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What's My Line?

Season 9 Episode 2


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Sep 08, 1957 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
3 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Ernie Kovacs (1/23/1919 - 1/13/1962) - "What's My Line Panelist" (as Mystery Guest #1 and the panel is blindfolded, naturally!; the regular questioning format is used; salaried; the production staff left the question mark off the show name in Ernie's overlay screen; Ernie sprays perfume from an atomizer bottle and smokes a cigar)

Game 2: Mrs. Shizue Kato (3/2/1897 - 12/22/2001) - "Member Of Japanese Senate" (salaried; she signs her name in Japanese; from Tokyo, Japan; see notes below)

Game 3: Doris Day (b. 4/3/1924) (as Mystery Guest #2)

Game 4: Michael Parisi & James Parisi (identical twin brothers) - "Bartenders" (salaried; they work at Kotter's Tavern; from Berkley MI)

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)

    Ernie Kovacs

    Ernie Kovacs

    Mystery Guest #1

    Guest Star

    Doris Day

    Doris Day

    Mystery Guest #2

    Guest Star

    Robert Young

    Robert Young

    Guest Panelist

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

      • John Daly: (trying to explain Ernie Kovacs' presence on this episode) Last week, with great sorrow--
        Ernie Kovacs: (interrupting) Sounds like a soap opera.
        John Daly: --and many, many moving moments, we announced that Ernie was going to leave us and go to Hollywood for three weeks because he had to make a picture or something. Right?
        Ernie Kovacs: Or something.

      • (John Daly chastises Ernie Kovacs for being a bad mystery guest by giving away his own identity by blowing cigar smoke at Dorothy Kilgallen. Kovacs explained that he pulled the stunt because he felt that he had already been identified by Dorothy, due to the specific nature of her questions. Dorothy volunteered that she had already identified Ernie's voice.)

        John Daly: You're just about the worst guest I ever had on this show. You're not supposed to give away clues.

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: Tonight, John did not increase any dollar amounts won by flipping cards for any of the contestants. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: The main sponsor tonight was Remington Rand typewriters, with the opening advertisement again promoting Remington's "Quiet-Riter" portable typewriter. And of Robert Young's four appearances on "WML?," this was the only time that he sat on the panel; his suit jacket appeared to have a fine pinstriped pattern.
        (2) ERNIE KOVACS: As he was a de facto regular panelist during this period, as indicated in the notes to EPISODE #375 (and also in his overlay), Mr. Kovacs theoretically joined the likes of Steve Allen and Fred Allen (as up to this point) who had appeared as mystery guests while still being part of the panel -- a distinction Dorothy herself later achieved, as did Bennett after the syndicated version commenced in 1968. However, as Ernie's run on "WML?" ended up being so brief that he essentially counted as a guest panelist -- again, per the notes to EPISODE #375 -- he therefore wound up in the same company as the two most prolific guest panelists, Martin Gabel and Tony Randall, who each made a few mystery guest appearances on the show in later years.
        (3) DORIS DAY: This was the singer/actress' second and final "WML?" appearance. It was a year prior to tonight's show that she co-starred in Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much," which he originally made in 1934; the newer version yielded a hit song which ultimately became synonymous with Miss Day, "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" [Columbia single #(4-)40704]. The song was later featured in her 1960 picture "Please Don't Eat the Daisies," and more importantly, became the theme song of her 1968-1973 TV sitcom "The Doris Day Show."
        (4) CO-STARS DORIS DAY & ERNIE KOVACS: Two years from tonight's show, this evening's two mystery guests made a film together, when Miss Day and Mr. Kovacs co-starred in the 1959 movie "It Happened to Jane" with another occasional "WML?" guest panelist and mystery guest, Jack Lemmon. This picture also had a visible Goodson-Todman connection, with a scene taking place during the proceedings of "I've Got a Secret," for which host Garry Moore and the then-panel of Bill Cullen, Jayne Meadows, Henry Morgan and Betsy Palmer duly appeared, as well as a rare opportunity to see the then-current "IGAS" set in color. Also appearing, uncredited, was another G-T regular, Gene Rayburn, in the role of a reporter for the CBS affiliate WTIC in Hartford, Connecticut.
        (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: After the closing Remington Rand advertisement and American Airlines travel arrangements plug, the "WML?" title card was shown only briefly before being cut off on GSN's November 21, 2008 airing of this episode -- on top of all this being hideously "crunched" in the usual manner by the cable and satellite channel.
        (6) THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR "TNTS": The November 21, 2008 airing of tonight's show was followed by the June 28, 1955 edition of "The Name's the Same." With this episode, Clifton "Kip" Fadiman takes over as host, remaining its caretaker to the end, which was a little more than three months later; he was no stranger to "TNTS," having guest hosted three editions in June of 1954 when original host Robert Q. Lewis was off. The panel this week consisted of Roger Price, Audrey Meadows, actor/writer Marc Connelly and Joan Alexander; it should be noted that Mr. Connelly had been a panelist on Mr. Price's short-lived 1954 series "Droodles," which also featured former "TNTS" panelist Carl Reiner. The celebrity guest, making her second "TNTS" appearance, was actress Terry Moore; this was more than three months after her "WML?" mystery guest appearance on EPISODE #250 of March 20, 1955. This "TNTS" edition also inaugurated a final change in the end credits sequence, with an animated background of an outdoor patio restaurant table with one of Ralston Purina's products from the opening titles now being shown; the end credit typesetting, set as always in Cheltenham Bold Condensed, is now displayed as an overlay, rather than on a pattern background as was the case up to this point. - W-B (2008)

      • WOW!!! After the previous week's disappointing effort, the panel pulled off a perfecto this time around. Things got rolling when Ernie Kovacs walked from behind the curtain and did plenty to break up the audience. His antics included purposely breaking his sign-in chalk and spraying perfume toward the panel so they would be misled into thinking the guest was a female. However, as soon as he blew smoke in Dorothy's face, the jig was up. In fact, the shriek that Dolly Mae let out was one of the classic moments for the show's entire run. He later explained that the reason he was on - despite the fact that it had been announced last week that he wouldn't be on - was that he had missed his train. In the second game, Arlene almost did a solo as she correctly guessed that the visitor from Japan was a member of their parliament, the Diet. In the mystery guest round, Bennett correctly identified Doris Day. However, it should be noted that the panel pretty much had her figured out from the beginning. In fact, they didn't even get one single "no" answer from Miss Day. In the final game, the perfect night was completed as guest panelist Robert Young correctly guessed that the twin brothers were bartenders. However, Dorothy once again let out a loud shriek when she asked the brothers what their recipe was for a martini. When they told her that their proportions were "three to one," she really let one out. This definitely was fitting way to end a perfect night. - Sargebri (2005)

        MARTINI RECIPE: Though it might have been funny in 1957, Dorothy's reaction to the twin bartenders' martini recipe is sadly ironic - considering that a few short years later her substance abuse problems would lead to disaster for her. - Sargebri (2005)

        MYSTERY GUEST Doris Day wasn't the only member of her family that went on to a highly successful career. Her only son, Terry Melcher, grew up to become a musician as well as a producer. In the early 1960's he had a minor hit with the song "Little Cobra" as part of the duo Bruce & Terry. Bruce was future Beach Boys member Bruce Johnston. After Melcher's singing career ended, he turned to producing. One of his biggest successes was The Byrds' cover of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." That song went straight to number one and helped to usher in the age of folk rock. However, Melcher would gain fame in a different way when, in 1968, he was introduced to a strange man by Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. The man claimed to be a songwriter and was hoping to get Melcher to produce his music. Melcher refused to record the man and this set off a series of events that led to one of the most violent murder sprees in American history. The songwriter was none other than Charles Manson and in August of 1969 he sent some of his followers to a house that Melcher once lived in to kill him. By that time, however, Melcher had moved out, but living in the Cielo Drive house at that time were director Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate. On August 8, 1969 while Polanski was out of town, Tate, who was eight months pregnant, along with former boyfriend Jay Sebring, Steven Parent, coffee heiress Abigail Folger and Folger's boyfriend Voyteck Frykowski were all murdered by the Manson family. It has been widely speculated that Melcher was the real target that night. - Sargebri (2005)

        GREAT SHOW I: This episode was amazing! Have you ever heard Dorothy Kilgallen shriek like that? Ernie sent his cigar smoke in her direction and she could easily tell it was Ernie from the cigar smoke! It was a dead giveaway! Plus, who had been on the previous show? She shrieked again when the two bartender brothers were on and she asked something about the proportions of a martini drink. Tonight, you see and hear a slightly different Dorothy like never before! Besides being a newspaper columnist, she has a very cute face! - bossradio93 (2003)

        GREAT SHOW II: This is one of the funniest episodes ever of WML. Dorothy's reaction when she figures out the identity of the first mystery guest - Ernie Kovacs - is priceless. - ymike (2005)

      • Shizue Kato Dies at 104 - Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2001 - Shizue Kato, Japan's leading birth control advocate and one of the first women to serve in the Japanese Parliament, died on December 22, 2001 at the age of 104. Kato first began promoting birth control in Japan after she met Margaret Sanger, who was the founder of what later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. They met in the United States in 1919. Kato was considered a pioneer of family planning and opened a birth control clinic in Tokyo despite disapproval from the Japanese government, which at the time was conducting national efforts to encourage childbearing in an effort to increase the nation's population. In 1946, Kato was elected to the Japanese Parliament, becoming one of the first women to serve in this capacity, and she remained in politics for nearly three decades until retiring in 1974. Kato was awarded the United Nations Population Award in 1998 in recognition of her work with family planning in developing countries. - Suzanne (2003)


        KOVACS - QUESTION: I'm wondering, was Ernie Kovacs intended at this time to be a permanent panelist by G-T? On the previous show, John Daly mentioned that he would be gone for three weeks, which was unusual with the guest panelists. Here, Ernie's "line" was simply "What My Line? Panelist." Although he made a few more appearances, Kovacs certainly was never as regular after 1957 as Martin Gabel or Tony Randall. Is there a story about what happened concerning Ernie Kovacs and WML? BTW, he's one of my very favorites! - parsifal6 (2003)

        KOVACS - ANSWER: In his 1978 WML book, Gil Fates mentioned that Ernie was, in fact, officially offered the job of permanent panelist on the show in 1957. The G-T staff was obviously impressed with his performance! Ernie, however, turned it down, as he was relocating to Los Angeles, California to make movies and didn't want to be tied down to being in New York every Sunday night. This was a shame, really. He was great on WML, but then, I've always thought he was fantastic in everything he did! - EubanksFan (2003)

        KOVACS - UPDATE: See the notes to EPISODE #375 of August 11, 1957 for more details about Ernie's being hired as a regular panelist. - Suzanne (2008)

      • Ernie Kovacs promoted his new 1957 film, "Operation Mad Ball." As usual, he smokes his cigar! - Suzanne (2003)

        This is a fabulous episode! Everyone was extremely giddy. It's a "must see" episode just to hear Dorothy scream with surprise - not once, but twice! Ernie was supposed to have been in California, so his guest appearance was quite a pleasant surprise for the panel. - fiveninegal (2003)

        Tidbits: Arlene's ankle is still sprained, and the panel is yet again already seated for the introductions. - Suzanne (2003)

        Robert Young (2/22/1907 - 7/21/1998)

        Panel: Arlene Francis, Robert Young, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)