What's My Line?

Season 7 Episode 23


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Feb 05, 1956 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Randolph Churchill (5/28/1911 - 6/6/1968) - "British Foreign Correspondent (Here For IKE - EDEN Meetings)" (as Mystery Guest #1 and the panel is blindfolded but the regular questioning format is used; self-employed; he smokes a cigarette during the game; from England)

Game 2: Floyd Carlson (5/14/1917 - 4/9/1984) - "Helicopter Pilot (Will Fly Desi & Lucy to Jamestown, NY Tomorrow)" (salaried; he is a test pilot for Bell Aircraft; John Daly said that he was the third man in the United States to obtain his helicopter license; from Richland Hills, TX)

Game 3: Kim Novak (b. 2/13/1933) (as Mystery Guest #2) She signs the board left-handed.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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John Daly

John Daly

Moderator (1950-1967)

Arlene Francis

Arlene Francis

Regular Panelist (1950-1967)

Dorothy Kilgallen

Dorothy Kilgallen

Regular Panelist (1950-1965)

Fred Allen

Fred Allen

Regular Panelist (1955-1956)

Randolph Churchill

Randolph Churchill

Mystery Guest #1

Guest Star

Kim Novak

Kim Novak

Mystery Guest #2

Guest Star

Desi Arnaz

Desi Arnaz

Guest Panelist

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Fred Allen: Have you heard that the American Tobacco Company is going to put a filter on Old Smokey?

    • Desi: (questioning the helicopter pilot) I'm going to be in Texas this week. Uh, maybe I'll come to you for one of these services if you would tell me...
      (gleeful laughter from audience, loud applause)

  • NOTES (5)

    • FLIP REPORT: After mystery challenger Kim Novak was guessed by Arlene Francis, John flipped the remaining cards and indicated that the money would be donated to charity, although the exact charity was unspecified. Though audiences at the time had no knowledge of it, mystery challengers were paid a fee of $500 for their appearances, so it is unknown exactly how much money was donated to charity. - agent_0042 (2008)

      WALK-BY WATCH: John dispensed with the before-game panel walk-by for the second contestant because there was a shortage of time. This was unusual, because normally John would only skip the walk-by if there was a shortage of time for a final game following the mystery challenger. It will only be a few episodes, however, before Arlene suggests that people write in if they would like to see the walk-by segment eliminated, and just a few episodes after that, the feature disappears for good. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: Tonight, the main sponsor's panel desk billboard is shown as Remington Rand Univac. And the announcer on duty tonight, who handles the opening intros, is once again Lee Vines. Following Desi's introduction of Dorothy, she proceeded to introduce Fred Allen in Spanish. Also, this was one of the very few times Mr. Allen introduced John Daly in his all-too-brief run as a "WML?" panelist. This evening's episode was Mr. Arnaz's third and final "WML?" appearance, which came only three days prior to the February 8, 1956 edition of "I've Got a Secret" on which he was a celebrity guest and Lucille Ball was a guest panelist alongside regulars Bill Cullen, Jayne Meadows and Henry Morgan. Garry Moore hosted.
      (2) "WML?" OCCUPATION OVERLAY SCREEN WATCH: This was yet another example of the typesetting crew alternating all capital letters with mixed case (upper and lower case) letters. After the lower-third overlay for the first mystery guest, Randolph Churchill, was shown after he signed in, his occupation overlay read "BRITISH FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (Here For IKE-EDEN Meetings)." The overlay for the only regular contestant for the evening read "HELICOPTER PILOT (Will Fly DESI & LUCY To Jamestown, N. Y. Tomorrow)."
      (3) This was to be Kim Novak's only appearance on "WML?," though hardly the last time she would be on a Goodson-Todman program. Miss Novak was later the celebrity guest on the April 9, 1962 edition of "I've Got a Secret." Her lower-third overlay screen, like all the overlays shown tonight, is set in Kabel Heavy.
      (4) "WML?" END CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: On the DVD version, as opposed to the GSN version, following the American Airlines plug, we are treated to a rare example of the full production crew credits being shown, with the art card for technical director Vernon Gamble and lighting director Hal Anderson being shown along with everyone else who was credited at the time. Speaking of GSN, when they aired this episode on August 30, 2008, they showed this full end credit sequence in its entirety -- alas, in its unfortunately inimitable and cringe-inducing "crunched" manner.
      (5) Immediately subsequent to the August 30, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the July 28, 1953 edition of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Robert Q. Lewis, with the panel of Carl Reiner, Joan Alexander and Bill Stern, and "The Velvet Fog," Mel Torme, as the celebrity guest. - W-B (2008)

    • REVIEW: After a couple of weeks of nothing but dismal performances, the panel pulled off a perfecto. In the first game, the panel was blindfolded due to the fact that they would immediately recognize Randolph Churchill, who bore a very striking resemblance to his iconic father Winston. The ploy worked for a while, but Fred was able to identify Randolph. In the second game, the producers tried to pull a fast one on guest panelist Desi Arnaz by having the helicopter pilot who was scheduled to fly him and Lucy to Jamestown, New York for a showing of their latest film. In fact, the audience burst into laughter when Desi asked Mr. Carlson if he could avail himself of his services. However, it was Arlene who correctly identified his line. Arlene's hot streak continued into the mystery guest round as she was able to identify the lovely Kim Novak. Miss Novak was on the show to promote the upcoming release of the film "Picnic," which also starred William Holden and Rosalind Russell. Miss Novak also requested that all her winnings be donated to charity, to which John flipped the remaining cards. And so ended a perfect night for the panel. - Sargebri (2005)

      In the post mystery guest round chat, Desi mentioned William Holden's appearance a year earlier on "I Love Lucy." That February 1955 episode is generally regarded as one of the classics in the history of the show. A highlight of that episode was when Lucy caused a waiter to trip and deck Holden with a custard pie in the face. However, the most famous scene in that episode was when Lucy tried to disguise herself in order to keep Holden from recognizing her. The climax of the scene was when Holden tried to light a cigarette for Lucy and the fake nose she was wearing caught fire. That scene alone is one of the all time classics in television history. - Sargebri (2005)

      Desi Arnaz introduced Dorothy Kilgallen by stating that he had known her for many years. The reason Dorothy and Desi were "old friends" was because Dick Kollmar and Desi starred in the comedy musical Broadway play, "Too Many Girls" from October 1939 to May 1940. It was produced by George Abbott. The show was made into a 1940 movie with Richard Carlson in Dick's role. Lucy was the female star of the movie and Lucy and Desi met for the first time when making this movie. Eddie Bracken was in both the Broadway play and the film. Earlier, when he appeared on What's My Line? on EPISODE #119 on September 7, 1952, the panel asked if he ever appeared in a George Abbott musical. The Arnazes and the Kollmars remained friends for many years. - Jim (2005)

    • On June 20, 1999, Game Show Network (now GSN) aired a Father's Day special marathon called "Classic TV Dads." Shown were the following 6 shows featuring the following dads. - Suzanne (2005)

      1. Password - 1966 - Brian Keith (first color telecast)

      2. What's My Line? - EPISODE #349 of 2/10/1957 - Fred MacMurray (mystery guest)

      3. I've Got A Secret - 1973 - Robert Reed (in color)

      4. What's My Line? - EPISODE #359 of 4/21/1957 - Robert Young (mystery guest)

      5. What's My Line? - 1969 - Ozzie Nelson (syndicated version, in color)

      6. What's My Line? - EPISODE #296 of 2/5/1956 - Desi Arnaz (guest panelist)

    • This one episode only of WML was released on a 2-set Canadian-released DVD (or VHS) titled "TV Nostalgia, The Golden Years of Television." It was copyrighted in 2002 by Madacy Entertainment Group and released under the "TV Favorites" series. The set also contains episodes from The Milton Berle Show, The Loretta Young Show, Annie Oakley, The Roy Rogers Show and The Adventures of Robin Hood. - Suzanne (2003)

      The following notes refer to the 1994 Madacy VHS release:

      This episode was originally released on VHS in 1994 by the Madacy Music Group, Inc. The Madacy VHS release included both this episode of "What's My Line?" and an episode of "Beat the Clock." Unlike the GSN airing, the Madacy VHS version does not edit out John announcing a commercial break by saying, "But first, for a message from Remington Rand, we switch you to the CBS remote unit." However, everything after Arlene's identification of Kim Novak until right before Novak exits is missing on the Madacy VHS release. Additionally, the closing remarks and credits are not present on the Madacy VHS release.

      The "Beat the Clock" Madacy VHS release is for the most part intact, however, most of a stunt involving a contestant attempting to pop balloons is missing. Like "What's My Line?" there are also no closing credits on the Madacy VHS release. The video includes an insert with the broadcast history and regular cast and producers of both shows. It also includes basic descriptions for both programs.

      The Madacy description for "What's My Line?" is as follows:

      Panelists try to determine the contestants' occupation by asking simple yes or no questions. The contestant received $5 for each question. Once the contestant reached 10-No's, his occupation was revealed and the game ended. This simple format kept people fascinated and watching for 18 years, making it the longest running game show in the history of prime time television.

      The Madacy description for "Beat the Clock" is as follows:

      "Beat the Clock" is exactly what each selected audience member had to do to claim their prize. They would each be given a stunt to perform within a given time limit (like digging marshmallows from a bowl of jello with a spoon in their mouth). Although the prizes on "Beat the Clock" were never very large, with the bonus stunts rarely reaching $100, just being a contestant and attempting these fun and messy stunts was prize enough.


      The video is recorded in EP Mode. It lists a running time of "110 min. approx.," although this actually isn't even close. With a single episode of each show, the tape is only about 50 minutes long. - agent_0042 (2006)


      Kim Novak promoted her 1955 film "Picnic." In her attempt to fool the panel, she used a British Cockney accent for her disguised voice. - Suzanne (2003)

      Lord Randolph S. Churchill (Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill, February 13, 1849 to January 24, 1895) is Sir Winston Churchill's father. Tonight's first contestant, Randolph Churchill, is the grandson of Lord Randolph Churchill and is the son of Sir Winston Churchill. - Suzanne (2003)

      Remembering Hal Block & Happy 6th Anniversary: What's My Line? was first broadcast on February 2, 1950, and toward the end of the show tonight, John mentions that this is their sixth anniversary. John remarks that they have received many congratulatory telegrams, including one from the head of CBS, Frank Stanton, and one from "our old colleague, Mr. Block." - Suzanne (2003)

      Tidbits: We learn that Arlene was absent last week because she was in Tampa, Florida. - Suzanne (2003)

      Desi Arnaz (3/2/1917 - 12/2/1986)

      Panel: Arlene Francis, Desi Arnaz, Dorothy Kilgallen, Fred Allen. Bennett Cerf had the night off.