What's My Line?

Season 8 Episode 21


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jan 20, 1957 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Bob Richards (b. 2/20/1926) - His overlay screens read "Bob Richards, Olympic Pole Vault Champion 1952 & 1956" & "Minister" (as Mystery Guest #1, he signed in as "X" and the panel was not blindfolded; the regular questioning format was used; salaried; he explained that he is not a Methodist minister, but a member of the Church of the Brethren; he donated his game winnings to the Hungarian Relief Fund; he was the original spokesperson for Wheaties cereal)

Game 2: Mrs. Charlotte Price (she signed in under her husband's name, Mrs. Matt Price) - "Crochets Pockets For Pool Tables" (self-employed; elderly; she has been in this line since 1938 and sells her work to the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company; from Salina, Kansas)

Game 3: George Gobel (5/20/1919 - 2/24/1991) (as Mystery Guest #2) He signed in as "Forge Fobel."

Game 4: Wes Sutton - "Civilian Cook For U.S. Air Force" (salaried; from Belleville, Illinois)

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)

Bob Richards

Bob Richards

Mystery Guest #1

Guest Star

George Gobel

George Gobel

Mystery Guest #2

Guest Star

Stubby Kaye

Stubby Kaye

Guest Panelist

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (5)

    • REVEREND BOB RICHARDS: During his interview, Rev. Richards notes that he is often mistakenly identified as a Methodist minister, when he is actually a minister for the Brethren Church. In 1968, the Brethrens merged with the Methodist Church, to form what is now called the United Methodist Church. - exapno (2008)

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at two down. Dorothy had correctly identified this contestant, Bob Richards, who donated his winnings to the Church of Brethren relief fund for the Hungarian refugees. In the second game, John flipped the remaining cards for the night's second contestant at seven down because time ran out. The panel never came close on this one and John admitted that it was a really tough occupation. In the fourth game, John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at just one down because time ran out. The panel never had much chance on this one, as there was so little time. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" PUBLICITY PHOTO: It was on this night -- January 20, 1957 -- that one of the more famous publicity photos of Arlene, Bennett, Dorothy and John was taken on the "WML?" set. Miss Francis and Miss Kilgallen were attired on tonight's show exactly as seen in the picture on the link below:


      This photo has turned up every now and then on some online auction sites.
      (2) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: The main sponsor for tonight is the Remington "Rollectric" shaver for men.
      (3) For the overlay of Olympic pole vaulter Bob Richards as seen while he was signing in as "X," the display was shown as "Bob Richards - Olympic Pole Vault Champion, I952 and 1956." The production crew typesetters laid out the first year with a capital letter "I," while using the regular number "1" for the second year mentioned. This overlay, like all the others on tonight's show, was set in Futura Demi Bold.
      (4) GEORGE GOBEL - PART I: This was the first of two appearances by "Lonesome George" on "WML?" His next go-round was as a guest panelist on EPISODE #606 of March 25, 1962.
      (5) GEORGE GOBEL - PART II: Mr. Gobel and his agent, David O'Malley, were business partners in a venture called Gomalco Productions which not only produced "The George Gobel Show," but also the 1956 feature film "The Birds and the Bees" in which he co-starred with Mitzi Gaynor. The most famous of Gomalco's productions, however, was the 1957-1963 television series "Leave It to Beaver," which the company produced for its first four seasons until they sold the rights to creator-producers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher in 1961. It should be noted that none of "Leave It to Beaver's" co-stars ever made any appearances on "WML?" -- not even in the program's first season (1957-1958) which was on CBS, before moving to ABC for the rest of its run.
      (6) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH AND ROGUE CAPTIONS WATCH: Once again, after the American Airlines plug, the end credits cut off after the "In Association with the CBS Television Network" art card -- but this time, that's all that was seen tonight, all shown in its "crunched" ignominy and indignity by GSN on its October 19, 2008 airing of this episode. The viewing experience was also further sullied by the presence of a rogue closed-caption feed for GSN's "High Stakes Poker" program, though fortunately, this only lasted until shortly after host John Daly took his seat and began his opening introduction.
      (7) COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE "Q-SIE" ERA ON "TNTS" - FIVE MORE SHOWS TO GO: Following the October 19, 2008 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the July 27, 1954 edition of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Robert Q. Lewis, with the panel again assembled on this occasion as Arnold Stang, Bess Myerson, John Newland and Joan Alexander, and Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella as the celebrity guest. This "TNTS" episode also saw prior director Jerome Schnur return to his old position for the first time since late 1952. - W-B (2008)

    • REVIEW: This was a fair night for the panel. In the first game, Dorothy correctly identified the Reverend Bob Richards. However, she didn't initially identify him for his occupation as a minister, but for the achievement that really brought him fame, that of being a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in the pole vault. She also seemed to be quite thrilled to be in his presence as she could be heard over the applause saying how much of a pleasure it was to meet him. Richards was charitable and donated all of his winnings to the Hungarian relief. In the second game, the panel was totally stumped by the little old lady who crocheted pockets for pool tables. In fact, after the game, John admitted that he thought it would be impossible for them to figure out what she did. The panel had better luck in the mystery guest round when they pretty much had George Gobel nailed. In fact, Bennett said when he heard that "Lonesome George" was coming to New York to do his variety show, he hoped that Gobel would come in for a visit. In the final game, the panel ran out of time, so the civilian air force cook won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

      GEORGE GOBEL: This wouldn't be the last time George Gobel would appear on a quiz show. From 1974 to 1981, he became a regular on the classic game show "The Hollywood Squares" when he replaced Charley Weaver (Cliff Arquette) who had passed away. - Sargebri (2005)

      MYSTERY GUEST: George Gobel was born in Chicago on May 20, 1919. As a kid, he made frequent appearances on the "National Barn Dance" program which originated through radio station WLS in Chicago and was fed nationally over NBC radio. He also played all the kid parts on the Tom Mix radio show. During WWII, he entered the Army Air Corps, worked as a flight instructor ("Not one Japanese Zero got past Tulsa") and made rank of First Lieutenant. He emerged in the 1950s as a beloved nightclub comedian and was given his own show on CBS ("The George Gobel Show," 1954-1960) as well as guest appearances on everything from "The Spike Jones Show" to "Wagon Train." Critics have compared Gobel's low-key, self-effacing style to that of Johnny Carson, but anyone who's ever seen him in action will agree that he was in a class by himself. Voted "Outstanding New Personality" by a committee of TV critics in 1954, Gobel remained a ratings-grabber for five years. Gobel was the leading man in two movies, "The Birds and the Bees" (1956) and "I Married a Woman" (1958), neither of which captured his unique appeal. In 1959, his TV series lost market share when many viewers switched from Lonesome George to Matt Dillon, Miss Kitty, Doc and Chester, the mainstays of the "Gunsmoke" series. Gobel switched to CBS, alternating with Jack Benny on Sunday evenings, but was unable to recapture his audience. He spent the next three decades as everybody's favorite guest star, regularly appearing as one of the panelists on The Hollywood Squares. Undoubtedly the high-water mark of the latter stages of his career occurred on a telecast of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" that originally aired on March 6, 1969, where, flanked by inveterate ad-libbers Bob Hope and Dean Martin, he brought down the house by muttering, "Did you ever feel like the world was a tuxedo, and you were a pair of brown shoes?" On his TV show, his comedy routines were mainly humorous stories about things that had supposedly happened to him (and his wife - "Spooky Old Alice" - whom he adored), and they often involved word play such as spoonerisms ("in one swell foop"). That's why folks were so amused when he signed in as "Forge Fobel" on "WML?" tonight. He also played harmonica about as well as Jack Benny played violin (which is to say, very well), and like Jack, he would at times play his instrument for laughs. - Lee McIntyre (2005)

      SHARED DEATH DATE: Sadly and coincidentally, both John Daly and George Gobel died on the same day, February 24, 1991. John died of a heart attack and George died following heart bypass surgery. - Bill Savage (2005)

    • Tidbits: Both Dorothy and John have been in Washington, DC today for inaugural festivities for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. - Suzanne (2005)

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