What's My Line?

Season 8 Episode 37


Aired Daily 12:00 AM May 12, 1957 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • GOOF: Toward the beginning of the mystery guest round, Adolph Menjou asked Walter Brennan if he was a comedian, and Walter Brennan replied "no." John appeared preoccupied and failed to flip a card to make the score 2 down, 8 to go. Had John correctly flipped, the game would have ended at 10-0 with Dorothy's question, and would not have gotten back to Adolph Menjou, who correctly asked him if his name was Walter Brennan. - TRH Gallery (2008)

    • GOOF: There was no nameplate for John Daly. - Suzanne (2008)

    • GOOF: At the beginning of game 4, John incorrectly referred to Adolphe Menjou as "Ralph Menjou." - Suzanne (2005)

  • Quotes

    • OUCH - Bennett is sarcastically rude to the guest!

      Chuck Wendel: And I just tell people they've never lived until they've driven a race horse. I love it.
      Bennett Cerf: (off-camera) We'll live.

      Next, the camera briefly shows Bennett, and thanks to Chuck's good sense of humor, everybody laughs.

  • Notes

    • IN REMEMBRANCE: On Thursday, May 9, 1957, Ezio Pinza died. During his lifetime, he made two appearances on CBS "What's My Line?," once as a mystery guest and once as a guest panelist. - cerfnet (2009)

      FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at four down because time ran out. The panel had come pretty close on this one, with Greer Garson suggesting the idea of a "Slenderella machine" just after the cards went over. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: The main sponsor tonight is the Remington Rollectric shaver. Of the two guest panelists tonight, this was the only time Greer Garson sat on the panel, among her three "WML?" appearances; and this was Adolphe Menjou's second, final, and only extant appearance on "WML?" (His first appearance, as a mystery guest on EPISODE #76 of November 11, 1951, is one of the 100-plus episodes from the 1950-1952 period that have become lost to the ages.) Mr. Menjou's attire, while formal and elegant, differed considerably from the kind worn by the male panelists and Mr. Daly on the show. Adolphe's wardrobe consisted of an old-style 1950s three-piece business suit, including a vest; a straight, albeit wide, necktie; an old-style heavy pocket watch chain across his middle; and a pocket handkerchief prominently displayed inside his jacket pocket.
      (2) WALTER BRENNAN: The veteran character actor makes the first of three "WML?" appearances this evening, all as a mystery guest. It was a few months after tonight's show that Mr. Brennan began a six-year run as "Grandpa Amos McCoy" on the TV sitcom "The Real McCoys" which ran on ABC from 1957 to 1962 and on CBS from 1962 to 1963. Its final 1962-1963 CBS season had the misfortune of being programmed on Sundays at 9:00 PM against the first half-hour of NBC's "Bonanza," and therefore was one of a host of CBS shows that were slaughtered by the Cartwrights of Virginia City, until "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" came around in 1967. "The Real McCoys" was the first of what would come to be called "rural comedies," laying the groundwork for a host of such shows that lasted up to the early 1970's, including "The Andy Griffith Show" (and its successor "Mayberry R.F.D."), "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Petticoat Junction," and "Green Acres." In fact, one of "The Real McCoys'" writers in its early years was Paul Henning, who produced the last three shows in question. Returning to Mr. Brennan, he appeared in three movies in 1957: "The Way to the Gold," "God Is My Partner," and "Tammy and the Bachelor."
      (3) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: After the American Airlines plug, the end credits cut off after director Franklin Heller's art card. And in the spirit of the aftermath of the 2008 Presidential election, GSN's insidious "crunching" of the end credits, on its November 5, 2008 airing of this episode, "won" in a landslide, much to the chagrin of the viewing public.
      (4) Following GSN's November 5, 2008 airing of tonight's show, the cable and satellite channel reran the February 21, 1955 edition of "The Name's the Same," hosted by Dennis James, with the panel this week consisting of Roger Price, Audrey Meadows, John Henry Faulk and Joan Alexander, and Pearl Bailey as the celebrity guest. This "TNTS" episode was last aired by GSN in 2007 when their "Black & White Overnight" block was aired only once a week. - W-B (2008)

    • REVIEW: It was quite unusual to not see the vacationing Arlene on the panel. However, she was ably replaced by Academy Award winning actress Greer Garson who asked several good questions and did a good job even though she never made a guess. Also on the panel this night was Adolphe Menjou, who was a last second replacement for the laryngitis stricken Walter Pidgeon. Adolphe Menjou had just completed work on the classic anti-war drama "Paths of Glory." The film starred Kirk Douglas and was directed by Stanley Kubrick. As for the games themselves, the panel, rather Mr. Menjou, batted .500 this particular evening. In the first game, Menjou correctly guessed that the first set of mystery guests was that famous group of chorus girls, the Ziegfeld Girls. In the second game, the panel was totally stumped by the harness driver. In fact, some of the guesses included farmer and prospector, which may have been due to the unusually long beard the contestant wore. Of course, beards that long wouldn't become a fashion for several years. In the mystery guest round, Menjou did it again when he made the last second save by correctly identifying Walter Brennan. Ironically, Brennan was asked if he were a comedic actor, to which he answered "no." A few months later he would take on the memorable role of "Grandpa Amos McCoy" in the classic 1957-1963 sitcom "The Real McCoys." In the final game, Menjou was coming close to winning again when the time ran out and John flipped over all the cards, allowing the reducing machine maker to win the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

      GUEST PANELIST Adolphe Menjou has just made a film in Germany, "Paths of Glory" which was directed by Stanley Kubrick. As of June 2005, this film is still exceptionally liked, as it is currently listed at #39 in the "Top 250" list of films on IMDB. The film depicts trench warfare during WWI. - Suzanne (2005)

    • From Chuck Wendel, March 2005:

      My grandfather, also named Chuck Wendel, was a guest on this episode. He was a bit of a free spirit and a character. About a year before he appeared on "What's My Line?" he was bet (I believe $100) by a friend that he wouldn't let his hair and beard grow for a year. He did, so when he appeared on the show, he looked like an old prospector. I think his looks threw off the panel. His line was that he drove harness race horses for a living. He managed to get on the show before the racing season started and got a "plug" in. A month later, when the racing season started at our home town of Maquoketa, Iowa, the fair grounds were packed with people who wanted to see "the old man who was on 'What's My Line?'" Our family has an old scrapbook, where we have kept the fan letters he received from all over the country. The show was very popular. Even though he was only about 52 when he made his appearance, he looked much older.
      During his life, he had owned a implement dealership, raised and sold Shetland ponies, and trained and raced harness race horses. He and his wife were quite the travelers and visited every state in the union by the 1960's. He was one of the first to have a camper on the back of a truck.


      Visit this web site to see a scan of a 1957 photograph of Chuck Wendel. This photo was taken by his family during the original broadcast of this episode! - Suzanne (2005)

      Chuck Wendel in 1957.


      Adolphe Menjou (2/18/1890 - 10/29/1963)

      Greer Garson (9/29/1903 - 4/6/1996)

      Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Adolphe Menjou, Greer Garson, Bennett Cerf. Arlene Francis had the night off.

  • Allusions

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