What's My Line?

Season 6 Episode 50


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Aug 14, 1955 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
5 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Lt. Al Fowler (Alfred Fowler) - "Hurricane Hunter (U.S. Navy Flier)" (salaried; he flies a Lockheed Neptune patrol surveillance airplane; he recently flew into Hurricane Connie and described it as "very turbulent, very hot, very uncomfortable" but said that the eye of the hurricane is about 30 miles in diameter and the air is "relatively still" at about 20 mph; from Waterloo, IA)

Game 2: Miss Phyllis Raber & Miss Anne Lindsay - "Run Dog Washing Service" (self-employed; they are students and this is primarily their summer occupation; the name of their business is "The Dog Washing Service" and they charge from 75 cents to $1.25 depending on the of the pooch; it was not explained why Phyllis was wearing dark sunglasses; from Freeport, Long Island, NY)

Game 3: Paul Muni (9/22/1895 - 8/25/1967) (as Mystery Guest) Game 4: Howard Buehler - "Pilots Ships Thru Panama Canal" (salaried; from The Canal Zone, Panama; see notes below) . .moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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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)

    Fred Allen

    Fred Allen

    Regular Panelist (1955-1956)

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Dorothy Kilgallen: We don't even know what the sex is, do we?
        John Daly: No.
        Arlene Francis: No woman ever played a fiddle like that, Dorothy.

      • Bennett: (to the final contestant) Has it got anything to do with the locks on either end of the canal?
        John: (using a play-on-words with "lox," brine-cured salmon typically served with bagels) Or bagels. Ah, we got that in!

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: In the second game, John flipped the remaining cards for the pair of contestants at five down. Arlene had correctly guessed their line, but John said that by awarding them $50, they both would receive $25 in prize winnings. John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at six down. Although the panel quickly figured out that this contestant did his work in the Panama Canal, they never thought of the possibility of him being a pilot on ships that traveled through it. Following the normal custom at this point, John dispensed with the opening panel walk-by segment for this final game. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: Tonight's main sponsor was Stopette. Also, during the introductions, Arlene wore glasses but Bennett took his off.
        (2) FRED ALLEN QUIP WATCH: As Fred introduces Arlene, he reads an ostensible weather report that indicates that "Connie has gone, but you haven't seen anything until Arlene gets here." Mr. Allen was making a reference to "Hurricane Connie" which formed on August 3, 1955 and dissipated on August 15, 1955, and struck North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane, causing flooding and extensive damage to the Outer Banks and more damage inland to Raleigh. Fred's mention of both Connie and Arlene in his introduction was interesting because only three years after tonight's show, in 1958, Connie Francis -- a future "WML?" mystery guest, and no relation to Arlene Francis -- had the first of many hits with a cover of "Who's Sorry Now?" Coincidentally, both Francises were impersonated at different times (with their surnames altered to "Franklin") by Andrea Martin on the Canadian sketch comedy series "Second City Television" (aka "SCTV").
        (3) OCCUPATION OVERLAY AND MYSTERY GUEST NAMEPLATE WATCH: The first two contestants had their respective overlays professionally set in Kabel Heavy, but the last contestant's overlay of "PILOTS SHIPS THRU PANAMA CANAL" was set in the "last-minute" typeface. The "M" in "Panama" was a "W" turned upside-down. (This fact is known because other instances of the use of the "M" -- such as on EPISODE #284 for the first guest -- show the letter with "straight legs" as opposed to the "flaring legs" of the "W.") And for Paul Muni's only "WML?" appearance, his nameplate on the panel moderator's desk, as will be customary to EPISODE #279 of October 9, 1955, is set in the regular Title Gothic Condensed No. 11 font.
        (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: This time, after the American Airlines plug, the end credits cut off after the art card for executive producer Gil Fates; however, when GSN aired this episode on August 6, 2008 -- coincidentally, the 53rd anniversary of "Hurricane Connie" passing to the north of the Lesser Antilles, given Fred's introductory "weather report" -- the cable and satellite channel's viewers were once again a collective unwilling witness to the disheartening and maddening practice of "crunching" the screen.
        (5) Immediately subsequent to the August 6, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the January 27, 1953 edition of "The Name's the Same," with host Robert Q. Lewis, the panel of Jerry Lester, Joan Alexander and Meredith Willson, and celebrity guest June Havoc. - W-B (2008)

      • REVIEW: The panel had a so-so night on this sweltering hot summer evening episode. In the first game, they were absolutely stumped by the handsome, young navy storm chaser. The panel did rebound nicely in the second game when Arlene, after Dorothy blew the doors wide open, correctly guessed that the two young girls were dog washers. Bennett was successful in the mystery guest round when he correctly identified Paul Muni. Mr. Muni's use of a violin to answer the panel's questions was reminiscent of Ed Wynne's appearance on EPISODE #203 of April 18, 1954 when he also used a violin. Just like with Ed's game, the panel had no problem figuring Muni out when he used his voice. In the final game, the panel ran out of time, as usual, so the Panama Canal ship pilot won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

        As John mentioned, Mr. Muni was appearing in the Broadway play, "Inherit the Wind." Five years after this episode, in 1960, a motion picture version of the play hit theaters. The movie featured Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly and Dick York. John also mentioned that 1955 marked the 30th anniversary of the infamous Scopes "Monkey" Trial. The play and the movie are thinly disguised renditions of this 1925 trial with debates between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan. - Sargebri (2005)

      • The Panama Canal Locks: The Panama Canal is a 50-mile-long ship canal that extends across the Isthmus of Panama, joining the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. An impressive engineering feat, it was built from 1904 to 1914 at an initial cost of $366,650,000. The canal is not at sea level for its entire length, and has locks to raise and lower ships. Dams hold back two artificial lakes that supply water for the locks. Although there are 12 sets of locks total, there are only six massive pairs of locks that ships use for transit, each 1,000 feet long and 110 feet wide. Each may be filled or emptied in less than 10 minutes, and each pair of lock gates takes two minutes to open. A 30,000-pound fender chain at the end of each lock prevents ships from ramming the gates before they open. Water is not pumped into and out of the locks, but flows from the artificial lakes through culverts 18 feet in diameter. Electric towing locomotives, called "mules," pull ships by cable through the locks. Most ships require six of these mules, three on each side. - New Standard Encyclopedia 1976. - Suzanne (2005)

        Paul Muni promoted his Broadway play, "Inherit the Wind" which ran at the National Theatre from 4/21/1955 to 6/22/1957 for a total of 806 performances. Muni had to leave the production when he developed a cataract, so his involvement with the show lasted from 4/21/1955 to 8/1955. After his game, Muni told John that he wished he hadn't brought his violin. He said he was so nervous about appearing on television, that his hands were shaky and he couldn't play well. In spite of his reservations, he sounded fine and it was a fun game. It's always nice to see a bit of variety. - Suzanne (2005)

        INSIDE JOKE: After the second game, when Bennett told the girls, "Don't have anything to do with elephants," he was making an obvious inside joke about the "car thief turned elephant trainer" from the previous week. Most of America would not understand his pun, but the WML staff certainly did. Maybe that huge laugh we heard in the background belonged to Gil Fates? - Suzanne (2005)

      • It was cool to see Paul Muni responding to the panel's questions by playing a violin. He seemed to play quite well, even playing some tunes at the panel's suggestion. - Dave Mackey (2005)

        Tidbits: There are yet more visual puns with eyeglasses during the opening and closing segments. Dorothy points out (literally) that Fred's glasses contain no lenses. On following episodes, Fred's glasses do indeed contain lenses. - Suzanne (2005)

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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)