What's My Line?

Season 1 Episode 3


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 02, 1950 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • GOOF: During the first game, John accidently says, "Thanks for being with us on What's My Name?" - dan62 (2004)

  • Quotes

  • Notes

    • REVIEW: Tonight, the panel put in an excellent performance as they scored a perfecto in going 4 for 4. Arlene got things started off on the right foot in the first game when she correctly guessed that the first contestant was a hotel house detective or, as she apologetically put it, a "house dick." In the second game, Louis correctly guessed that the rather tall and attractive lady was a housewife. In the mystery guest round, Dorothy correctly identified Artie James. The perfect night was completed when Louis correctly guessed that the gentleman from Brooklyn was an exterminator. - Sargebri (2008)

      TWO DOWN, ONE TO GO!!! Tonight marked the first time that the two ladies who were synonymous with WML, Dorothy Kilgallen and Arlene Francis, were on the panel together. Arlene missed the premier episode due to a previous commitment, and Dolly Mae missed the second episode because she was away on assignment. Now that Arlene and Dorothy are onboard, the only piece left to the WML panel is Bennett. However, he won't make his first appearance until months later and it still would be a couple of years before the Squire of Mount Kisco became the anchorman of the WML panel. - Sargebri (2008)

      1) Dorothy Kilgallen appeared for the first time and provided some thoughtful questions and game play. However, she was not yet entirely confident, evidenced by the fact that she chose to pass to the next panelist twice during the program. John Daly once again referred to the mystery challenger as "Mr. X," giving away the guest's gender to the panel.
      2) The second contestant of the night was a "housewife." Technically, this contestant was unemployed, but "housewife" was given as her line. The panel would be presented with this "occupation" once more in the history of the program, on EPISODE #259 of May 22, 1955. After this second "housewife" contestant in 1955, if a contestant was married, he or she had to have some other full-time or part-time occupation to qualify for an appearance on the program. Of course, in both 1950 and 1955, it was still extremely common for the general public to a consider the role of "housewife" to be a full-time occupation in its own right.
      3) Dr. Hoffmann could be seen smoking at the end of the program. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "THAT'S 2 DOWN AND 1 TO GO" - FAMILIAR LONGTIME PANELISTS, THAT IS: Tonight, for the first but certainly not the last time, Dorothy Kilgallen and Arlene Francis appear together on the "WML?" panel. It will be another seven months before the last "major" component of this core group, Random House publisher/future panelist Bennett Cerf, makes his first appearance on the program, another year from tonight before Bennett becomes a regular (after Louis Untermeyer is forced off the show due to his reputed Communist affiliations), and another three years from this evening before Mr. Cerf permanently assumes the "anchor" position of the panel desk (following the firing of Hal Block who makes his "WML?" debut two weeks from tonight's show, in the first of over 100 episodes from the 1950-1952 period that have become lost to history).
      (2) With new director Franklin Heller in place, not only does the set arrangement that will come to be associated with the program debut tonight, but also the procedure of introducing the panelists in a clockwise manner. On the first two shows, the panel members were introduced counterclockwise. Due to the panel seating order this particular evening, the honor of introducing panel moderator John Daly falls on Dorothy Kilgallen, more than three years before her introduction of him on EPISODE #178 of October 25, 1953. Dolly Mae is therefore the first, but by no means the last, female panelist to introduce John on the program -- in only the third episode. In future years, other female panelists will mistakenly announce that they are the first females to introduce John, when all along, the honors belong to our very own Dorothy Kilgallen.
      (3) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: For the second week in a row, Stymie Extra Bold is used as the occupation overlay font, and once again, the typeface tends to go past the television "title safety" standards.
      (4) MYSTERY GUEST: This was the first of two "WML?" appearances by "Swing Era" big-band leader and clarinetist Artie Shaw, famous for such hits as "Begin the Beguine," "Stardust," and "Dancing in the Dark" (the latter of which is not to be confused with Bruce Springsteen's 1984 hit of the same name). Mr. Shaw will appear one more time, as a guest panelist (filling in for Bennett Cerf), on EPISODE #118 of August 31, 1952. Also, Dorothy's query about whether he played "longhair music" was ironic in another way, as Mr. Shaw performed classical music at Carnegie Hall in the late 1940's, as well as once performing with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Leonard Bernstein. The much-married Artie's ex-wives included "Forever Amber" author Kathleen Winsor, who will be a mystery guest on the "lost" EPISODE #18 of October 1, 1950, and actresses Lana Turner and Ava Gardner who will also be mystery guests on "WML?" in the future. However, another of his exes, actress Evelyn Keyes, would never appear on "WML?"
      (5) WELCOME ABOARD, FRANKLIN HELLER!!! This third effort was the first to be directed by Franklin Heller, who will be associated with "WML?" for the rest of its 17.5-year CBS run. He will direct all but about a dozen or more of the remaining network episodes. During a ten-year stretch, 1954 to 1964, those shows not directed by Mr. Heller will be helmed by such alternates as Frank Satenstein, Paul Alter, S. Robert Rowe, and Ira Skutch. There may be unknown alternate directors who filled in for Mr. Heller within some of the episodes from the 1950-1952 period that became lost to history. However, one director who did not fill in for Mr. Heller on the original CBS "WML?," but who had subbed for him on some early-to-mid 1950's episodes of the original, Bud Collyer-hosted "Beat the Clock," was Lloyd Gross. Mr. Gross went on to direct the 1968-1975 daily color syndicated version of "WML?"
      (6) There was a little irony to John's accidentally referring to the show title as "What's My Name?" after the first game, as "What's My Name?" was the title of an old radio game show co-hosted by none other than future "WML?" panelist Arlene Francis. It bounced back and forth between NBC and Mutual from 1938 through 1942, then returned for another stint on ABC in 1949. (Source: "Tune In Yesterday," by John Dunning, published in 1976 by Prentice-Hall.)
      (7) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: On the most recent February 28, 2008 airing of this episode, GSN yet again revoltingly subjected its long-suffering viewers to its rancid, repulsive and recalcitrant proclivity for "crunching" the end credit sequence.
      (8) Following GSN's February 28, 2008 airing of tonight's show, the cable and satellite channel ran the June 17, 1963 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, with the panel on this episode consisting of Bill Cullen, Joan Fontaine (subbing for Betsy Palmer), Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson, and celebrity guest Peggy Cass, who was one of the main panelists on Goodson-Todman's "To Tell the Truth." There was a bit of irony to Peggy's "IGAS" appearance here, given her tenure on the "TTTT" panel through the 1969-1978 syndicated version, all but the last season and part of the next-to-last season of which was also hosted by Mr. Moore, and on which Mr. Cullen was also a panelist for its entire run. - W-B (2008)

    • REVIEW: The panel did exceptionally well tonight. They worked as a team to figure out that the first contestant was a house detective, or as Arlene apologetically termed it, a "house dick." Louis identified the second contestant, who was a housewife. There was no shortage of housewives, since this was definitely in the days before most women entered the workforce. Dorothy really was cute in the way she figured out that the mystery guest was big band leader Artie Shaw. Ironically, she asked him if he were a musician who played "longhair music." This was how classical music was described back in the 1950s. However, if it were 15 years later, longhair music could apply to rock and roll. Of course, it would be another four years before the first rumblings of rock music were felt. Louis then capped off the evening by guessing that the final contestant was an exterminator. This was definitely a great evening. A couple of patterns are seen to emerge on this particular episode. One was the unusual amount of conferences being called. In fact, many of them were called by Louis. Also, you begin to see Dorothy almost being sly while questioning the contestants, especially the male ones. However, this episode will always be best remembered for being the first episode that featured Arlene and Dorothy, the two women who were the legendary faces of WML, sitting on the panel together. And together they would remain, solving thousands of games, until Dorothy's unfortunate passing 15 years later. - Sargebri (2004)

      FIVENINEGAL'S THOUGHTS - This is a wonderfully fun episode! Hooray for having both Arlene and Dorothy together on the panel for the very first time! And may I just say, Dorothy is ADORABLE! She is so young and healthy looking. Her fierce winner-take-all game playing attitude is not fully present yet. During the "conference," the two men were leaning in towards Arlene, thereby leaving Dorothy out of the discussion. I looked at her for some sign that she did not like this. However, if it bothered her to be the "odd man out," she did not show it. Arlene pulled a Bennett on us! She kept asking if the house detective worked on many different floors of a building. At one point he didn't respond, and Arlene quipped, "We floored him!" - fiveninegal (2004)

    • THE LOOK OF THINGS - At last, the studio set is in the familiar placement. The sign-in board, which is still a piece of white art paper on an easel, is standing between the panel's desk and John's desk. Tonight's short film, seen prior to the opening scrolling credits, features a "hip" man in a checkered suit listening to a jukebox. - Suzanne (2004)

      OOPS - At the end of the first game with the detective, John shakes the guest's hand and accidently says, "Thanks for being with us on What's My Name?" - Suzanne (2004)

      A clip of Arlene Francis from this episode is shown on the final EPISODE #876 of September 3, 1967. - Suzanne (2004)

      Tidbits: This third episode marks Franklin Heller's debut as director. On this episode, John starts meeting the contestants at the sign-in board. There is no formal sponsor yet. In these early episodes, neither is there any meaningful post-game conversation with the regular guests, to ask them where they are employed. In addition, these early shows have no panel "walk ons." Instead, they feature the panel "guest walk by" and the "free guess" features, both of which will be eliminated in the future to save time. - Suzanne (2004)

      Panel: Dr. Richard Hoffmann, Arlene Francis, Louis Untermeyer, Dorothy Kilgallen. This is Dr. Hoffmann's third and final appearance.

  • Allusions