What's My Line?

Season 7 Episode 29


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



  • Notes

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at one down. Bennett had quickly figured out his line, prompting Arlene to comically quip, "I hope he makes more money as a goalie than he did tonight on What's My Line?," so John flipped the cards to be nice. In the second game, John flipped them at five down for the second contestant as well. The panel had guessed her line, but John flipped the cards because the winnings were being donated to the Heart Fund in memory of Fred Allen. Finally, John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at seven down because time ran out. The panel came close on this one, but they were unable to identify the exact line of jazz pianist. - agent_0042 (2008)

      WALK-BY WATCH: It has now been a couple episodes since Arlene Francis suggested that viewers write in if they'd like to see the panel walk-bys eliminated. At this point, they are still present, though John does dispense with it for the final game to save time. - agent_0042 (2008)

      REVIEW: This definitely was a very sad occasion as the panel mourned the loss of Fred Allen. As John mentioned, there were thoughts about not airing a regular show at all. Instead, John explained, the producers discussed showing various film clips of Fred's finest moments. However, John said that at the urging of Fred's widow, Portland Hoffa, they decided to perform a regular show in Fred's honor. Indeed, the panel honored their fallen friend by going a remarkable 3 for 4 on the evening. In the first game, Bennett correctly guessed that Jacques Plante was the goalkeeper for the Montreal Canadiens. In fact, "Les Habs" had just defeated the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. In the second game, Bennett, with a huge assist from Dolly Mae, correctly guessed that Mrs. Jules Lederer (aka Ann Landers) was an advice columnist. Of course, this was before Ann Landers and her identical twin sister, Abigail Van Buren (aka Dear Abby), would become household names. In the mystery guest round, Bennett again was successful as he identified Cyd Charisse, who was on the show to promote the film "Meet Me in Las Vegas." Bennett's run ended in the fourth game as Dorothy correctly guessed that the cute girl from Japan was a jazz musician. However, because Dorothy didn't guess that the young lady was a jazz pianist, she was not given credit for the win, and the contestant won the full prize by default of time. To sum up this episode, despite the sad occasion of having to mourn their friend Fred Allen, the panel had a successful night and, somewhere up there, Fred was smiling down on his friends. - Sargebri (2008)

      THE POST FRED ALLEN ERA BEGINS: Tonight decidedly was a sad evening as the panel mourned the death of their friend and colleague, Fred Allen. His death marked the end of an era for WML; however, it also marked the beginning of what could be considered a golden era for the show. Following Fred's passing, the producers never did find another permanent panelist to fill Fred's shoes. As it turned out, they began to have a rotating door of guest panelists sit in. Many of the gentlemen who would sit in would become so popular that they would become almost permanent members of the family. Among the men who would sit in with the panel were such entertainers as Joey Bishop, Buddy Hackett, Steve Lawrence and Ernie Kovacs. However, two gentlemen would more or less come to symbolize this era; Martin Gabel and Tony Randall. Arlene's beloved husband, Martin, made his first appearance on the panel a few months after Fred's passing and would go on to hold the record for appearances among all guest panelists, both male and female, at an incredible 112. In fact, Martin would often sub for Bennett in the anchor position whenever Bennett would go on his annual vacations. Martin's distinguished voice, as well as his good humor, made him an automatic favorite. As for Tony, he would go on to become the beloved "loveable loser" of the panel. He rarely, if ever, made a correct guess of any of the regular contestants and when he did, it was a special occasion. However, his good humor and clever wit made him a very beloved fixture of the WML panel. - Sargebri (2008)

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