What's My Line?

Season 7 Episode 27


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 04, 1956 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Mrs. Martica Hartley - "Conducts Tours Under Water" (self-employed; she works with her husband as an underwater tour guide; she works in a diving helmet and a swimsuit; she mentions that she walks on the ocean floor; she is of British heritage from Bermuda)

Game 2: William Neely - "Tattoo Artist" (self-employed; from Denver, Colorado)

Game 3: Betty Hutton (2/26/1921 - 3/12/2007) (as Mystery Guest) She mentions she is "Mother of the Year" for the "City of Hope" leukemia research for children.

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)

    • John Daly: And panel, I have some news for you.
      Dorothy Kilgallen: Oh no.
      Arlene Francis: All right.
      John Daly: You don't have to put on your blindfolds. I guess there's something masochistic or something about me -- I have to keep you on tenterhooks about that.

  • NOTES (5)

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at seven down. The panel had come close to figuring out this contestant's line, but was unable to guess the exact occupation of "conducts tours under water." John then flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at four down. In this case, the panel was pretty far afield and never came close to the exact line. No panel walk-bys were eliminated in this episode. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: For tonight's show, the main sponsor's panel desk billboard reads as Remington Rand business machines.
      (2) THE DAYS DWINDLE DOWN - AND QUIP WATCH: This was Fred Allen's next-to-last "WML?" episode prior to his death thirteen days from now. When introducing Dorothy, Fred mentioned that he had a "scoop" about the weather being so cold that "they had to put a toupee on 'Old Baldy'." This was a possible reference to North Carolina's oldest standing lighthouse, Old Baldy. Or, it may have been a reference to the nickname of a hill in Korea that was dubbed Old Baldy during the Korean War.
      (3) BETTY HUTTON: The famed actress/singer makes the first of two "WML?" appearances this evening. Her mystery guest spot tonight came nearly a year and a half after she headlined a TV "spectacular" on NBC called "Satins and Spurs," aired under the banner of "Max Liebman Presents," with songs by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, and which was broadcast on September 12, 1954 (one week prior to CBS's experimental color "WML?" EPISODE #225 of September 19, 1954). This musical TV special was the first color presentation to emanate from the former Vitagraph studios at 1268 East 14th Street in Brooklyn, which remained an NBC studio for the next four decades. (Among the most famous productions originating there were Mary Martin's "Peter Pan," the 1964-1999 soap opera "Another World" and the early years of the 1984-1992 sitcom "The Cosby Show.") In this "Max Liebman Presents: Satins and Spurs" special, Miss Hutton played "Cindy Smathers," a rodeo queen performing at Madison Square Garden, for whom a dashing Life magazine photographer (played by Kevin McCarthy, a future "WML?" guest panelist) has eyes. The production was plagued with troubles behind the scenes, mostly stemming from Miss Hutton's insistence that her soon-to-be ex-husband at the time, Charles O'Curran, direct the project. The special was widely panned in the press, and led to Miss Hutton making the first of several "retirements" from show business; it was later listed among "The Worst TV Shows Ever" in the 1980 book of the same name. There was also a soundtrack album of "Satins and Spurs," issued on Capitol Records (10" album L-547, with Earl Wrightson replacing Mr. McCarthy on the LP); amazingly, though it was something of an industry flop at the time, it was reissued on CD by DRG Records in 2003. At the time of tonight's "WML?" show, Miss Hutton was married to longtime Capitol executive Alan W. Livingston, who in the 1940's had created "Bozo the Clown" which was originally a character on children's records, and later licensed as a TV franchise to Larry Harmon who died on July 3, 2008. Miss Hutton and Mr. Livingston's marriage, like her union with Mr. O'Curran and two other marriages (to Ted Briskin and Pete Candoli), subsequently ended in divorce. A side note about the "Satin and Spurs" "color spectacular" was that after it was over, NBC broadcast a tour of their new Brooklyn color studio. The guide: then-regular "WML?" panelist Steve Allen, who was absent from the show that night (EPISODE #224 of September 12, 1954) having been replaced by guest panelist Robert Q. Lewis.
      (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: As is typical of many "WML?" episodes in this period, the end credits go no further than executive producer Gil Fates' art card, after the American Airlines travel arrangements plug, so it is a mystery as to who was the show's director tonight (Frank Satenstein was credited last week). GSN's "crunching" of the screen on its September 3, 2008 airing of this episode, however, was no mystery -- and as much an outrage as ever.
      (5) The September 3, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the August 25, 1953 edition of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Robert Q. Lewis, with the panel of Carl Reiner, Joan Alexander and Bill Stern. The celebrity guest was Franchot Tone. - W-B (2008)

    • Fans of Betty Hutton may be interested in the 30-minute Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy show of September 28, 1947. The guest that evening was Betty Hutton. This show and more recordings by Betty are available for purchase at MSN Music. - Lee McIntyre (2005)


    • REVIEW: After the previous week's excellent performance, the panel had a downer of a night. In the first game, the panel came close, but they never did figure out that the contestant gave guided tours underwater. The panel really tanked it in the second game as they were so far off track that John flipped the cards over and the tattoo artist won by default. The evening wasn't a total loss, though, as Fred correctly identified mystery guest Betty Hutton. After the game, Miss Hutton made a heartfelt appeal for the City of Hope's juvenile cancer wing, especially for the children who suffered from leukemia. Miss Hutton's appeal helped to make it a very emotional evening. - Sargebri (2005)

    • John Daly holds Betty Hutton's hand throughout the questioning because she's nervous! Betty delivers a public service announcement for The City of Hope, which has voted her Mother of the Year for 1956. At the end of the program, Arlene asks the audience to write in if they want to see the contestant/panel walk-by eliminated so the show would have time for more contestants. She says, "We sure would like to see it eliminated, so write in and tell us what you think (wink, wink)." - Jim's TV Collectables (2005)

      The first contestant on this show, Matricia Hartley, conducted underwater tours in Bermuda. This family would later switch their operations to Nassau, Bahamas. I actually took this tour in Nassau and I believe it was conducted by Matricia's son. It was a lot of fun. As you climb into the water, they put a large diving helmet over your head which has an air hose to the surface. You climb down a latter about 20 feet and walk along the ocean floor. They even have a trained fish that swims over to you and likes to be "pet" like a cat. Anyone going to Nassau should check this out. - ymike (2005)

      BYE-BYE WALK-BY: At the end of the show, Arlene Francis asked John Daly if the show could save time for more contestants by doing away with the "walk-by" that the contestants performed in front of the panel after signing in. John told her to ask the audience, so she did. She told home viewers to "write in" in they wanted to skip this part of the show in the future. Arlene's suggestion wins approval, so if won't be much longer that you'll hear Mr. Daly tell the contestant to "take a hike" in front of the panel. - Suzanne (2003)

      FUTURE FINAL BEFORE-GAME PANEL WALK-BY: The final time we see a panel walk-by performed on the show is on EPISODE #310 of May 13, 1956. Beginning with EPISODE #311 of May 20, 1956, they were fully eliminated, with no comment from John Daly or the panel. - Suzanne (2008)

      Regarding the walk-by and free wild guesses: In the early 1950 to 1955 episodes, before the questioning started, the guests used to walk by the panel, where they would be asked questions such as, "May I see that label in your suit?" and "Would you do a dance kick for me?" and "Can I look at your hands?" Of course, one that was always good for a laugh was, "Can I feel your muscles?" Next, they took a random free "wild guess" at the guest's occupation. In one free guess, Dorothy got very close by guessing that a house detective was "some kind of law enforcement." The ever-impressive Miss K! - Faustine (2003)

      Tidbits: Bennett mentions that the noted New York columnist, Jack O'Brien of the "NY Journal-American," called him a "well-adjusted ham." Bennett then playfully introduces John as "a very good egg." - Suzanne (2003)

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