What's My Line?

Season 6 Episode 15


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Dec 12, 1954 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
4 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: C. C. Nash (aka Clarence Charles Nash)(12/7/1904 - 2/20/1985) - "Voice of Donald Duck (Walt Disney Studios)" (salaried; he spoke a few words in Donald Duck's voice; from Glendale, CA)

Game 2: Bud Cline (aka George Cline) - "Sewer Cleaner" (self-employed; from Akron, OH)

Game 3: Bob Hope (5/29/1903 - 7/27/2003) (as Mystery Guest) He signed in as "Bing Crosby" - which he said he'd also done previously on the British "What's My Line?"

Per Gil Fates' logs, there was not enough time for the fourth scheduled game, a contestant whose line involved a "Pickle Factory." A person with this occupation does eventually appear on EPISODE #259 of May 22, 1955. - Suzanne (2008)

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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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)

    Bob Hope

    Bob Hope

    Mystery Guest

    Guest Star

    Clarence Nash

    Clarence Nash


    Guest Star

    Fred Allen

    Fred Allen

    Guest Panelist

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

    • NOTES (13)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: For tonight's edition, the main sponsor was Remington electric shavers.
        (2) FRED ALLEN QUIP WATCH: During the intros, Fred introduced Arlene as "a young lady who lost her 'Scrabble' set this afternoon, and who may be at a loss for words tonight." Scrabble was, and is, a word game set on a 15-by-15 character grid, to be played by two to four players. The board game first caught on in a big way during this 1950s period, and continues to be sold today, in both its original board game format and also electronic versions for computers.
        (3) "THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES" - PART I: Tonight was the first "WML?" appearance of "Ol' Ski Nose," Bob Hope. Between now and EPISODE #662 of May 5, 1963, he will be on a total of five times, eventually becoming the second-most prolific mystery guest, behind the six appearances of his frequent film co-star, Lucille Ball. Having conquered movies and radio, Mr. Hope was becoming a big fixture on television during this period, with comedy/variety specials that garnered high ratings well into the 1980's. In addition, he was host or co-host of the Academy Awards ceremonies seventeen times between 1940 and 1978. Bob made only one film that came out in 1954, "Casanova's Big Night," but in the next year, 1955, he starred in "The Seven Little Foys" as patriarch "Eddie Foy." The title of this film became a basis for a pun by Groucho Marx on EPISODE #738 of November 15, 1964, when he introduced Arlene Francis that evening as "Mrs. Martin Gabel of The Seven Little Gabels," which also incorporated a play on the title "The House of the Seven Gables." For this maiden mystery guest spot tonight, Mr. Hope's nameplate is set in the regular Title Gothic Condensed No. 11. Given that Bob signed in as "Bing Crosby" tonight, it is ironic that "Der Bingle" himself never appeared on "WML?" at any time in its 17.5-year run on CBS, nor was he ever on the show in its 1968-1975 syndicated version.
        (4) "WML?" END CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Not only was this the first (extant) "WML?" edition since the first two shows in 1950 to be directed by someone other than Franklin Heller, but this was also the first show to mention airline travel arrangements for various contestants. Tonight, the airline mentioned, and displayed on the screen, is United Airlines. Over the next few years, American Airlines would be displayed on the show. United was also mentioned in the last year (1954-1955) of "The Name's the Same." This add-on affected the timing of end credits for "WML?" over the next few years, up to about 1959. All this, of course, mattered not a flying whit to GSN, which on its July 3, 2008 airing of this episode, continued with its usual "crunching" of the end credits like nothing of note ever happened.
        (5) ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOSE OF "OUR SPONSOR": Following the July 3, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the December 12, 1966 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Steve Allen, with the usual panel of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and -- as Steve introduced him -- "Mr. Henry Morgan" (the curmudgeonly humorist once again displayed his exaggerated "MR. MORGAN" plaque on and off at various points of this episode). The celebrity guest was Victor Borge. The first contestant was a twelve-year-old girl who typed 97 words per minute on an IBM Selectric typewriter; she had beaten four professional secretaries (who appeared with her) in a typing contest; after her game, she squared off with Miss Palmer at the typewriter, and won yet again. Twelve years to the day from the 1954 "WML?" episode shown just prior by GSN in 2008, Sperry Rand (as the company was known by 1966) sponsored this "IGAS" episode, with Lady Remington shavers as the opening sponsor and the regular Remington electric shavers as the closing sponsor. - W-B (2008)

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the first challenger at six down because time was running short. He did it again for the second challenger at five down. - agent_0042 (2006)

      • As it happened, Frank Satenstein would end up filling in for Franklin Heller on this and the next two episodes. By EPISODE #239 of January 2, 1955, Heller would be back at the helm. Mr. Satenstein would direct only two more "WML?" episodes after that, both in 1956: one a few weeks prior to Fred Allen's death, the other a few months after his death (EPISODE #319 of July 15, 1956). Satenstein would be the first in a line of alternate "WML?" directors over the years. Other substitute directors, later in the show's run, would include Paul Alter, S. Robert Rowe and Ira Skutch. - W-B (2006)


        GSN aired this episode on March 5, 2006 as part of a tribute to Oscar night. The airing of this episode on that date was preceded by a black & white episode of the nighttime "Password" from January 23, 1962 with celebrity panelists Pat Carroll and Johnny Carson. The March 5, 2006 airing of "Password" preempted "Beat the Clock" which usually aired in the time slot in question. "WML?" EPISODE #236 had previously aired in regular rotation on GSN on February 16, 2005. - W-B (2006)

      • REVIEW: After three weeks of good performances, the panel was bound to have a stinker, and tonight was it. In the first game, Clarence Nash, the voice of Donald Duck, had the panel so far off track that John gave him the full prize by default. Of course, as was mentioned earlier, part of the reason was the fact that when Bennett asked if there were a product involved in his line, Mr. Nash answered in the affirmative, when he should have answered "no." Maybe if he had done that, the panel might have had a chance. The panel also was totally stumped by the handsome, muscular sewer cleaner from Akron. The big reason they were stumped is the fact that they might have thought he was a performer of some sort, especially after he answered "yes" to a question of whether or not he performed his service in front of an audience. The panel did rebound nicely when Bennett correctly guessed that the mystery guest was Bob Hope. Arlene had made a critical, albeit funny, error when she mistakenly asked Bob if he were his buddy and frequent co-star in the "road films," Bing Crosby. Ironically, Bob had signed in as Bing, and Bob later admitted that this was the second time that he had done that. He said the first time he signed in as Bing was on the British version of WML. After the game, there was a brief mention of the dedication of the memorial that John and Edward R. Murrow had been working on for three years, and that Bob was going to appear on the television special that was to show the dedication. - Sargebri (2005)

      • Sure enough, the closing credits show a new director, Frank Satenstein. Yesterday, John bade farewell to Franklin Heller. Frank P. Satenstein is also known for directing such shows as "I've Got a Secret," "Your Show of Shows" and the "classic 39" filmed episodes of "The Honeymooners." - Suzanne (2005)

      • Dorothy's husband, producer Dick Kollmar, has a play opening tomorrow in New Haven called "Plain and Fancy." In January 1955, this play will open on Broadway. - Suzanne (2005)

      • Kilgallen Saw Dr. Sheppard Set Free: Dr. Sheppard was not incarcerated at the time Dorothy Kilgallen died. He was released from a penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio (long since razed) in July of 1964. This event was reported by many newspapers and by F. Lee Bailey in his best-selling 1971 memoir "The Defense Never Rests." Mr. Bailey verifies a claim made by Lee Israel in her 1979 Kilgallen biography about the columnist traveling to Cleveland for a cocktail party in honor of Dr. Sheppard's freedom. The doctor and the columnist had their first face-to-face conversation there.
        Bailey remembered that Dorothy had told her readers that his guilty verdict was a terrible miscarriage of justice. She had written, "They didn't prove he was guilty any more than they proved there are pin-headed men on Mars." Bailey may have remembered seeing her in the courtroom 9 1/2 years earlier, but they could not have conversed at that time.
        F. Lee Bailey's confirmation of Lee Israel's cocktail party story suggests that Ms. Israel could have gotten the next part of the story right. It seems that Dorothy Kilgallen, while at the Cleveland cocktail party, called a reporter friend in Columbus, Ohio to see if he could drop by. He could not.
        On the phone, Dorothy told her friend laughingly that Mr. Bailey was a very clever lawyer. She wanted to know her friend's take on Dr. Sheppard's guilt or innocence. The friend replied, "I think as little as possible. But if he's guilty, he's one of the strongest men who ever lived."
        Dorothy Kilgallen died 16 months later. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Dr. Sheppard's murder case a week after her death. Her sworn deposition about the errant Judge Edward Blythin played a part in the court's decision. Less than a year after the certiorari, he was retried and acquitted of the murder of his wife.
        The doctor was a free man between his July 1964 release from a penitentiary and his death in April 1970. According to Kilgallen's home newspaper, he expressed sorrow about her 1965 death immediately after it happened. - Jan Simonson (2005)

      • SHEPPARD TRIAL WATCH - John mentions that Dorothy will be leaving for Cleveland, Ohio to continue to cover the 1954 Sam Sheppard murder trial. Years later, testimony that Dorothy supplies about her 1954 events is used to help gain Dr. Sheppard a retrial in 1966 and his conviction is overturned. Of course, by 1966, Dorothy Kilgallen had died, and Sheppard had previously been in jail for 10 years. Here is the following account of her 1954 events that Dorothy Kilgallen gave to the Akron, Ohio Beacon Journal: Kilgallen said she was summoned to Presiding Judge Edward Blythin's chambers to satisfy the judge's curiosity as to why she was flying back and forth between New York and Cleveland to watch a murder trial: "I said: 'Well, it has all the ingredients of what in the newspaper business we call a good murder. It has a very attractive victim, who was pregnant, and the accused is a very important member of the community, respectable, very attractive man.' "And I said: 'Then added to that, you have the fact that it is a mystery as to who did it.' "And Judge Blythin said, 'Mystery? It's an open and shut case." According to Kilgallen, when she asked him to explain what he meant, the judge responded: 'Well, he's guilty as hell. There's no question about it." Kilgallen said that conversation took place on the very first day of the nine-week trial, on October 28, 1954. - Suzanne (2005)

      • It is little wonder that Clarence Nash, the voice of Donald Duck for Walt Disney, stumped the panel. John incorrectly allowed his occupation to be defined in terms of product rather than service! - Eric Paddon (2003)

      • The first guest was Clarence Charles Nash, the voice of Donald Duck! This was an excellent episode! Bob Hope signs in as "Bing Crosby." When a blindfolded Arlene asks, "Are you Bing Crosby?" it got a great laugh! - fiveninegal (2003)

      • "Thanks for the Memories" - In honor of Bob Hope's 100th birthday on May 29, 2003, GSN aired three "Bob Hope as Mystery Guest" episodes from December 12, 1954, November 19, 1961 and May 5, 1963. These three episodes were again aired as a tribute when Bob Hope died on July 27, 2003. - Suzanne (2003)

      • Tidbits: During the introductions, Bennett announced that tomorrow night, December 13, 1954, the television program "Dateline" will feature the dedication of the new memorial that Edward R. Murrow spoke of two years ago on WML. (EPISODE #132 of December 7, 1952) The Overseas Press Club Memorial Building was built to honor the approximately 64 American foreign war correspondents who lost their lives during World War II and the Korean War.

      • Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Fred Allen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (1)