FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at two down because time was running short. The panel had come fairly close with this contestant, guessing both that she "demonstrated something" and was "involved with entertainment." It seemed very likely that they might have figured out the exact line of "demonstrates reducing exercises on TV" if they had more than just a couple minutes to play. John had even eliminated the panel walk-by to make more time for this game, but alas, there was not quite enough time for the panel to discern the guest's exact line. - agent_0042 (2008)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: For the second straight week, Stopette is the main sponsor. This was the first time on which Arlene sat on the far end of the panel, but as history would show, certainly not the last. However, Miss Francis is introduced this evening as "One of television's brightest stars"; it would be a short while before her more famous introduction, "The delightful star of stage and television," is formulated. And this is the first of two guest panelist appearances by Mary Healy.
(2) This was the second straight week in which Bennett introduced John Daly as "the world's leading news analyst and most misleading panel moderator" and the third straight week that the publisher/panelist incorrectly inserted "Francis" into John's name, calling him "John Charles Francis Daly." John's full name, of course, was John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly, which Bennett did get right on a few occasions over the years between 1953 and 1967.
(3) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: The customary "last-minute" typesetting was used for the "Builds Jail Cells" overlay of the second contestant.
(4) MYSTERY GUEST NAMEPLATE WATCH: For mystery guest duo Marge and Gower Champion's appearance tonight, the production staff used a different size nameplate with a larger height than the standard nameplate customarily seen. Their names were set on two lines ("MARGE AND GOWER," "CHAMPION") in the then-prevalent overlay font of Kabel Heavy. Of course, when the Champions next appeared as a mystery guest duo on EPISODE #451 of February 8, 1959, the "WML?" production crew had long since switched to having the mystery guests' names briefly displayed in white on the lower third of an overlay screen. In addition, the future show was produced with a new studio set design which would be in use until 1964.
(5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: This was another rare occasion where the full production crew credits were shown after the American Airlines plug. Just like clockwork, however, GSN, on its July 25, 2008 airing of this episode, continued to indulge in its "crunching" of the screen, to the viewing audience's eternal dissatisfaction and dismay.
(6) Following the July 25, 2008 airing of tonight's show by GSN, the cable and satellite channel repeated the October 29, 1952 edition of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Robert Q. Lewis, with the panel consisting of Abe Burrows, Joan Alexander and Meredith Willson, and David Niven as the celebrity guest. - W-B (2008)
MYSTERY GUESTS Gower and Marge Champion, husband and wife duo, promoted their 1955 Broadway play "3 for Tonight: A Diversion in Song and Dance" which also stars Harry Belafonte. The original musical revue ran for 85 total performances at the Plymouth Theatre. - Suzanne (2005)
REVIEW: The panel did fairly well this episode. In the first game, Bennett correctly guessed that the charming man from Japan made ladies' stockings. During the game, John made the audience laugh when he told the panel that the product was "connected" to the girdle family. The panel had no idea that John meant literally! This was, of course, before the days of mass-market pantyhose, and stockings needed a girdle or garter belt to hold them up. After the round, John brought up the fact that Mr. Kobayashi was in town for the Rotary Club's annual convention and that he was a high official in the organization. The panel had a little trouble with the second contestant. In fact, they were down to their final "no" when Arlene correctly guessed that he made jail cells for the last-minute save. In the mystery guest round, guest panelist Mary Healy, aka "Miss New Orleans 1918," as her husband Peter Lind Hayes called her, correctly guessed that the mystery guests were Marge and Gower Champion. After the game, Mary paid them a wonderful compliment when she said that the Champions as well as Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy were two of the finest couples on Broadway. Unfortunately, the panel ran out of time in the final game and the exercise instructor won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)
PANEL ORDER: It was interesting to see Arlene in the "lead off" position tonight. Early next year, in 1956, she and Dorothy will begin to alternate the position. After Dorothy's 1965 death, the first chair will become predominately Arlene's spot. However, Arlene will also alternate the position with Phyllis Newman and other guest panelists on occasion. - Sargebri (2005)
EARS TO YOU: In the first game, when the questioning was getting "risque" when Arlene brought up the subject of girdles, Bennett made a comment about a "secret" What's My Line? practice. The hidden practice was for John to tug on his ear as a signal to the panel to tone things down. John was sharp, and was never actually caught on film tugging his ear. However, tonight Bennett states, "John's going to start pulling his ear in a minute." In addition to Bennett's revealing comment, the "ear tugging" practice was also written about in magazine articles of the day, such as an article written about Hal Block which appeared in "TV Dial" on December 6, 1952. "TV Dial" was a midwestern forerunner to TV Guide magazine. A complete transcription of this 1952 article can be located on the guide to EPISODE #131. - Suzanne (2005)
EAR TUG: John's "ear tug" is the answer to a trivia question in the TV Guide 40th Anniversary book. The question is: "On What's My Line?, what did it mean when John Daly tugged his ear?" The answer is: "Daly tugged on his ear to indicate that the subject matter was becoming a bit too racy for live television and to change the subject." - Gus S. (2005)
Tidbits: Arlene mentioned that this morning, New York's Herald Tribune newspaper featured a color photograph of the WML panel on the front of their new television supplement. - Suzanne (2005)
Mary Healy (b. 4/14/1918)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Fred Allen, Mary Healy, Bennett Cerf. Dorothy Kilgallen has the night off. She is vacationing in Paris, France.
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