What's My Line?

Season 8 Episode 11


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Nov 11, 1956 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Victor W. Nixon - "Professional Mind Reader" (self-employed; his professional name is The Great Nixon; he is the father of Vic Perry, the "plugola" guest on WML? EPISODE #278 of October 2, 1955; from Aldershot, Hampshire, England; see notes below)

Game 2: Mrs. Elsie Lawrence - "Packages Reducing Pills" (salaried; she packages Amplus, a prescription-only drug made by the Charles Pfizer Company; using the Rx tablets, she has lost 40 lbs. and has 55 lbs. more to go; from Long Island City, NY)

Game 3: Walt Disney (12/5/1901 - 12/15/1966) (as Mystery Guest)

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 (1)

    • Walt Disney: (on why he didn't try to disguise his voice) I would have used the falsetto, but that's the mouse!
      John Daly: And that would have given it all away!

  • NOTES (5)

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at one down, even though Jerry Lewis had correctly guessed her product during an "unauthorized" conference. John flipped the cards either on the technicality that Jerry guessed her line out of turn, or on the technicality that her exact line of "packages reducing pills" was not guessed. John also stated that they had fun with the game, and with all the laughing that took place, it was apparent that they did. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: This evening, the main sponsor is Remington Rand typewriters. And it should be noted that while the three regular panelists and Mr. Daly all entered from stage right (or the viewer's left side), guest panelist Jerry Lewis entered from stage left (or the viewer's right side). In so doing, Mr. Lewis (whose final film with Dean Martin, "Hollywood or Bust," was released less than a month after tonight's show) pointed to the future of "WML?" in one important sense, as when the series moved its base of operations from CBS Studio 59 (aka the Mansfield Theatre) to CBS Studio 52 in 1960, curtain entrances from the viewer's right side became a permanent part of the show opening for the remainder of its run on CBS.
      (2) About the first contestant, mind reader Victor W. Nixon, it should be noted that he was not the only person with such a surname in Britain to be associated with the field of magic. The late David Nixon (1919-1978) was a famous magician in England who appeared in numerous TV shows and was especially famous for being a panelist on the British version of "WML?," alongside Barbara Kelly, Gilbert Harding and Lady Isobel Barnett. Of the British "WML?" regulars, only Miss Kelly, "chairman" Eamonn Andrews, and early panelist Ghislaine Alexander made any appearances on the U.S. "WML?," with Mr. Andrews being the only one to have been on as a guest panelist, substitute panel moderator, and mystery guest. It is not known, however, if David Nixon was of any relation to Victor W. Nixon.
      (3) WALT DISNEY: The famed cartoon producer makes his only "WML?" appearance this evening. He was sort of a colleague of Mr. Daly's in the sense of being on the same network, ABC, at the time -- Mr. Disney with his series "Disneyland" and "The Mickey Mouse Club" (and the series "Zorro" premiering in 1957), and John as anchor of the network's nightly newscast. It was with "Disneyland" in particular that ABC had its first bona fide ratings hit, as well as the beginnings of an on-again, off-again relationship that culminated in the Disney company acquiring ABC in 1995. It was also in 1956 that Mr. Disney switched full-time to having all his product distributed by his own company, Buena Vista Distribution Corp. (Since 1937, his works had been distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, which was a year away from going out of business at the point of tonight's show.) As a side note, the announcer for Disney's TV shows up to 1979 was Dick Wesson (1919-1979), who has often been confused with a comedian, actor and writer of the same name (1922-1996) whose credits included "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction," as well as numerous TV appearances with his brother Gene (as The Wesson Brothers) on "The Ed Sullivan Show." At the time of this episode, a live-action feature called "Westward Ho the Wagons!," which was produced by Mr. Disney's company, was being readied for release a month later. This motion picture was notable in that it was the last new theatrical movie release to feature George Reeves, who was already famous at this point for his role as "Clark Kent/Superman" on the 1951-1958 "Adventures of Superman" TV series. Mr. Reeves, however, never made any appearances on "WML?"
      (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Once again tonight, following the travel arrangements plug for American Airlines, the end credits go no further than the art card for executive producer Gil Fates. And once again, on GSN's October 9, 2008 airing of this episode, the end credits were mercilessly subjected to the cable and satellite channel's usual sadistic procedure of "crunching" the screen.
      (5) Following the October 9, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the May 11, 1954 edition of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Robert Q. Lewis, with the panel of Arnold Stang, Bess Myerson, Gene Rayburn and Joan Alexander, and Vaughn Monroe as the celebrity guest. - W-B (2008)

    • THE GREAT NIXON: Although few and far between, there are net references to Victor Nixon. In 1932, Nixon was a member of the Wessex Magical Association. Their meetings were held in Gatti's Restaurant in Bournemouth, England, and Nixon was elected as their first Secretary. At that time, Nixon owned a business named Nixon's Magical Depot, which was Bournemouth's first shop to deal exclusively in magical equipment. - Suzanne (2005)

      FRED ALLEN MENTION: Bennett Cerf mentions that former panelist Fred Allen's posthumous biography, "Much Ado About Me," is soon to be published by Little Brown & Co. Publishers. - Suzanne (2005)

      MYSTERY GUEST: Walt Disney mentioned that an article about himself was coming out in Tuesday's edition of the Saturday Evening Post. The article was written by his daughter. Read more about this episode here, including a detailed description of the mystery guest round: Walt Disney on 1956 WML - Suzanne (2005)


    • REVIEW: This was a somewhat perfect night for the panel and a somewhat unusual one as well. At the beginning of the show, Arlene walked out and announced that she didn't know who the guest panelist was. She then introduced Dorothy, who also didn't know, so Dorothy then introduced Bennett who did his usual duties by introducing John. It was then up to John to introduce the mystery panelist who turned out to be Jerry Lewis. Later, John admitted that he didn't know who was going to sit in the second chair until just before air time. As for the games themselves, the panel looked as if they were going to go down to defeat when Dorothy, almost by accident, asked if the contestant was a mindreader or a pickpocket and made the identification. John then revealed that Mr. Nixon's son, Vic Perry, had been a contestant a year earlier. In the second game, Jerry got a weenie and spoke out of turn to announce that he knew what the lady dealt with. He was allowed to continue, so he blurted out that she made diet pills. Of course, the audience roared! The contestant was good-natured about the whole thing and laughed with everybody else, and Lewis got credit for a correct guess. In the mystery guest round, Bennett correctly identified Walt Disney. Bennett said he'd lunched with Disney a year ago and Disneyland projects such as the Skyway Ride and Tom Sawyer's Island had been on Disney's to-do list. Disney said that both of those attractions had indeed been completed, and he was now working on a new set of projects for next year. (Regarding the Skyway gondola ride, that ride would become one of the more popular ones at the park, until it was closed in 1994 due to its old age.) And so ended the show for this particular night. - Sargebri (2005)

      Public Service Announcement: As the show was closing, John talked about Jerry's work with Muscular Dystrophy and asked Jerry to say a few words as well. Jerry then made a plea for people to donate to firemen as they went door to door collecting money for the disease. November had been designated as the month of this "Muscular Dystrophy March." Of course, this was right around the time that Jerry would start his annual televised campaign to raise funds to help find a cure for the disease. Jerry's efforts would culminate with his annual Labor Day Telethon. The telethon still airs every Labor Day weekend and runs from that Sunday to Monday. - Sargebri (2005)

    • Tidbits: To add to the drama and suspense of funnyman Jerry Lewis' appearance on the panel, he was introduced last, by John Daly himself! This is Jerry's first of two guest panelist appearances. Over the run of the show, he also appeared five times as the mystery guest. - Suzanne (2005)

      Jerry Lewis (b. 3/16/1926)

      Panel: Arlene Francis, Jerry Lewis, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.