What's My Line?

Season 6 Episode 34


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Apr 24, 1955 on CBS



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • John: You know how we score this, Mr. Toogood?
      Henry Toogood: (nods) Yes, I do.
      John: That's too good of you. I knew I was going to do that before we got very far along and I won't do it again -- that's a promise.

    • Arlene: (to the second contestant, a butler named Henry Toogood) If you ever get discharged, they'll probably say, "Too bad, Toogood."

  • Notes

    • (1) "EXTRA VALUE IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU BUY...STOPETTE": Tonight's main sponsor is Jules Montenier, Inc.'s Stopette brand.
      (2) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: For the third time this year, the panel is introduced counterclockwise; and for the seventh time amongst still-existing episodes, Dorothy has the honors of introducing John, whom she called "the most atomic member of this combination," in reference to his upcoming trip to Yucca Flats to witness an atomic bomb test.
      (3) FRED ALLEN QUIP WATCH: In his introduction of Dorothy, Mr. Allen asserted that she knew a cellist for the New York Philharmonic who was so bowlegged that he could play his instrument standing up.
      (4) MYSTERY GUEST ROSEMARY CLOONEY: The popular singer makes the first of two "WML?" appearances this evening, for which her nameplate on the panel moderator's desk is set, "as you know" (to quote an oft-repeated phrase that Mr. Daly used over the years), in Title Gothic Condensed No. 11. Just a few months before tonight's show, she had another "ethnic novelty" hit with "Mambo Italiano" [Columbia (4-)40361], which would be introduced to a new generation when it was featured in the opening titles of the 1988 movie "Married to the Mob."
      (5) MORE ABOUT "COME ON-A MY HOUSE": The song which propelled Rosemary Clooney to superstardom back in 1951 was written by Ross Bagdasarian and William Saroyan. Interestingly, given the Italian dialectic in this number, the two composers were of Armenian descent. Both went on to greater fame in other fields in the years since collaborating on this piece. Mr. Saroyan became a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright. One of his plays, "The Time of Your Life," was made into a TV production on October 9, 1958 as an episode of the CBS anthology series "Playhouse 90." This now-famous adaptation featured certain individuals who had appeared on "WML?" in the past, or who would appear in the future, such as Jackie Gleason, Dina Merrill and Betsy Palmer. But of the two who penned "Come On-a My House," the one who went furthest had to be Mr. Bagdasarian. In that same year of 1958, he had his first major hit on the music charts with "Witch Doctor," which he recorded under the nom de disque of "David Seville," and which featured an electronically sped-up vocal. This provided the impetus for his most enduring creation, "The Chipmunks," beginning with the 1958 Yuletide perennial "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)." The Chipmunks' names -- Alvin, Simon and Theodore -- were derived from the names of three executives at Liberty Records where Mr. Bagdasarian had recorded: Al Bennett; label founder Simon (Si) Waronker; and engineer Theodore (Ted) Keep. A string of record albums and singles which followed this number, in turn, led to a cartoon series, "The Alvin Show," whose original run on NBC lasted from 1961 to 1962 and would be seen in reruns for years thereafter. Meanwhile, by the time of Mr. Bagdasarian's death in 1972, Chipmunk-mania had so petered out that recent new recordings (such as a version of the theme from the 1968 movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang") were issued on Liberty's budget-subsidiary label, Sunset. However, since the 1980's, there has been a resurgence in interest in the Chipmunks, especially after Mr. Bagdasarian's son, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., revived the franchise with an album, "Chipmunk Punk." Thus followed more albums with covers of then-current material; another animated cartoon series, "Alvin and the Chipmunks" (1983-1991); and more recently, a 2007 live-action version with Jason Lee as the Chipmunks' mentor "David Seville." Alas, however, neither Mr. Bagdasarian nor Mr. Saroyan made any kind of appearances on "WML?"
      (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: This time out, the end credits cut off after the art card slide for executive producer Gil Fates, following the travel arrangements plug for American Airlines. GSN's July 22, 2008 airing of this episode continued its shameful and nauseating legacy of "crunching" the screen just the same.
      (6) The July 22, 2008 airing by GSN of tonight's show was followed by the October 1, 1952 episode of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Robert Q. Lewis, with the panel lineup of Abe Burrows, Joan Alexander and Meredith Willson, and celebrity guest Yogi Berra. - W-B (2008)

    • REVIEW: After a slow start, the panel really came on strong this particular evening. In the first game, Dorothy figured out that the first contestant had something to do with pork. Unfortunately, the panel never quite figured out that she was a pork buyer and she wound up winning the full prize... whole hog. In the second game, thanks to an inadvertent assist from John, Arlene correctly figured out that the second contestant was a butler. As for the mystery guest round, Bennett correctly identified Rosemary Clooney, who had just returned from Portugal where her then husband, Jose Ferrer, was filming a picture. Rounding out the night, Dorothy was given credit for a correct guess in the fourth game, even though she didn't identify which comic strip Mrs. Strom wrote. Of course, her strip "Brenda Starr," which she created under the pen name of Dale Messick, is still going strong today in the capable hands of June Brigman and Mary Schmich. - Sargebri (2005)

      FERRER: As Rosie mentioned, she and her husband Jose Ferrer had recently become parents to a baby boy, who at the time was almost three months old. That baby, Miguel Ferrer, would later grow up and follow in his parents footsteps and become an actor in his own right. Miguel is currently cast on the show "Crossing Jordan" as "Deputy/Chief Medical Examiner Garret Macy." Miguel also plays drums for a rock/comedy band called the Jenerators, which also features Billy Mumy, who was famous for playing "Will Robinson" on "Lost in Space," and David Joliffe who played "Bernie" on the classic classroom drama "Room 222." Also, Rosie had a younger brother named Nick Clooney, who also went into entertainment. Nick was a weatherman for a few years in Los Angeles at KNBC TV Channel 4. He also hosted a 1974-1975 game show entitled "The Moneymaze" and for five years, was the on-air host for AMC, American Movie Classics. Nick also had a son, George, born 9 years after Rosie's WML appearance. George Clooney is, of course, one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. He starred first in the hit 1984-1985 medical drama "E/R" and later moved on to films with hits such as the 2001 remake of the Rat Pack caper flick "Ocean's Eleven" and "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" in 2002. - Sargebri (2005)

      BOMB TESTING: As John mentioned, he would be heading for Yucca Flats to witness an above ground atomic bomb test. Eight years after this episode aired, all above ground nuclear testing would be halted as a result of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963. This treaty was meant to help ease tensions, especially after the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. Also, it was meant to help protect the environment and keep radiation from spreading into the atmosphere. However, the treaty did not ban below ground testing of weapons, which continued until September 23, 1992. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty now prevents further testing in the United States. - Sargebri (2005)

    • IMDB Trivia: Rosemary Clooney hated the derivative Armenian folk song "Come On-a My House" and originally resisted recording the song she considered "dumb" with lyrics that "sounded more like a drunken chant than an historic folk art form." Within weeks of her finally relenting, she found herself with one of the biggest-selling hits in the country, selling more than a million copies. It still did not endear her to the song, however, and she usually tried to squirm out of singing it at her concerts and nightclub appearances when requested. - Suzanne (2005)

      Regarding the new rule changes, the only reference John made to the lack of the free guess segment was his statement that the panel would dispense with the "former practice of a wild guess." Again, he outlined the new mystery guest rules to the panel before the mystery guest round. - Suzanne (2005)

      Tidbits: The panel is introduced backwards tonight, yet seated in their usual order. Arlene is leaving tomorrow for a vacation in Paris, France. Tonight, John flies out of New York to attended early above-ground atomic testing in Yucca Flats, Nevada, at the Nevada Test Site. - Suzanne (2005)

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

  • Allusions