What's My Line?

Season 9 Episode 7


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Oct 13, 1957 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Elsa Maxwell (5/24/1881 - 11/1/1963) - "Another Party Giver" (as Mystery Guest #1 and the panel is blindfolded, but the regular questioning format is used; self-employed; her occupation reads "another" because tonight's guest panelist, Mike Todd, is also throwing a huge party in New York)

Game 2: Irving Horn - "Ties Knots in Salami (300 to 400 per Hour)" (salaried; as he exited, he gave Ernie Kovacs a cigar, and Ernie promptly reciprocated and gave him one of his own; from Brooklyn, NY)

Game 3: Pat O'Brien (11/11/1889 - 10/15/1983) (as Mystery Guest #2)

Game 4: George T. Purves, Jr. - "Makes Folding Beds" (self-employed; John said he owned a roll-away bed company that sounded like "Stope, Inc." or "Scope, Inc."; from Indianapolis, IN; 2008 net research shows that Mr. Purves holds several U.S. patents related to folding beds and convertible sofas)

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)

    Elsa Maxwell

    Elsa Maxwell

    Mystery Guest #1

    Guest Star

    Pat O'Brien (I)

    Pat O'Brien (I)

    Mystery Guest #2

    Guest Star

    Ernie Kovacs

    Ernie Kovacs

    Guest Panelist

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at just one down. Ernie Kovacs had correctly guessed that this contestant's product was folding beds, but "passed" on the opportunity to guess the contestant's exact line, seeming quite stunned at the success he had. As such, John flipped the cards because time had run out. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: Tonight's main sponsor, again, is Helene Curtis. Of Ernie Kovacs' ten appearances on the panel -- nine of them as a de facto regular -- this was the only time he sat on the far end of the panel, the farthest away from the moderator's desk. He was, up to that time, one of the few male panelists on "WML?" (after Bennett Cerf) to sit on the far end of the panel desk, as happened very occasionally during the CBS run. As for Mike Todd, making his second and final "WML?" appearance, he wore a regular business suit with straight necktie.
        (2) "THE EDSEL SHOW": During Bennett's introduction of John, he mentioned a TV special called "The Edsel Show," which aired earlier this evening of October 13, 1957. This special, which was a promotional vehicle (not necessarily any pun intended) for the Ford Motor Company's new "Edsel" car (named after Mr. Edsel Ford, president of Ford from 1919 to his death in 1943 and the son of founder Henry Ford), originated from CBS Television City in Hollywood, California, and starred Bing Crosby with Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Rosemary Clooney, and a "surprise" cameo by Bob Hope. This program had the distinction of being the first CBS entertainment show to be aired on the West Coast via tape delay, as well as having a kinescope made as a backup. Though the "Edsel" ended up as one of the most infamous flops of the history of the automobile industry, "The Edsel Show" made another sort of history as the earliest surviving videotape of a CBS program, with the picture and sound quality being considerably better than that on the surviving kinescope. It also marked a turning point in Bing Crosby's career and set the stage for a series of television specials he would helm for several more years to come. The history of this program can be found on the link below:


        In addition, the story behind the discovery of the videotape master can be found here:


        (3) ELSA MAXWELL: This was the "other party giver's" third and final "WML?" appearance. It was during this period that Miss Maxwell was a frequent guest on NBC's "Tonight Starring Jack Paar" (later known as "The Jack Paar Show"), right up to 1958.
        (4) PAT O'BRIEN: The veteran actor makes his second and final "WML?" appearance tonight -- which is his only appearance to still exist today. His first go-round, on EPISODE #147 of March 22, 1953, had the dubious distinction of being the first of sixteen post-1952 episodes that have become lost to the ages. Mr. O'Brien made numerous TV appearances in 1957 on such shows as "Lux Video Theatre," "Telephone Time," "Crossroads," "The Ford Television Theatre," "Studio 57" and even "The Red Skelton Show." As a side note, Mr. O'Brien's old friend, Spencer Tracy, never appeared on "WML?" -- nor did Mr. Tracy's frequent film co-star, Katharine Hepburn.
        (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Following the art card showing "WML?'s" mailing address to send requests for free studio audience tickets, the end credits terminate after director Franklin Heller's art card. And in anticipation of Thanksgiving Day, no thanks were in order to that big turkey, GSN, for their mercilessly unrelenting and grossly insensitive "crunching" of the screen on their November 26, 2008 airing of this episode.
        (6) The November 26, 2008 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by the August 16, 1955 edition of "The Name's the Same," with host Clifton Fadiman, the panel of Roger Price, Audrey Meadows, Mike Wallace and Joan Alexander, and celebrity guest Chico Marx -- whose appearance on this "TNTS" episode, in terms of extant kinescopes, was in marked contrast to his mystery guest spot on the now-lost "WML?" EPISODE #64 of August 19, 1951 -- to say nothing of the four appearances his brother, the one, the only Groucho Marx, made on "WML?" between 1959 and 1967. - W-B (2008)

      • NO SMOKING PLEASE: On this episode, Ernie Kovacs addressed a viewer who complained about his smoking on camera. Just under 50 years later, a similar complaint from one viewer complaining about GSN airing game shows with cigarette sponsors lead to GSN banning roughly 40% of their B&W game shows from being aired. Sadly, this lead to the ultimate demise of their daily airings of "Black and White Overnight" in 2006. - Garrison Skunk (2006)

        CIGAR EXCHANGE: As Irving Horn, the salami twister, makes his way down the panel to shake their hands, he swaps cigars with Ernie Kovacs. - Garrison Skunk (2005)

        REVIEW: Arlene must have been in heaven this night as she was the only girl on the panel, surrounded by three handsome men, while Dorothy was on a work assignment in Canada. It also was a special night for Ernie, as what had become a trademark question for him was finally answered "yes." It also was very funny when guest panelist Mike Todd asked both mystery guests whether or not they had been "Around the World in Eighty Days," in reference to the fact that practically half of Hollywood appeared in this film that he produced. In the first game, Todd was given the honor of guessing Elsa Maxwell after Arlene politely opened the door for him. In the second game, Bennett was able to figure out that the contestant had something to do with the manufacture of salami. Unfortunately, that was about as far as they got, as they were unable to figure out that he was responsible for tying it off. In the mystery guest round, Arlene voluntarily disqualified herself and then explained that Pat O'Brien's manager had called her to ask for directions to the studio. Without Arlene, the panel was at a slight disadvantage, but Bennett was still able to figure out who it was even though O'Brien used a phony German accent. In the final game, Ernie finally had his oft-repeated question "Can this product be folded?" answered in the affirmative when the folding bed maker replied "yes." Ernie also was able to identify the product, but due to a shortage of time, failed to guess that the man made the beds. And so ended a relatively successful night. - Sargebri (2005)

      • Dorothy is not on the panel, as she is up in Canada covering Queen Elizabeth's visit to Ottawa to open Parliament. Ernie addresses a "fan" who has been writing to him asking, "How can he keep smoking that cigar on the show?" He replies on air, "I haven't lighted this cigar in 2 months - dear." Another classic Ernie moment is when he FINALLY gets a "yes" answer to the question he's been asking for weeks, "Can you fold this product?" He jumps out of his chair and everyone cheers! It's a very funny moment! - Suzanne (2003)

        MYSTERY GUEST Micheal Todd used his nickname "Mike Todd." He had married Elizabeth Taylor earlier in this year, 1957. Mike would unfortunately be killed in a plane crash in March 1958. - Suzanne (2003)

      • Michael Todd (6/22/1907 - 3/22/1958)

        Panel: Ernie Kovacs, Arlene Francis, Mike Todd, Bennett Cerf. Dorothy Kilgallen has the evening off.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)