What's My Line?

Season 7 Episode 48


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jul 29, 1956 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Miss Elizabeth Doonan - "Bus Conductor" (salaried; she has been in this occupation for 20 years; from the Newton / Nairn area, which is outside of Glasgow, Scotland)

Game 2: George Thorpe - "Exercise Instructor in Ladies' Reducing Salon" (salaried; about age 20; he works for a chain of salons which was not named; from Webster Groves, MO)

Game 3: James Mason (5/15/1909 - 7/27/1984) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Miss Dorothy Jambrek - "Alimony Clerk" (Receives and Makes Payments - Municipal Court)" (salaried; she handles 550 active accounts; from Kenosha, WI)

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)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (4)

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at four down. Arlene had guessed the contestant's line as being that of a "street car conductor" and the contestant clarified it to "bus conductor," so John flipped the cards on the technicality. In the final game, John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at eight down. The panel got as far as identifying the contestant as being associated with some sort of local government work, but were unable to get any further. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL NAMEPLATE WATCH: The main sponsor for this evening's edition is Helene Curtis. Tonight marks the first and last time that "WML?" guest panelist Roger Price is seen on the show. For the occasion, his nameplate on the panel desk appears to be set in Franklin Gothic Extra Condensed, and the spacing is identical to nameplates set in the period from late 1950 until 1952.
      (2) BAD PUN ALERT: Though relatively more subtle than subsequent efforts, Bennett nonetheless distinguished himself during the intro when he noted that "our panel moderator" had come back from trout fishing in Canada, where he caught "Robert Trout and seven little Trouts." This was a multi-level pun, not only making reference to Robert Trout (the legendary CBS News broadcaster, and future co-mystery guest, two weeks down the road) but also a play-on-words on the title of the 1955 film "The Seven Little Foys" which starred frequent "WML?" mystery guest Bob Hope.
      (3) JAMES MASON: The veteran actor makes his first extant appearance on "WML?" tonight (his very first appearance, on EPISODE #74 of October 28, 1951, tragically no longer exists). Besides his then-new film "Bigger Than Life," which was released on August 2, 1956 -- four days after this evening's episode -- Mr. Mason played the "Guardian Angel" in the 1956 Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz theatrical feature "Forever, Darling," and was in a production of the TV series "General Electric Summer Originals" which aired on July 10, 1956, entitled "Duel at Dawn."
      (4) "WML?" OVERLAY SCREEN WATCH: While this practice would ultimately be phased out, the "WML?" typesetters, even with the then-new (to the show) Futura Demi Bold, still managed, from time to time, to combine all capital letters with mixed-case (upper and lower case) letters, as was evident on the final contestant's overlay: "ALIMONY CLERK (Receives And Makes Payments - Municipal Court)."
      (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: After the customary travel arrangements plug for American Airlines, the complete, full production crew credits were shown tonight -- and for what seemed like an eternity, GSN once again was at the ready to spring their "crunching" of the screen on their captive, unwilling and unsuspecting audience on the September 24, 2008 airing of this episode.
      (6) The September 24, 2008 airing by GSN of tonight's show was followed by the January 19, 1954 edition of "The Name's the Same." Host Robert Q. Lewis once again presided over the panel of Gene Rayburn, Joan Alexander and Bill Stern -- in the third-last episode to feature this lineup -- and surrealist painter Salvador Dali was the celebrity guest this time out. - W-B (2008)

    • REVIEW: The panel did very well this particular evening. All by herself, Dorothy almost made the correct ID of the Scottish bus conductor until she made a critical mistake and received a "no." However, when the questioning cycled around to her again, she then made the correct guess. In the second game, which proved to be rather humorous at times, Arlene correctly identified the male exercise instructor. In the mystery guest round, Bennett correctly identified James Mason. Mason was on the show to promote his latest movie "Bigger Than Life," which was to be released later that week. In the final game, the panel ran out of time, so the alimony clerk from Kenosha, Wisconsin won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

      Bennett sealed the deal in the mystery guest round when he asked if James Mason had a daughter named for someone who was very dear to the panel, to which Mason answered "yes." They were referring to Mason's daughter Portland, who was named for Fred Allen's widow Portland Hoffa. Portland Mason was the oldest daughter of Mason and his wife Pamela. She would follow in her parents' footsteps and become an actress in her own right. In fact, she began acting at the age of four. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2004 at the age of 55. However, Portland wasn't the only child of James Mason to go into acting. His son Morgan would become an actor and producer. At age 21, Morgan was involved in a somewhat scandalous affair with Oscar winning actress Louise Fletcher who was 26 years his senior. However, he would settle for a woman his own age when he married former Go-Go's singer Belinda Carlisle in 1986. - Sargebri (2005)

      Roger Price was one of the two creators of the "Mad Libs" humor books in the 1950s. His co-creator was Leonard Stern, who was a writer for "The Steve Allen Show" and many more programs. - videopro1 (2005)

    • THE LOW-PROTEIN ROCKEFELLER DIET: During the post-game chat in game two, Bennett mentions the Rockefeller Diet. In 1956, Horizon Press published a book authored by Roy de Groot titled "How I Reduced with the New Rockefeller Diet (Part 1. The Rockefeller Diet; Part 2. The Diet for Gourmets)" The book was billed as "The intelligent person's guide to lifetime control of overweight; developed by scientists at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research." This fad diet was high in vegetables and low in proteins. This diet plan is not considered to be healthy by modern-day standards. - Suzanne (2005, updated 2009)

      James Mason promoted his upcoming 1956 film, "Bigger Than Life" in which he co-stars with Barbara Rush and Walter Matthau. - Suzanne (2005)

      Tidbits: Tonight is guest panelist Roger Price's first and only appearance on WML. He was often seen on other G-T game shows, such as "The Name's the Same," complete with his "Droodles" pad. John Daly is sunburned on this episode. - Suzanne (2005)

      Roger Price (3/6/1918 - 10/31/1990)

      Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Roger Price, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.