What's My Line?

Season 8 Episode 14

EPISODE #339

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Aired Daily 12:00 AM Dec 02, 1956 on CBS
9.2
out of 10
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Episode Summary

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EPISODE #339
AIRED:

Game 1: Frank Gifford (8/16/1930 - 8/9/2015) - "Halfback on N. Y. Giants Football Team" (he signed in as F. Newton Gifford and the panel was not blindfolded; the regular questioning format was used; salaried; he was involved in 4 touchdowns today; John said he was named All-American with USC in 1952; from Bakersfield, California)

Game 2: Mrs. Maxine Rosen - "Sells Mistletoe" (salaried; from Detroit, Michigan)

Game 3: Milton Berle (7/12/1908 - 3/27/2002) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Mrs. Florence H. Poole - "Dog Catcher" (salaried; from Chatham, Ontario, Canada)
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SUBMIT REVIEW
    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)

    Milton Berle

    Milton Berle

    Mystery Guest

    Guest Star

    Frank Gifford

    Frank Gifford

    Contestant

    Guest Star

    Stubby Kaye

    Stubby Kaye

    Guest Panelist

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

    FILTER BY TYPE

    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (3)

      • Dorothy Kilgallen: (trying to narrow down the second contestant's product) Is it smaller than table radio?
        Maxine Rosen: Yes.
        John Daly: Dorothy, would you please ask if it's smaller than a breadbox, because people are writing and wanting to know what happened to the breadbox.
        Dorothy Kilgallen: (smiling) Oh, all right. In honor of Steve Allen, is it smaller than a breadbox?
        Maxine Rosen: Yes.
        Dorothy Kilgallen: Oh good. Is it smaller than a loaf of bread?
        Maxine Rosen: Yes.

      • Arlene Francis: Are you all-star with the New York Giants? Fullback? Halfback? Quarterback?
        Frank Gifford: Halfback.
        Arlene Francis: You've got a lovely back, I don't care what condition its in.

      • John: Catch that dog! (Said while the audience was roaring with laughter as Uncle Miltie entered from behind John, barked, and quickly left the stage after the Female dog catcher's line was guessed.)

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at two down. The panel had correctly guessed this contestant's line, but John went ahead with the flipping anyway, telling the contestant, "it was so much fun to have you." His decision to flip the cards may have also been influenced by Bennett's talking out of turn. - agent_0042 (2008)

        MASKED MERRIMENT: During the mystery guest round, Stubby Kaye wears Arlene Francis' "monogram" mask, the one featuring her initials on either side and a flower design in the center. - agent_0042 (2008)

        CHALKBOARD UP: After saying his goodbyes to the panel, Milton Berle ran over and signed "George Gobel" on the chalkboard. As the next contestant walked on stage to sign in, audiences at home were treated to a rare glimpse of the new, blank chalkboard being put in place so that Mrs. Florence H. Poole could sign in on a clean chalkboard -- which was actually a piece of black art paper. Normally, these sign-in board mechanics were handled off-camera and the home audience never got to see the changes that took place. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: For the second straight week, the main sponsor for this evening is Remington's "Rollectric" shaver for men. And this was the first of four appearances, all as a guest panelist, that would be made by Stubby Kaye over the next seven months and nineteen days.
        (2) The reason for Frank Gifford's occupation overlay screen reading as "Halfback on N.Y. Giants Football Team" was that, at the time of tonight's show, there was still a New York Giants baseball team. However, 1957 was to be the last year the baseball Giants would play in New York, as they and the soon-to-be-former Brooklyn Dodgers moved out West starting in the 1958 season -- the Dodgers to Los Angeles, and the Giants to San Francisco.
        (3) "WELCOME ABOARD": Besides this being the first of four guest panelist appearances by Stubby Kaye, and the first of two appearances by football great Frank Gifford, tonight's show marked the first of a total of six appearances on the CBS "WML?" by "Mr. Television," Milton Berle. Over the next eight years, ten months and fifteen days, Mr. Berle will be on "WML?" six times -- five, including tonight, as a mystery guest, and his final appearance on EPISODE #786 of October 17, 1965 as a guest panelist. At the time of his maiden appearance this evening, his pioneering 1948-1956 comedy/variety show -- originally called the "Texaco Star Theatre" (1948-1953), then the "Buick-Berle Show" (1953-1954) and finally "The Milton Berle Show" (1954-1956) -- had come to an end six months before, after an eight-year run on NBC. It was his show, more than any other, that fueled a massive increase in the number of television sets in American homes in the early years of the medium. It was due to his early popularity that, in 1951, Mr. Berle was signed to a 30-year exclusive contract with NBC, but as the years went on the contract essentially became known as "NBC's Folly," given that his subsequent TV series offerings were less successful than their predecessors. This included what could be considered the absolute nadir of his career, the 1960-1961 series "Jackpot Bowling Starring Milton Berle," which was listed among "The Worst TV Shows Ever" in the 1980 book of the same name.
        (4) MORE ON MILTON BERLE: One other factor in NBC's cancellation of his variety show in 1956, besides the inevitable decline in his own popularity, was a series of controversial appearances by Elvis Presley, which preceded by some five to six months the first of "The King's" headline-making appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
        (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Following the travel arrangements plug for American Airlines, the end credits were truncated in their usual fashion -- both in the sense of going no further than executive producer Gil Fates' art card, and also suffering from GSN's typical and usual "crunching" of the screen on its October 12, 2008 airing of this episode.
        (6) Immediately after the October 12, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the June 1, 1954 edition of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Robert Q. Lewis, with the panel again consisting of Roger Price, Bess Myerson, Gene Rayburn and Joan Alexander, and actress Rita Gam as celebrity guest. This "TNTS" episode was the first to be sponsored by "Chicken of the Sea" brand canned tuna fish. - W-B (2008)

        At the end of the show, John welcomed a new CBS affiliate station, KFEQ-TV in St. Joseph, MO. - Suzanne (2005)

        KFEQ-TV, Channel 2, first went on the air in 1953 as a dual affiliate of CBS and DuMont. After DuMont folded its network operations in 1956, ABC became a secondary affiliate. Beginning in 1967, the year "WML?" left the CBS airwaves, KFEQ became the sole ABC affiliate in St. Joseph, MO. In 1969, the station's call letters were changed to KQTV, which it remains today, as does its affiliation with ABC. - W-B (2007)

      • REVIEW: For the first time in a long while, the panel pulled off a perfect night. The fun began in the first game when then current New York football Giant halfback, as well as future Hall of Famer, future guest panelist and future "Monday Night Football" play-by-play man, Frank Gifford walked out on stage. When Dorothy began her questioning, she ironically said that she thought that Gifford was a football player, but she didn't notice the snicker from the audience and she didn't follow up on it. However, Arlene, with a lot of help from football fan Bennett, made the identification, as well as several flirtatious remarks which made the audience laugh. In the second game, Dorothy, with a huge assist from Bennett, correctly identified the mistletoe saleswoman. In the mystery guest round, Milton Berle had the audience in stitches as he clowned during the game. However, he was correctly identified by Dorothy as "Uncle Miltie" after Bennett opened the door for her. After the game was finished, Berle once again had the audience going as he signed in again as "George Gobel." In the final game, guest panelist Stubby Kaye made the last second save and correctly identified the dog catcher. - Sargebri (2005)

        THE FBI STORY: During the show, John mentioned that Random House had just published a book written by Don Whitehead titled "The FBI Story." The book traces the history of the bureau through the eyes of an agent named "Chip Hardesty." The book would later be adapted into a 1959 motion picture released by Warner Brothers. It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starred Jimmy Stewart as "Hardesty" and Vera Miles as "Hardesty's" worried wife. The film was notable for the fact that at least two FBI agents were on the set at all times and also that bureau chief J. Edgar Hoover asked that one of the extras be removed because he didn't like how the man looked. Also of note, Hoover had a brief cameo at the beginning of the film. - Sargebri (2005)

        FRANK GIFFORD would return to WML several years later as a guest panelist in 1964. He also would go on to become one of the top play-by-play men on ABC. - Sargebri (2005)

      • MILTON MANIA TONIGHT: Milton Berle mentions he will be going to live in Paris for 9 months. When he leaves John's desk, he circles the panel's desk and again quickly signs the sign-in board "George Gobel," much to John's disbelief and mild protest. After the dog catcher's game, Milton again appears on stage when he walks behind John and barks! After the final commercial break, we again see Milton during the goodbyes when he is sitting between Dorothy & Stubby. - Suzanne (2005)

        MILTON BERLE: He was voted "Mr. Television of 1948." This was a short-lived magazine-based TV popularity contest of the early video era. This same year, his "winning mate," actress Kyle MacDonnell, was dubbed "Miss Television of 1948." - Suzanne (2005)

        MILTON BERLE mentions that he will be appearing at the "Town & Country" night club in Brooklyn. This was a famous supper club that was located on Flatbush Avenue near where the Kings Plaza Shopping Mall is located today in 2005. Many comedians appeared there from the 1940's until it closed around 1965. At the time it existed, it was probably the only major night club in Brooklyn. - ymike (2005)

      • Tidbits: For the mystery guest round, Stubby Kaye wears Arlene Francis' "A * F" gem-studded shiny floral mask. - Suzanne (2005)

        Stubby Kaye (11/11/1918 - 12/14/1997)
        (Birth name: Bernard Kotzin)

        Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Stubby Kaye, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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