect evening. - Sargebri (2005)

    • Tidbits: Bennett has just published a book titled "An Encyclopedia of Modern American Humor." During the goodbyes, John mentioned that Dorothy was headed back to Cleveland for further coverage of the Sam Sheppard trial. - Suzanne (2005)

      Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Robert Q. Lewis, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.

  • Allusions