What's My Line?

Season 6 Episode 46


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jul 17, 1955 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: G. W. (Walt) Fisher - "Justice of the Peace (Married the Clark Gables This Week)" (salaried; Justice Fisher married Clark Gable and his new wife, Kathleen (Kay) Williams Spreckles; he said they simply rang the doorbell, nothing was planned in advance; read a family account of the story in the "notes" section below; from Minden, NV)

Game 2: Mrs. Eva Shular - "Operates Pool Room" (self-employed; she runs a pool hall in Chesley, Ontario, Canada)

Game 3: Fred Allen (5/31/1894 - 3/17/1956) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Simon Guillemot - "Sailor (From French Battleship 'Jean Bart')" (salaried; he is the head waiter on this French ship which came into port a couple of days ago; from the Brittany section of France)

Game 5: George Ito - "Professional Fire Eater" (salaried; John allotted 1 minute and 15 seconds for his game; he performs in "The Arabian Nights" show at Jones Beach Amphitheater, also sometimes incorrectly spelled as Jones Beach Amphitheatre; from New York, NY) . .moreless

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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)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (5)

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the sole remaining card for the second contestant at nine down. The panel had figured out her involvement with the game of pool during a conference. John flipped the remaining cards for the fourth contestant at just two down. Arlene had quickly guessed his line and John felt it was fair to award him the full prize, since no effort had been made to disguise his French origins. Finally, John flipped the cards for the final contestant at just two down. This was a rare fifth game and John dispensed with the opening walk-by segment and allotted only one minute and fifteen seconds for the game. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: For the third straight week in this particular stretch, Stopette was the main sponsor. Guest panelist Robert Q. Lewis introduced Arlene as a "perfectly enchanting temptress who enchants you every day at home." This was a "punny" reference to the daily "Home" television series Miss Francis hosted on "another network."
      (2) This is the only existing "WML?" episode to have five games. During the show's first year, this was a common occurrence, having happened five times from 1950-1951. Unfortunately, all of the early shows which had five games are today lost to history. And incredibly, even with five games tonight, all regular contestants' occupation overlays were professionally typeset in Kabel Heavy.
      (3) As a side note on the first contestant who married Clark Gable and Kay Spreckles, it should be mentioned that Mr. Gable himself made no appearances whatsoever on "WML?"
      (4) FRED ALLEN: Unlike his debut appearance as a mystery guest on EPISODE #168 of August 16, 1953 on which his nameplate was set in Headline Gothic, the regular Title Gothic Condensed No. 11 font was used for his nameplate this time out, just as on his appearances as a regular panelist. The difference was that his nameplate as a panelist read "MR. ALLEN" while his nameplate as a mystery guest tonight reads "FRED ALLEN."
      (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: While there was time for a fifth game, after the good nights, there was no time for full end credits, with brief showings of the "WML?" title card and the American Airlines card before cutting to the animated CBS ident with the camera lens iris. And the time on this whole sequence was so short that GSN, on its August 3, 2008 airing of this episode, left it all in full screen with original sound, as there would have been no time left to "crunch" the screen as they usually do.
      (6) ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOSE OF "Q-SIE": Following the August 3, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN reran the January 6, 1953 edition of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Robert Q. Lewis, with the panel of Jerry Lester, Joan Alexander and Meredith Willson. The celebrity guest was Arthur Treacher, who, a little more than a decade from his "TNTS" appearance here, would be a sidekick to Merv Griffin in the early years of his long-running talk show. - W-B (2008)

    • FISHER FAMILY ACCOUNT OF GABLE WEDDING -- Douglas County, Minden, Nevada -- There was no warning of anything special in the July 11, 1955 telephone call that my grandfather, G.W. "Walt" Fisher, received that night from the deputy county clerk, Mrs. Ina K. Johnson. She simply told my grandfather that two people wanted to get married and that they had their own witnesses. My grandfather told her to send them right over and decided that he did not have to wake up my grandmother to be a witness. Soon, two cars arrived at my grandfather's home. The wedding party came to the front door and knocked. When my grandfather opened the door, Clark Gable was standing there with a lovely blonde woman with sparkling blue eyes. Mr. Gable was very polite and asked to be married. My grandfather performed the wedding ceremony in his front room by the fireplace and then had the newlyweds and the witnesses sign all the appropriate documents. After the document signing, Clark Gable gave my grandfather some money and thanked him. It wasn't until after everyone left that my grandfather realized that Clark Gable had given him $500.00! That was an extraordinary amount of money for the time, compared to the four dollars (or maybe a chicken) that my grandfather would sometimes get paid for performing the same ceremony. My grandfather thought that my grandmother would be very pleased with the amount of money, so he ran to her, woke her up, and told her what had just happened. My grandmother ran to the window just in time to see the two couples get into their cars and drive away. She was not pleased that he had not woken her up to meet Clark Gable! The next day, she refused to speak to him and she never really forgave him. The CBS "What's My Line?" TV people called my grandfather the next day and asked him to appear on their show. My grandfather was a very quiet and private man who did not understand all of the fuss, so at first he refused. A couple of days later, he agreed to appear on the show if CBS would supply tickets so that our family (we lived in Endicott, New York at the time) could come to the TV studio and watch the filming. (But unfortunately, my grandmother, Alice Fisher, was not able to make the trip from Minden, Nevada to New York City.) I was only three years old at the time, so my recollections are from stories my parents told me. My mother said that the studio was very hot and that, at one point, she took me outside due to the heat. My father (Hap Fisher, who is Walt Fisher's son) added that, on one of the commercial breaks, the stage crew brought water to Dorothy Kilgallen, as it was obvious she was having a tough time with the heat inside the studio. However, in spite of the heat, my family all had a good time and after the show, my parents showed my grandfather all around New York City. Even so, Grandpa Fisher couldn't wait to get out of the "big city" and back to Minden as soon as possible. - Teri Lee Fisher Balfour (2008)

      GABLE WEDDING IN PRINT: Click the link below to see a PDF file containing the account of the Gable-Spreckles wedding story as reported in two newspapers: the July 12, 1955 Los Angeles Times and the July 14, 1955 Gardnerville Record Courier. The scans are from the originals and show their age. They are interesting, including the surrounding articles which shed light on just how small Minden was at that time. - Tom Balfour (2008)

      Clark Gable + Kay Spreckles 1955 Newspaper Wedding Stories

      File size: 3.23 MB / 3,314 KB - hosted by Suzanne (2008)

    • FRED ALLEN has been in the hospital recently for an attack of appendicitis. He is normally a regular panelist, but recovered from his appendectomy operation much faster than he thought he would and made this appearance as a mystery guest. Dorothy gets a few chuckles when she asks Fred if the doctors let him take his appendix home in a bottle! - Suzanne (2005)

      REVIEW: This was a pretty successful night for the panel. In fact, things went so well that they were able to sneak in a fifth game. In the first game, Dorothy was able to figure out that the contestant was a justice of the peace. In fact, he had just married Clark Gable to his Kay Williams Speckles. In the second game, Bennett made a last-second save as he correctly identified the matronly looking lady from Canada as a pool hall operator. The panel also was successful in the mystery guest round. Ironically, it was guest panelist Robert Q. Lewis who correctly identified the man he was subbing for, Fred Allen. This, of course, was Fred's first appearance on the show since he had an emergency appendectomy. In the fourth game, Arlene made it a quick one as she correctly identified the contestant as a sailor on the Jean Bart, a battleship from France. John felt so sorry that he was identified so fast - with only two no's - that he flipped the rest of the cards over. Also, due to the speed of the fourth game, they were able to get a very rare fifth game. This is where the panel ran out of luck as they ran out of time and the fire eater won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

      MYSTERY GUEST: Fred's appearance on the show as a mystery guest was the second time that a regular member of the panel performed in this capacity. Steve Allen had been a prior mystery guest also, on EPISODE #187 in 1953. This would not be the last time the producers pulled this trick. In February 1961, Dorothy Kilgallen also acted as a mystery guest on the show. She had been "ill" for a few weeks and surprised her fellow panelists by appearing as the mystery guest. It would later become known that Dorothy's "illness" was actually a stay in LeRoy Sanitarium Hospital to help her combat her substance abuse problems. - Sargebri (2005)

      CLARK GABLE: As was mentioned in the first game, the justice of the peace in the first game was the official who married Clark Gable to Kay Williams. A few years after their marriage, Kay became pregnant with their first child. She was a few months away from giving birth when Gable died from a heart attack. Kay gave birth a few months later on March 20, 1961 to a baby boy she named John Clark Gable. - Sargebri (2005)

    • FIVE GAMES TONIGHT! We see something very rare for WML - an evening with five games! - Suzanne (2005)

      Tidbits: The waffle-check curtains are still in place. They are temporary and will only remain through EPISODE #272. - Suzanne (2005)

      Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Robert Q. Lewis, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.