What's My Line?

Season 7 Episode 29

EPISODE #302

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Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 18, 1956 on CBS

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  • Notes

    • (1) A DOUBLE TRIBUTE: Not only was tonight's show a tribute to just-deceased panelist Fred Allen, but GSN's September 5, 2008 "regular rotation" airing of this episode also served as an unofficial tribute to second mystery guest Cyd Charisse, who died on June 17, 2008 at age 87.
      (2) MANY IRONIES: Being as Fred Allen had died of a heart attack, and first mystery guest Ann Landers had her winnings donated to the Heart Fund, three of the participants of tonight's show subsequently met their ends in similar ways: Steve Allen died of a heart attack on October 30, 2000 at age 78 following a car accident; second mystery guest Cyd Charisse died of complications from a heart attack on June 17, 2008; and panel moderator John Charles Daly died of cardiac arrest on February 24, 1991 at age 77. As it related to Steve, this also made John's flub (heard towards the end of the program) of accidentally referring to Fred as "Steve" likewise ironic, in a somewhat macabre way.
      (3) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: For this tribute to a fallen panelist, the main sponsor was Remington Rand, with the panel desk billboard displayed as Remington Rand typewriters.
      (4) THE "OLD GANG" - TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME: With Steve back on the panel for this episode, the "classic" lineup as constituted between 1953 and 1954 is assembled for the first time since the now-lost experimental color EPISODE #225 of September 19, 1954. However, it was the first time that such a panel was assembled with Arlene on the far end of the panel desk, and Dorothy seated between Steve and Bennett. It was also the first time in "WML?'s" history that there was a dissolve, rather than a cold cut, from the opening titles to the shot of the panel in an episode where they were pre-seated. This "classic" lineup, with variations of the seating arrangement for the ladies, will be in evidence on nine more shows after tonight, the last being EPISODE #788 of October 31, 1965 which was Dorothy's next-to-last episode before her own tragic death.
      (5) This was to be the only appearances of both of the mystery guests who appeared tonight. In the case of Cyd Charisse, while the famed actress/dancer never made another "WML?" appearance, her husband, singer Tony Martin, to whom she was married from 1948 until her death, would appear as a mystery guest twice, on EPISODE #565 of May 21, 1961 and EPISODE #636 of October 28, 1962. As for Ann Landers, her twin sister, fellow advice columnist Abigail Van Buren (as in "Dear Abby"; real name Pauline Friedman Phillips), made no appearances on either the CBS or syndicated versions of "WML?"
      (6) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: As with the Dorothy Kilgallen tribute episode, originally seen nine years, seven months and 27 days from tonight, only the "WML?" title card is shown after the good nights. The amount of time this title card was on the screen was so short in this case, however, that when GSN aired this episode on September 5, 2008, they were essentially thwarted in their efforts to do their usual "crunching" of the screen, so the viewing audience got to see the end in full screen, with original audio.
      (7) GSN's September 5, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the September 8, 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 celebrity guest David Wayne. This "TNTS" episode (which came five months prior to Mr. Wayne's lone "WML?" appearance as a guest panelist on EPISODE #193 of February 7, 1954) was the last on which the celebrity guest's segment had him or her playing "I'd Like to Be..." (on this show, Mr. Wayne would like to have been General William Dean, who was listed on graphic artist Hy Bley's card as "Gen. Wm. Dean, Hero of Korea"). - W-B (2008)

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