What's My Line?

Season 6 Episode 32

EPISODE #253

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Aired Daily 12:00 AM Apr 10, 1955 on CBS
9.7
out of 10
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EPISODE #253
AIRED:
Game 1: Mrs. Amelia Adler (9/1/1919 - 6/16/1999) - "Lady Clown (Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus)" (salaried; the panel is blindfolded and John calls her Mrs. X; she appears in full clown costume; the circus is currently at Madison Square Garden; John states she is also known as Mrs. Felix Adler; her husband Felix Adler was a longtime clown with the Ringling Brothers Circus; he was of no relation to the screenwriter of the same name who wrote for The Three Stooges; from Richmond, VA)

Game 2: Mrs. Celia Abrams - "Counts Money (Brink's Inc.)" (salaried; she works for Brink's Armored Car Service; from Maplewood, NJ)

Game 3: Rhonda Fleming (b. 8/10/1923) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Ben Burley - "Harmonica Tuner" (self-employed; from Metuchen, NJ)
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SUBMIT REVIEW
    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)

    Fred Allen

    Fred Allen

    Regular Panelist (1955-1956)

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at three down because time ran out. - agent_0042 (2008)

        (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: This evening, the main sponsor, as displayed at pertinent points of the set, is Stopette. And with the panel introduced counterclockwise, this means that Dorothy is introducing John for the sixth time amongst the extant "WML?" episodes.
        (2) MYSTERY GUEST RHONDA FLEMING: The "Queen of Technicolor" makes her only "WML?" appearance this evening. Besides her aforementioned "Best of Broadway" appearance, Miss Fleming made two films in 1955, "Tennessee's Partner" (with frequent co-star Ronald Reagan and John Payne) and a movie that had its U.S. release the next year of 1956, "The Queen of Babylon" (with Ricardo Montalban). Only one day from tonight's show, on April 11, 1955, Miss Fleming was the celebrity guest on another Goodson-Todman offering, "The Name's the Same," from Bob & Ray's (Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding) brief run as hosts. The panel on that occasion consisted of Audrey Meadows, Roger Price, Laraine Day and Walter Slezak.
        (3) RHONDA FLEMING - PART II: In 1980, 25 years after tonight's show, Miss Fleming appeared as "Edith von Secondberg" in "The Nude Bomb" (aka "The Return of Maxwell Smart") in which Don Adams reprised his "Get Smart" role of agent "Maxwell Smart." The picture was produced by Rhonda's then-husband, movie theatre magnate Ted Mann, to whom she was married from 1978 until his death in 2001. As a side note, Mr. Adams never appeared on "WML?," though his "Get Smart" co-star, Barbara Feldon, who played "Agent 99," was a guest panelist on EPISODE #865 of June 11, 1967.
        (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: There was a brief moment on the July 20, 2008 airing of this episode where GSN, in the spirit of the Apollo 11 moon landing which took place on July 20, 1969, 39 years prior to the repeat of tonight's show, was to have aimed for the proverbial "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" as the American Airlines "travel arrangements" plug was shown for a few short seconds in full screen, with the original sound -- but then, to everyone's horror, the cable and satellite channel tragically crashed back to earth with their justly-maligned practice of "crunching" the end credits, which still managed to show the complete production crew, even with the airline promotion.
        (5) SPEAKING OF "TNTS": The July 20, 2008 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by the September 17, 1952 edition of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Robert Q. Lewis, with the panel this week comprised of Abe Burrows, Joan Alexander and Meredith Willson. The celebrity guest was Melvyn Douglas. - W-B (2008)

      • CONGRATULATIONS, JOHN CHARLES DALY!!! Dorothy not only had the pleasure of introducing John this particular evening, she also had the pleasure of announcing that he won the prestigious Peabody Award for his newscasting work in television. It also was a night where Bennett finally got something he wished for ever since he joined the panel, but more about that later. As for the games themselves, the panel once again came away with a .500 record. Fred correctly guessed that the first mystery guest was a lady clown. In fact, Mrs. Adler had just finished performing with the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey circus and rushed to the studio in full clown regalia to appear on the show, hence the reason for the blindfolds. After her game, Arlene asked her to light up her electric blinking nose, which she did. Unfortunately, the panel was totally stumped by the Brink's Incorporated money counter. They did get close when they figured out that she dealt with money, but never were able to narrow it down. As far as Bennett's wish was concerned, he finally had a chance to correctly guess that the mystery guest was Rhonda Fleming. Acting humble, Bennett didn't want to seem too eager, so he passed to Dorothy, who passed to Fred, who passed to Arlene, who finally passed back to Bennett, who promptly came up with the bad pun, "It's been Rhonda world Fleming." Also, Miss Fleming referred to Arlene Dahl's April 1954 appearance on the show when Bennett was so sure that it was her instead of Arlene Dahl, that when he made his guess, he promptly got a "no." However, in spite of all his previous wrong guesses about Miss Fleming, tonight he did finally get his wish. As for her appearance on the show, Rhonda spoke of her recent April 6, 1955 appearance on the live television dramatic show "The Best of Broadway" in a production named "Stage Door." This was her television debut, and she said that live television plays were "frightening" due to the short production times and last-minute script changes. Unfortunately, as was usually the case, the panel ran out of time with the final contestant, so the harmonica tuner won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

        ONE LONG PAN: Arlene introduces Fred as "One Long Pan." This is a reference to a character Fred played on his radio show, a comic version of Charlie Chan. - ymike (2005)

        MOANS & GROANS: When John Daly told the panel to put on their masks for the first game, his request was met with vocal disapproval from the panel. This may have been the first time their displeasure was so obvious, but it won't be the last. The panel's habit of "complaining" about unexpected mystery guests will grow over the years. Tonight, Dorothy's complaint to John was that she had just combed her hair! Too funny! - Suzanne (2005)

      • FREE WILD GUESS WIN HISTORY FOR WHAT'S MY LINE? - CBS 1950 - 1955

        "Wild Guesses" or "Free Guesses" were won on the following 9 episodes:

        EARLY LOST EPISODE - MOST LIKELY EPISODE #8 of May 24, 1950 - "Motorcycle Cop" - Arlene Francis said the following in a December 20, 1952 TV DIGEST (Philadelphia) article: "Before the questioning begins, the panelists are allowed, of course, a 'wild guess.' Some are pretty wild, but on two occasions we hit the target right off. I made the first correct 'wild guess' on the show, when I identified a motorcycle cop. I even said his name might be Maloney. How'd I do it? I once was stopped by a motorcycle cop named Maloney and I never forgot his name."

        EARLY LOST EPISODE - MOST LIKELY EPISODE #16 of September 13, 1950 - "Atomic Scientist" - Arlene Francis said the following in a December 20, 1952 TV DIGEST (Philadelphia) article: "Miss Kilgallen correctly wild-guessed an atomic scientist, because she said, 'If I were casting a play, he'd be just right for the part.'" This win was also mentioned on EPISODE #216. One contestant on EPISODE #16 of September 13, 1950 is an "Atomic Engineer."

        EARLY LOST EPISODE - MOST LIKELY EPISODE #30 of December 24, 1950 - "Santa Claus" - This win was mentioned on EPISODE #216. Winning panelist unknown.

        EPISODE #120 of September 14, 1952 Arlene Francis wins with a guess of "Football Player" for Tommy Kalmanir.

        EPISODE #149 of April 5, 1953 Arlene Francis wins with a guess of "Trapeze Performer" for Sara Marlowe.

        EPISODE #175 of October 4, 1953 Dorothy Kilgallen wins with a guess of "Umpire" for Ed Hurley.

        EPISODE #216 of July 18, 1954 Arlene Francis wins with a guess of "Lifeguard" for Carol Rubin.

        EPISODE #224 of September 12, 1954 Bennett Cerf wins with a guess of "Dramatic Coach" for Tala Forman.

        EPISODE #248 of March 6, 1955 Bennett Cerf wins with a guess of "I think he fixes those one-armed bandits so that every one man in a million gets the jackpot" for Walt Hollingsworth, a contestant who "Repairs Slot Machines."

        Tally of wins:

        Arlene Francis won 4 times.
        Dorothy Kilgallen won 2 times.
        Bennett Cerf won 2 times.
        Unknown - 1 time.

        This "Free Wild Guess" game feature was discontinued after tonight's EPISODE #253 of April 17, 1955.

        Three guesses were won on early shows that are lost to history. We have no record of them other than Arlene's interview and recollections of the panel on subsequent wins. On other occasions, the panelists were very close, but John did not allow them to win. For additional detailed comments, see the individual episode guides listed above. - Suzanne (2005)

      • LAST "OLD RULE" MYSTERY GUEST QUESTIONING EPISODE: This is the last episode where the panelists rotate questioning of the mystery guest after a "no" answer, although nothing about the upcoming demise of this feature is mentioned on this episode. In the future, they will be allowed only one question each for the mystery guest, regardless of the answer. John Daly's new mantra will become "One question, in turn, rotating clockwise." In his 1978 book, WML Producer Gil Fates said this change was made because Bennett Cerf was too good at guessing who the mystery guest was!

        Gil Fates wrote: (begin quote) "Bennett prided himself on his ability to identify the mystery guest, and each Sunday night he used to come into the studio with a scribbled list of the suspects he knew to be in town. Just before the program took to the air he would stand alone backstage with his glasses pushed up onto his forehead and a scrap of paper held close to his nose, squinting at their names in the dimmish light. Onstage, Bennett was not exactly a team player. He was burdened with no ethic of showmanship to restrain him from blurting out a name even though the mystery guest had been onstage for only twenty seconds. We tried to circumvent this by changing the rules of the mystery guest game to allow each panelist only one question at a time. We would then start the game with Bennett, on the theory that he wouldn't dare make a guess without even having heard the guest grunt. With this devise we guaranteed that each panelist would get at least one question before it came around to Bennett again and he batted it off." (end quote) - Suzanne (2005)

        ........................................................................................................................................................

        LAST FREE WILD GUESS EPISODE: This is the last episode which allows the "Free Guess" or "Wild Guess," although nothing about the upcoming demise of this feature is mentioned on this episode. Historically, prior to game play, each panelist was given the opportunity to randomly guess the contestant's occupation. This feature dates back to the first episode in 1950. On a few occasions, a panelist did indeed correctly guess the occupation! A few other times, they were very close. If the wild guess was incorrect, then the game would start as normal. - Suzanne (2005)

      • PEABODY AWARDS: John Daly wins his first Peabody Award in the spring of 1955. In the future, he will win two more. Information from the Peabody Awards website is listed below. - Suzanne (2005)

        Year: 1954
        Title: Personal Award for Radio-Television News
        Producing Organization: ABC Television
        City/State: New York, New York

        John Charles Daly is primarily a reporter - and a good one. His versatility as a radio and television personality has not diluted his basic talent as a competent and discerning journalist. Mr. Daly's five-night-per-week news programs on the ABC television network show resourceful planning, imaginative presentation, and discriminating editorial selection. The use of on-the-spot pictures and the daily editorial combine to utilize television's great potential. Mr. Daly does not avoid controversial issues but he is never dogmatic. His distinctive contribution to television reporting and news commentary have established such high standards of quality and public acceptance as to win for Mr. Daly a select position at the summit of his profession.

        Tidbits: HAPPY EASTER SUNDAY, 1955. The panel is introduced backwards tonight, but seated in their usual order. Bennett speaks first and announces that John has won the Peabody Award for Best Newscaster. - Suzanne (2005)

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

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