What's My Line?

Season 7 Episode 14


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Dec 04, 1955 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: George Axelrod (6/9/1922 - 6/21/2003) - The two overlay screens read: "George Axelrod, Author of 'The Seven Year Itch' and 'Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter'" and "Playwright" (as Mystery Guest #1 and the panel was blindfolded; the "regular contestant" questioning format was used, but the game was played until the identification was made by name; self-employed; from New York, NY)

Game 2: Miss Jeanne McLemore - "Licensed Wrestling Promoter" (salaried; she has been employed by her dad since 1951, and he is now unfortunately ill; from Dallas, TX)

Game 3: Vivian Blaine (11/21/1921 - 12/9/1995) (as Mystery Guest #2)

Game 4: Don Sipp (probably Donald Sipp) - "Girdle Salesman" (salaried; he works for the Jansen Company; from Pasadena, CA) . .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 (1)

    • Bennett Cerf: And now it's my pleasure to introduce our superb panel moderator, a man who lives by the principles, "He will never say in five words what he can say in two hundred." -- Mr. John Charles Daly.

  • NOTES (4)

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at two down. The panel had come reasonably close to figuring out the product this contestant was associated with, but they didn't have enough time to make the exact identification. As was the usual case at this point in the show's history, John dispensed with the opening panel walk-by for this game, as he wanted them to have as much time as possible to play. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: This was the sixth straight show in a row in this stretch where Remington Rand was the main sponsor, and just as last week, the panel desk billboard reads "Remington Rand Typewriters."
      (2) OVERLAY SCREEN WATCH: For the first mystery guest, the overlay seen as he was signing in was witness to the typesetters' use of both capital letters and mixed-case (upper and lower case) letters: "GEORGE AXELROD - Author of 'THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH' and 'WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER'." All overlays tonight, including Mr. Axelrod's, were in Kabel Heavy, unlike last week's use of three different typefaces.
      (3) This evening's episode marked the only mystery guest appearances of playwright George Axelrod and actress Vivian Blaine; both made appearances on "WML?" over a span of the next few months as guest panelists. As for Mr. Axelrod's play, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?," there was some irony in the main character's name being a hybrid of Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter, as both 1950's heartthrobs were given their respective stage names by agent Henry Willson -- as was also the case with Troy Donahue, Rory Calhoun and Guy Madison. Of these five, Mr. Hunter appeared on "WML?" as a mystery guest and guest panelist, and Mr. Madison was a mystery guest on the mostly-lost EPISODE #191 of January 24, 1954. As for Mr. Willson, he also had a hand in advancing the careers of actresses -- and past or future "WML?" mystery guests -- Rhonda Fleming and Lana Turner.
      (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Following the American Airlines travel arrangements plug, the end credits once more cut off after a brief peek at director Franklin Heller's art card. And once more, the window in which all this was seen was small, with a distorted aspect ratio, as GSN again couldn't help itself with its "crunching" of the screen on its August 21, 2008 airing of this episode.
      (5) Immediately subsequent to the August 21, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the May 19, 1953 edition of "The Name's the Same," with host Robert Q. Lewis, the panel of Carl Reiner, Joan Alexander and Meredith Willson, and celebrity guest Brian Donlevy. - W-B (2008)

    • REVIEW: After the previous week's near perfect performance, the panel only had an average night this week. In the first game, after Arlene blew a golden opportunity, Bennett correctly identified the first mystery guest as George Axelrod, the author of both "The Seven Year Itch" and "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter." What even made it more embarrassing for Arlene was the fact that her husband, Martin Gabel, was one of the stars of the latter play. In the second game, the panel was definitely stumped by the female wrestling promoter. Of course, one look at her and you would understand why it was hard to believe she was involved in wrestling. She looked too young and pretty to be in this field, especially in 1955, and especially for a woman. The panel did splendidly in the mystery guest round as they were able to identify Vivian Blaine, who was in town to work on the play "Dream Girl." However, the real highlight of the night was seeing John run to the panel's desk so he could get in on the fun of having Miss Blaine kiss him. Unfortunately, the fun ended when the panel ran out of time with the girdle salesman and he wound up winning the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

      WRESTLING: After the panel had finished with Miss McLemore, Bennett asked the age-old question of whether or not pro wrestling was on the level. As one would expect, Miss McLemore said it was. John backed her up - somewhat humorously. This, of course, was several years before Vince McMahon, the chairman of the World Wrestling Federation, "broke kayfabe." This term means "to let the cat out of the bag." McMahon finally admitted that wrestling was a work, an art form, which meant that it was all a put-on. The main reason he did this was because in certain states, it was more costly for him to run a sporting event, due to the need to obtain permits from the various athletic commissions, than to run an entertainment event. So basically, he spilled the beans for economic reasons, and the former World Wrestling Federation - WWF - became known as World Wrestling Entertainment - WWE. - Sargebri (2005)

      WILL SUCCESS SPOIL... Replying to a question from Fred Allen, George Axelrod notes that the title of his then new play, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter," was inspired by a fan magazine article entitled "Will Success Spoil Rock Hudson?" Axelrod stated that the title needed to be changed for legal reasons. It's obvious that they came up with a cross between Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter, two big stars of the day. The play's title has been spoofed many times since 1955, mostly in television episode titles such as, "Will Success Spoil Herman Munster?" and "Will Success Spoil Fred Flintstone?" The title came around full circle in an episode of "McMillan & Wife" when Nancy Walker muses, "Will Success Spoil Stewart McMillan?" Stewart McMillan was the character played by - not coincidentally - Rock Hudson! - Garrison Skunk (2005)

      In general, the surviving WML? soundtracks are very clean for a 50+ year old show, sometimes allowing one to hear faint sounds such as car horns and ambulances from outside. However this episode had a very noticeable "crunch" sound every five seconds, which may have been the result of mold on the original kinescope. - Garrison Skunk (2005)

    • Vivian Blaine promoted her upcoming "Dream Girl" spectacular produced by Maurice Evans. Her recent successful role in "Guys and Dolls" was mentioned. She played "Miss Adelaide," the long-suffering chorus girl with a sinus cold who can't get her boyfriend to marry her. Her fun song, "Adelaide's Lament," was a show-stopper both in the 1950-1953 Broadway "Guys and Dolls" production and in the 1955 film. - Suzanne (2005)

      Tidbits: The panel is not yet used to standing up to deliver their introductions of the next panelist. Notice how they lean forward to be closer to the microphone. - Suzanne (2005)

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