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What's My Line?

Season 7 Episode 24


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Feb 12, 1956 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
3 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Jules Montenier (3/23/1895 - 8/20/1962) - His two overlay screens read: "Dr. Jules Montenier, Creator & Manufacturer of Stopette" and "Our Sponsor (For Past Six Years)" (as Mystery Guest #1 and the panel is blindfolded, but the regular questioning format is used; self-employed; in a thick French accent, he said that he loves the show and watches it each Sunday; John praised him for being a sponsor who did not interfere with the production of the series; more notes below)

Game 2: John Anderson (2/14/1899 - 2/15/1976) - "Captain of S.S. United States (World's Fastest Ocean Liner)" (salaried; John W. Anderson holds the rank of Commodore in the United States Lines; from Bergenfield, New Jersey; more notes below)

Game 3: Jayne Mansfield (4/19/1933 - 6/29/1967) (as Mystery Guest #2)

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 (5)

      • Dorothy Kilgallen: Uh, you work for a profit-making organization, so it can't be congressman or senator, can it?
        John Daly: That's a good presumption.
        Arlene Francis: If they're making profit, we'd better learn about it right now.

      • Arlene Francis: Will you renew, Dr. Montenier?

      • Arlene Francis: (regrding Jules Montenier's appearance on the show) Well, you have to give it to both parties, so one week we to have Remington on now. That's what they say.
        Fred Allen: Well, not on... You can't have Remington on Lincoln's birthday, with that beard, I mean...

      • Fred Allen: John, you said that we're, uh, masked because we would know this person's name or would know the person by sight, is that true?
        John Daly: No, actually, Fred, what I said is that there is an area of identification which might be available to you if you were unmasked, and we just didn't feel we ought to take a chance on it.
        Fred Allen: Well, uh, can I speak to the person now?
        John Daly: Yes, definitely. (audience giggles)
        Fred Allen: If you don't mind, John.
        John Daly: Not a bit, Fred.

      • Fred Allen: (during the introductions) During the month of February, ladies and gentlemen, we celebrate the birthdays of three famous men: Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Jack Benny. Now today, Lincoln has his head on the penny; Washington has his head on the $1.00 bill; and Jack Benny has his hands on all of the rest of the money. And here is a young lady who has mentioned Jack Benny's name many times in her syndicated column, Miss Dorothy Kilgallen.
        Dorothy Kilgallen: (laughing) I thought you'd forgotten about me, Fred.

    • NOTES (6)

      • WAYBACK PLAYBACK: This episode of the program was aired in the wee morning hours of December 16, 2010 on GSN as part of their new Wayback Playback feature. It was followed by an episode of I've Got a Secret featuring the parents of Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon, as well as a young Paul Anka. Once again, GSN engaged in its curmudgeonly, crass and crude practice of crunching the closing credits for both What's My Line? and I've Got a Secret and will be forever haunted by three ghosts of Christmas.

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: Tonight's main sponsor was Stopette; during the opening advertisement, a brief clip of this evening's first mystery guest, Dr. Jules Montenier, was shown. During the intros, Arlene humorously introduces Fred as "filling in for Desi Arnaz," last week's guest panelist.
        (2) THE DAYS DWINDLE DOWN: After tonight, Fred Allen has four more appearances on "WML?" before his death.
        (3) Dr. Montenier's appearance this evening came about a month and a half prior to the sale of his company, and products being offered, to Helene Curtis Industries, Inc. Both of the good doctor's overlays use a combination of capital letters and mixed case (upper and lower case) letters: "DR. JULES MONTENIER - Creator and Manufacturer of Stopette" (with the famous logo for his brand) and "OUR SPONSOR (For Past Six Years)" -- set, as predominantly during this period, in Kabel Heavy. His "hands-off" approach towards the production of the show differed markedly from co-sponsor Remington Rand, as would be most evident exactly six months from tonight's show, on the special Chicago-based EPISODE #323 of August 12, 1956, when that company's Chairman of the Board, General Douglas MacArthur, shot down a proposed mystery guest appearance by former President Harry S. Truman. Ironically, the main sponsor of that special show was Helene Curtis.
        (4) Aside from Dr. Montenier, the second contestant's overlay likewise had the same type of typesetting arrangement, and the same Kabel Heavy font: "CAPTAIN OF S. S. UNITED STATES (World's Fastest Ocean Liner)." Alas, the lower-third overlay for second mystery guest Jayne Mansfield was set in Futura Medium.
        (5) "THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT," OR "WILL SUCCESS SPOIL JAYNE MANSFIELD?": This was to be the first of four mystery guest appearances over the next ten years, five months and five days for actress and Playboy Playmate Jayne Mansfield. 1956 was also the year she "broke out" in films, with her appearance as "Jerri Jordan" in "The Girl Can't Help It" (the title song of which was performed by Little Richard). Former mystery guest Tom Ewell was the star, and among those appearing in the movie was future mystery guest Julie London, who performed her best-known hit "Cry Me a River." The film's director was Frank Tashlin, who went on to direct Miss Mansfield the following year in the celluloid version of "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?," whose star, Tony Randall, had at that point begun a long run as the second most-prolific guest panelist in the history of "WML?"; the ultimately most prolific guest panelist, Martin Gabel, had been in the Broadway version which was playing at the time of tonight's show.
        (6) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: After the travel arrangements plug for American Airlines, the end credits cut off after the "In Association with the CBS Television Network" art card. And like clockwork, GSN's August 31, 2008 airing of this episode was once again witness to the cable and satellite channel's self-indulgent "crunching" of the screen during such sequence.
        (7) GSN's August 31, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the August 4, 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 Gloria DeHaven as the celebrity guest. It should be noted that in 1969, less than sixteen years after her "TNTS" appearance here, Miss DeHaven began a stint as host of "Prize Movie," a morning movie show that aired in that form to the early 1970's on WABC-TV (Channel 7), the New York flagship station of ABC which ran "TNTS" from 1951 to 1955. - W-B (2008)

      • Jayne Mansfield has been called the light-weight top-heavy Cleavage Queen who used a slight film career and an ample publicity campaign to challenge Marilyn Monroe's title as reigning Sex Goddess of the late 1950s to early 1960s. Jayne won the Golden Globe as the Most Promising Newcomer of 1957. Unfortunately, audiences in the 1960s never accepted her as the serious actress she longed to become. Surprisingly, she also played the violin. One talent that she managed to hide quite well was her intelligence - some biographies credit her with an IQ of 163. This writer first saw her in the 1963 movie "Promises, Promises," which was memorable only in that it displayed an amazing amount of Miss Mansfield's flesh. As an underage high school junior at the time, your correspondent saw things (two in particular) he will never forget, even with the limitations imposed by black and white cinematography. Her measurements were reported to be an inspiring 40 - 21 - 35.5 and her response to her curvaceous frame was simple: "If I didn't have a large bosom, people would talk about my small one. So, what's the difference? I'm glad I have a large one." Sex appeal was, in her words, "just knowing what to do and then doing it with a lot of naiveté ... if a girl has curviness, exciting lips and a certain breathlessness, it helps, and it won't do a bit of harm if she has a kittenish, soft cuddly quality. Men want women to be pink, helpless and do a lot of deep breathing." (From "Jayne Mansfield and the American Fifties.") Mr. Blackwell put her on his Worst-Dressed List in 1962, and in fact created a new category for her, Worst Undressed. She was a Playboy Playmate in February 1955, showing off her biggest assets. Her husband at the time, Paul Mansfield, filed for divorce because he was upset over the exposure of the Playboy photos. Her subsequent Playboy appearance in 1958 was the magazine's biggest-selling issue to date. Her 1963 nude scenes in "Promises, Promises" led to a famous Playboy pictorial in what was the magazine's biggest seller to that time, and she appeared in Playboy every February from 1957 to 1964 as their "Valentine Girl." After two more failed marriages (Mickey Hargitay and Matt Cimber) she lost her life in a horrific traffic accident in 1967 at the age of 34. - Lee McIntyre (2005)

      • The S.S. United States was the largest, fastest and most luxurious passenger liner ever built in the United States. Owned by United States Lines, she captured the Transatlantic "Blue Riband" award on her maiden voyage on July 3, 1952, making the eastbound ocean crossing in 3 days 10 hours 40 minutes, under the command of Commodore Harry Manning. Facts about this superliner nicknamed the "Big U" are: Size - 990 ft. length; Gross Tonnage - 53,290 t; Cruising Speed - 33 knots (or 39 mph); Passenger Capacity - 1928 with following distribution 1st Class = 871, Cabin Class = 508, Tourist Class = 549. This lovely ship was retired in November 1969. She has spent time in foreign countries, but is now back in home waters residing in Philadelphia, PA in desperate need of some "tender loving care." - Suzanne (2005)

        TO TELL THE TRUTH: Captain John Anderson will again appear on a Goodson-Todman game show as one of the contestants on the August 6, 1957 edition of "To Tell the Truth." For the second straight week in this stretch, Ralph Bellamy was substituting for regular host Bud Collyer, and the panel consisted of Polly Bergen, Jack Paar, Kitty Carlisle and Hy Gardner. The first game featured John Anderson and two impostors; the second game featured knife thrower and fire eater Vieta de Villa (spelling unknown; name approximate) and two impostors; and the third game featured Doris Tempest (one of the few women barristers of the British law courts at the time) and two impostors. This episode of "TTTT" was last aired by GSN on January 1, 2009. - W-B & Suzanne (2009)

        Commodore John W. Anderson (1899-1976) lived at 294 Clinton Avenue in Bergenfield with his wife Mary and son Charles. The Commodore retired on February 19, 1964 ending his sea career of 49 years with a flourish. Without the aid of tugboats, which were out on strike, he docked the 990 foot SS United States at Pier 86 in the Hudson River during a swirling snowstorm. The tall, lanky, and good humored sea captain had taken command of the SS United States, the queen of the American Merchant Marine Fleet, in August of 1952, and was named Commodore of the line in May 1953. During those twelve years, he transported 700,000 passengers on the 52,000 ton superliner. His final docking was saluted by a fleet of Coast Guard vessels and the New York City fireboats. (A Commodore is a senior captain of a naval squadron or merchant fleet.) During World War II, while in command of MS John Ericsson (formerly the Kingsboln), he is credited with transporting 200,000 troops through 300,000 miles of enemy infested waters without major mishaps although under fire many times. Born in Jersey City, he graduated from the New York State Nautical School at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx (now the New York State Maritime College) in 1915, and went to sea at the age of 16 as a quartermaster of the Mallory and Panama Line. Six months later, he was awarded the master's ticket and assumed his first command. He served on transports during both World Wars. In 1948, he received a navy commendation when he rescued five navy airmen who were forced to ditch their plane off Nantucket Shoals. He received the Merchant Marine Achievement award from the American Legion in 1957, and a citation for outstanding maritime achievement from the Council of American Master Mariners in 1958. - Bergenfield Museum Hall of Fame (2005)

      • REVIEW: After a rocky start, the panel had a pretty decent and fun night. The panel was totally stumped by the first mystery guest who turned out to be the show's sponsor, Dr. Montenier. The purpose for his visit was to give his belated congratulations to John and the panel for their six years on television. John then paid the good doctor a compliment when he said that he was proud that Doctor Montenier was a good sponsor because he wasn't a sponsor who interfered in the production of the show. In the second game, Dorothy Kilgallen blew a golden opportunity when she asked the commodore if his vessel was "smaller than an ocean liner," to which Anderson promptly answered "no." It then left the door wide open for Bennett, who made the correct guess. During the mystery guest round, the "Itty Bitty and Witty" Mr. Daly took great delight in trying to mislead the panel, but they still were able to correctly identify the sexy Jayne Mansfield, who was on to promote the play "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter." This was really a fun night. - Sargebri (2005)

        Miss Mansfield was at the time appearing in the Broadway play "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter." She also would appear in the 1957 film version, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" with Tony Randall in the title role. It is unknown why the title of the play does not contain a question mark, but the title of the movie does. - Sargebri (2005)

        Eight years after her appearance on the show, Jayne Mansfield would give birth to a daughter with her husband Mickey Hargitay. That daughter, Mariska, would later grow up to star in the crime drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" for which she won a well deserved Golden Globe award in 2005. Sadly, three years after this happy moment when Mariska was born, Miss Mansfield would be killed in a 1967 automobile accident while driving from Mississippi to New Orleans. Fortunately, Mariska, as well as her brother Miklos and half-brother Antonio Raphael Ottaviano Cimber, only suffered minor injuries in the crash. - Sargebri (2005)

      • Dr. Jules Montenier, the creator and manufacturer of Stopette Deodorant, and sponsor of What's My Line? for six years, stops by to stump the panel as the first mystery guest. The good doctor comments that he watches the show every week, not because he's the show's sponsor, but simply because he likes it! Arlene says that now What's My Line? will have to invite Mr. Remington (the show's other sponsor) for equal time. John Daly thanks Dr. Montenier for never having interfered with the program in over six years. Next, Jayne Mansfield shows up to promote her play, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter." After sitting so close to the beautiful Miss Mansfield, John Daly comments, "Now you all understand why I'm so dedicated to my work!" Captain John Anderson of the S.S. United States rounds out the trio of contestants. - Jim's TV Collectables (2005)

        The first contestant is Dr. Jules Montenier, the "famous cosmetic chemist" whose company was the very first 1950 sponsor of What's My Line? The blindfolded panel didn't guess who he was, and lost! Jules Montenier, Inc. produced the pioneering Stopette Deodorant, which came in new plastic spray-squeeze bottles. In addition, they sold Poof! Deodorant Body Powder, and Finesse "Flowing Creme" Shampoo. The corporation was sold to Helene Curtis in about March 1956. Helene Curtis continued to sponsor What's My Line? through most of 1958 - Suzanne (2003)

        MONTENIER LOST HIS LEG IN 1954: The May 31, 1954 edition of the Chicago Tribune reported the following: "Remove Manufacturer's Leg After Auto Crash: Dr. Jules Montenier, age 59, cosmetics manufacturer, remained in critical condition in St. Joseph's hospital, Elgin, last night after surgeons amputated his leg." - Suzanne (2009)

        Tidbits: This episode contains a rare reference to Gil Fates, when Fred asks if the guest is "Mr. Fates" during the first game. Fred also mentions that today is Abe Lincoln's birthday. - Suzanne (2003)

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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)