GOOF: There was no nameplate for John Daly. - Suzanne (2005)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for Jim Piersall at three down, after Senator Smathers correctly identified him. - agent_0042 (2006)
(1) BASEBALL HALL OF FAME TRIBUTE: GSN aired this episode on July 28, 2006 as part of a month-long airing of "WML?" episodes with at least one game featuring a figure from the world of baseball, as a tribute to the Baseball Hall of Fame on its 70th anniversary. Previously, this episode had aired in regular rotation on GSN on June 19, 2005. - W-B (2006 & 2008)
(2) NAMEPLATE NOTES: Senator George Smathers' nameplate read "SEN. SMATHERS" on the panel desk, given that he represented the state of Florida in that capacity at the time. Also, John Daly's nameplate is missing from his desk.
MORE ABOUT SMATHERS: A link about Sen. Smathers, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1951 to 1969, can be seen below. - W-B (2005 & 2006)
(3) MORE GSN AIRINGS: Prior to June 19, 2005, GSN's other "regular rotation" airing of tonight's show was on May 7, 2003. After the 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Tribute showing, GSN ran this episode in "regular rotation" on November 3, 2008.
(4) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: The main sponsor for this evening is Remington's Rollectric shaver.
(5) JIMMY PIERSALL: As a side note about the famed outfielder, it should be mentioned that while Tony Perkins, who played Mr. Piersall in "Fear Strikes Out" (1957), later appeared on "WML?" as a guest panelist and mystery guest, his co-star, Karl Malden, was never on the CBS "WML?," but did appear as a mystery guest on the syndicated version in 1970. This was two years before Mr. Malden landed the role of "Detective Lieutenant Mike Stone" on the 1972-1977 crime drama series "The Streets of San Francisco," followed in very short order by a long-running stint (up to the 1980's) as commercial spokesperson for American Express Travelers Cheques; his catchphrase in these commercials, "Don't leave home without them," became the subject of many a parody on TV and in print.
(6) PAUL DOUGLAS: This was the veteran character actor's second and final "WML?" appearance; he had previously been a mystery guest on EPISODE #142 of February 15, 1953. It was a few weeks after tonight's show that his latest movie, "This Could Be the Night" (in which he played "Rocco") was released; the film starred two other once or future "WML?" mystery guests, Jean Simmons and Anthony (Tony) Franciosa. Mr. Douglas was in one other motion picture in 1957, the Bob Hope vehicle "Beau James," in the role of "Chris Nolan." As a side note about this flick, besides Mr. Hope and Mr. Douglas, there was Darren McGavin (who played "Charley Hand") who went on to appear on "WML?" as a guest panelist once on the CBS version and as a mystery guest twice on the 1968-1975 syndicated incarnation, and Alexis Smith (who played "Allie Walker") who was a mystery guest on the syndicated "WML?" in 1974, but Vera Miles (who played "Betty Compton") never appeared on "WML?" in either its CBS or syndicated configurations.
(7) "WML?" CLOSE AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Yet again, John went right to the good nights with the panel after the end of Paul Douglas' game. And after the travel arrangements plug for American Airlines, the full production crew credits were once again shown, followed by a brief shot of the iconic CBS "eye in the clouds" ID slide -- all shown on GSN's November 3, 2008 airing of this episode in its usual detestable and disgusting "crunched" manner.
(8) GSN's November 3, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the February 7, 1955 airing of "The Name's the Same," with host Dennis James, the panel of Roger Price, Audrey Meadows, Hy Gardner and Joan Alexander, and celebrity guest Sam Levenson, whose appearance on this "TNTS" episode came only one day after his guest panelist stint on "WML?" EPISODE #244 of February 6, 1955. In a sort of throwback to "TNTS's" earliest days, Mr. Levenson's wish was displayed on the screen as, "I'd Like to Be Whoever Is Asking Me the Questions!!!" - W-B (2008)
HIGH HONORS: It was announced that What's My Line? was named as "America's Favorite Panel Show" by the New York Herald Tribune newspaper. - Suzanne (2005)
MYSTERY GUEST Paul Douglas died of a heart attack in September 1959 at the age of 52 while filming "The Twilight Zone" episode "the Mighty Casey." The role had been specifically written for him by Rod Serling. He was replaced by Jack Warden. - Suzanne (2005)
REVIEW: The panel did a good job this particular evening. In the first game, guest panelist Senator Smathers correctly identified the first mystery guest, Boston Red Sox outfielder Jimmy Piersall. Piersall was on the show not only to promote the movie about his life, "Fear Strikes Out," which starred Tony Perkins as Piersall and Karl Malden as Piersall's obsessive father John, but also to help kick off the mental health campaign. In addition to Piersall and the senator, the regular panel members and John were also involved in the charity campaign. The campaign was especially important to Piersall due to the fact that he battled mental illness to achieve stardom in major league baseball. In the second game, the panel was totally stumped by the very attractive pet medicine saleswoman. Perhaps her good looks helped to throw off the panel. In the mystery guest round, Bennett correctly identified mystery guest Paul Douglas, who used a Cockney accent to try to fool the panel. Before long, John and the entire blindfolded panel were imitating his brogue. Douglas was also involved in the mental health campaign. All in all, it was a good performance for the panel. - Sargebri (2005)
FIRST GUEST Jimmy Piersall's career was affected by the problems of mental illness. He broke in with the Sox in 1952 and during that season, he suffered a nervous breakdown. It was said that his father's obsession with his son becoming a major league player helped lead to the problems that lead to his breakdown. Piersall played for the Red Sox from 1952 until 1958 until he was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Piersall eventually played for the Mets and ended his career with the California (now Los Angeles) Angels. After his retirement from baseball, he went into the broadcasting booth where he became a controversial commentator for the Chicago White Sox. However, he was fired for making negative comments about the team's management. Another interesting fact about Piersall; when he hit his 100th career home run, he did his home run trot in a most unusual way, he did it backwards. - Sargebri (2005)
George Smathers (11/14/1913 - 1/20/2007)
Panel: Arlene Francis, Senator George Smathers (Democrat, Florida), Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.