What's My Line?

Season 6 Episode 19

EPISODE #240

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Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jan 09, 1955 on CBS

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    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped two cards at eight down to end the second game when Dorothy Kilgallen asked if the second contestant's product was something "other than a piano." Time was running short on this game, so John lowered the curtain on it when this question was asked. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: The main sponsor this evening is Remington electric shavers. And of Janet Leigh's "WML?" appearances, this was to be the only time she was a guest panelist.
      (2) WOULD-BE MYSTERY GUEST: This proved to be the only time Miss Leigh's then-husband, Tony Curtis, appeared on the program in any of its forms. This is at least the second time that a mystery guest appearance came to naught due to a columnist's "leak" in the papers; a previous occurrence came when Van Johnson appeared on EPISODE #182 of November 22, 1953, after Walter Winchell leaked his upcoming appearance to the press. As for Mr. Curtis's new movie "Six Bridges to Cross," this was not to be the last time he would appear in a movie that was based on a recent crime, especially one that took place in Boston. In 1968, the year the syndicated "WML?" debuted, Tony starred as "Albert DeSalvo" in the film "The Boston Strangler." For his appearance tonight, Mr. Curtis had a nameplate displayed on the panel moderator's desk, even though his mystery guest spot ultimately wasn't.
      (3) SECOND MYSTERY GUEST OVERLAY FONT AND NAMEPLATE WATCH: For the ultimate actual mystery guest, Billy Talbert, his upper-third "Captain - U.S. Davis Cup Tennis Team" overlay (seen as he was signing in) was one of the few such displays at this point to be professionally typeset, in this case, in Kabel Heavy. As with Tony Curtis, Mr. Talbert's nameplate was set in the usual Title Gothic Condensed No. 11.
      (4) "WML?" TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: This was the first "WML?" episode to mention American Airlines as providing travel arrangements for certain contestants. (United Airlines had been mentioned in EPISODE #236 of December 12, 1954.) The notice may have had something to do with the end credits cutting off after the art card which credited coordinator of production Bob Bach and program manager Frances Trocaine. Alas, all the same, GSN continued with its jet-laggy and air-sickening practice of "crunching" the end credits on its July 7, 2008 airing of this episode.
      (5) COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF "IGAS" - SIX MORE EXTANT SHOWS TO GO: GSN's July 7, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the January 30, 1967 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Steve Allen, with the regular panel of Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson and Henry Morgan, and celebrity guest Soupy Sales. - W-B (2008)

      LT. DIETER DENGLER: Navy Pilot Dieter Dengler (1938-2001) was one of the contestants on the January 30, 1967 episode of "I've Got a Secret." His secret, as told to host Steve Allen, was that he had escaped from a POW camp in Laos. He had been shot down on February 2, 1965 and had been captured by the Pathet Lao and held prisoner until his escape on June 29, 1966. He was retrieved by U.S. forces twenty-three days later on July 22, 1966. He said that his weight had dropped to 93 pounds. During his appearance on "I've Got a Secret," both of his hands were bandaged in large casts. Dieter explained that he had recently cut his tendons by accidentally falling through a sheet of plate glass. - Suzanne (2008)

    • Victor Jackson invented a lubricant for quieting squeaks in various piano parts. Called "VJ Lube," (after his initials VJ) this mixture is still in use today in 2004 by piano technicians. The recipe: One 7.5 oz jar Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, heated in a double boiler until liquid. Add as much talcum powder as the Vaseline will hold, making a thick mixture. Add 1 teaspoon lanolin, stir well. Store in small 35mm film cans. Use sparingly for lubing the pins and springs of pedals and trapwork. - Suzanne (2004)

      Tony Curtis promoted his upcoming 1955 film, "Six Bridges to Cross." He said it will be opening on January 19, 1955. He also said it was based on the Brinks Robbery in Boston, then quickly corrected himself by saying he wasn't supposed to say that! However, the cat was already let out of the bag. The famous 1950 Brinks robbery occurred in Boston when a team of people wearing Navy pea jackets and rubber masks robbed a Brinks armored car terminal of $2.7 million in cash and securities. The culprits were eventually caught. - Suzanne (2004)

    • REVIEW: This was a very fun evening! It was a successful one, too, especially for Dorothy. Janet Leigh made her second of four appearances on the show. This time, she was a guest panelist instead of a mystery guest. For a novice panelist, she did an excellent job by asking several intelligent questions. On one occasion, she passed to Bennett when she felt she was getting stuck and didn't want to hold up the game. Ironically, the first contestant was a girdle model. What made it so ironic was that a few months earlier, when Janet was a mystery guest, the first contestant also had something to do with girdles. However, the previous contestant tested girdles, while tonight's guest modeled them. (Adding to the irony, in both of Janet's 1960s games, there were contestants who dealt with cows!) The second contestant tonight was a piano tuner, but he wasn't just "any" piano tuner. His main client was none other than Liberace, who himself would make several appearances on the show as both a mystery guest and a guest panelist on one occasion. The panel was completely stumped by the piano tuner. At one point, the audience broke out in laughter when Dorothy made a wrong choice and said that the man didn't have anything to do with pianos. The thing that really made the panel laugh was when Dolly Mae stood up and took a few steps, pretending that she was leaving due to her mistake. When it came time for the mystery guest round, the panel had their masks on, but John ordered them to remove the masks after Janet's then-husband Tony Curtis was seated. John said that the reason for this was that Tony had read in a newspaper that he was the scheduled mystery guest, so he decided to forfeit the game because he felt it wouldn't be right. However, there was a back-up mystery guest in the person of Davis Cup captain Billy Talbert. Dorothy made up for her earlier faux pas when she correctly guessed him. This was quite a comeback and Dorothy did a really good job. - Sargebri (2004)

    • Tony Curtis does not play his mystery guest game due to a Chicago columnist, Irv Kupcinet, having already announced his upcoming appearance in the newspaper. This is mentioned in Gil Fates' 1978 WML book. John Daly, however, did not mention the columnist's name. - Suzanne (2004)

      Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh were married from June 1951 until their divorce in June 1962. - Suzanne (2004)

      Janet Leigh passed away on October 3, 2004. As a tribute, GSN aired her 4 WML appearances. This episode was broadcast on October 14, 2004. - Garrison Skunk (2004)

      Billy Talbert is a tennis professional known as "Mr. Tennis." He has a long and accomplished tennis career. At the time of this appearance, he had recently been a non-playing captain on the U.S. team that defeated Australia to win back the Davis Cup. Talbert's specialty is doubles. He said he could not have done it without Vic and Tony. This is a reference to team members and champions Vic Seixas and Tony Trabert. - Suzanne (2004)

      Tidbits: During the introductions, Bennett announced that today is John and Kit Daly's 18th wedding anniversary. They were married on January 9, 1937. Kit is Margaret Katherine Daly's nickname. John and Kit have three children, two boys and a girl. - Suzanne (2004)

      Janet Leigh (7/6/1927 - 10/3/2004)

      Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Fred Allen, Janet Leigh, Bennett Cerf. Arlene Francis had the night off.

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