What's My Line?

Season 9 Episode 21


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jan 19, 1958 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
3 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Game 1: Mike Stepovich (Michael A. Stepovich)(3/12/1919 - 2/14/2014) - "Governor of Alaska" (salaried; the territory of Alaska is seeking statehood to become the 49th state; from Juneau, Alaska)

Game 2: Mrs. Sue Kraft - "Bee Keeper" (self-employed; John said a by-product of her business is honey; from New Hope, PA)

Game 3: Ralph Bellamy (6/17/1904 - 11/29/1991) (as Mystery Guest)


Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
    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)

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the sole remaining card for the second contestant at nine down. Bennett had correctly guessed that this contestant was associated with bees, though had not actually yet specified the exact line of "beekeeper." John stated that he was flipping the card "just for fun," though perhaps also because time was running short. In the mystery guest round, John flipped the remaining cards for mystery guest Ralph Bellamy at three down, stating that the winnings were all going to the March of Dimes. All mystery guests were paid an unpublicized fee of $500 for their appearance, but it is unknown whether it was this amount or the $50 represented by the cards that was donated to the March of Dimes. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: For this return to the familiar environs of New York -- and the return of the familiar faces on the panel -- the main sponsor was Helene Curtis. And this was guest panelist Ricardo Montalban's first and last appearance on "WML?" within its CBS run; he would appear twice as a mystery guest in the show's weekday syndicated configuration, first in 1969 and again in 1973.
        (2) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: The regular contestants' overlays, as always, were set in Futura Demi Bold. However, for mystery guest Ralph Bellamy, what appears to be Bernhard Gothic Medium Condensed was used for his lower-third overlay. Mr. Bellamy is making his first extant "WML?" appearance tonight. His first appearance, on EPISODE #93 of March 9, 1952, sadly no longer exists.
        (3) MORE ON MYSTERY GUEST RALPH BELLAMY: At the time of his "WML?" appearance tonight, Mr. Bellamy was in the middle of a long run as panelist on "To Tell the Truth"; his run commenced on February 26, 1957 (as is scheduled to air on GSN on December 11, 2008), and lasted on and off until 1962. In addition, Mr. Bellamy would go on to play Franklin Delano Roosevelt in other productions besides the stage and movie versions of "Sunrise at Campobello": notably in the 1983 miniseries "The Winds of War" and its follow-up which aired in 1988-1989, "War and Remembrance" (both written by former "WML?" mystery guest and guest panelist Herman Wouk).
        (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: For tonight's show, the end credits only go up to the "In Association with the CBS Television Network" art card. And predictably, GSN once again did its cruel and usual "crunching" of the screen, to the eternal consternation of the vexed viewing audience, on its December 10, 2008 airing of this episode.
        (5) SPEAKING OF "TTTT": The December 10, 2008 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by the February 19, 1957 edition of "To Tell the Truth," hosted by Bud Collyer, with the panel this week consisting of Polly Bergen, Abe Burrows, Betty Furness and Hy Gardner. (Mr. Burrows was yet another former "The Name's the Same" panelist, along with the likes of Mike Wallace, Hildy Parks and Mr. Gardner, to have sat on the "TTTT" panel up to this point.) The first game featured magician/professional pickpocket Rolland Rochelle and two impostors; the second game featured Princess Wei Wan Vorawan (approximate spelling; the great-granddaughter of King Mongkut of Siam who was portrayed by Yul Brynner in "The King and I") and two impostors; and the third game featured former world light-heavyweight boxing champion Thomas P. Loughran and two impostors. - W-B (2008)



        "Wan" is most likely her surname -- and matches that of her father -- if her surname is being stated in the traditional Asian fashion. Possibly, "Wei" is a title.

        In addition to learning that Wei Wan Vorawan (spelling approximate) was the great-granddaughter of the King of Siam, as portrayed by both Rex Harrison (in the 1946 motion picture "Anna and the King of Siam") and Yul Brynner (on Broadway and in the 1956 motion picture "The King and I") we also learned the following 1957 facts about her:

        1. She was born in Siam. (She appears to be a teenager, born circa 1939.)
        2. She is also related to the present King of Siam, which is now known as Thailand.
        3. Since coming to the United States, she has worked as a guide at the United Nations.
        4. She is now a secretary for the President of the United Nations General Assembly, who also happens to be her father. Her father's name is not mentioned, but a 2008 net search shows her father to be the Eleventh President, serving from 1956-1957, from Thailand, Prince Wan Waithayakon.

        More about her father here:

        Wan Waithayakon


        - Suzanne (2008)

      • BAD FILM SPLICE - Did you notice the "whoops" involving Dorothy Kilgallen in the Ralph Bellamy mystery guest segment? As we were watching the show, when Ralph signed in, it was evident that the film had been spliced at that point. It was not a "random" splice that might have been caused by the film breaking, but rather it came right at the point where the blackboard shot begins. The segment had been physically spliced out for use in some other capacity, then spliced back in later. Toward the end of the questioning, while the panel is still masked and hasn't yet identified Bellamy, we suddenly see a shot of Dorothy without her mask, talking mater-of-factly about our guest, even mentioning him by name. Next thing we know, she's back in her mask. Here is what happened: As the mystery guest round unfolded, a masked Dorothy said, "Gosh, I'm dead. I think I'm going to pass." But in re-assembling the film, an entire 13-second "unmasked" scene is incorrectly inserted immediately after the word "Gosh." Suddenly, the shot changes and Dorothy is back in her mask, saying she's stumped, and passing to Bennett. Then a few moments later in this round, the scene jumps again, and it is evident from the context that we missed something. The solution: Remove the 13-second shot of Dorothy without her mask, splice the gap together, and insert that shot at the point a few moments later, and everything is more or less back in order! In other words, someone chopped up the film for some purpose, and assembled the pieces, but got one out of order. Another splice at the end of Bellamy's round indicates where the entire segment was put back in place. Splicing film is very physical, as opposed to editing video tape, which is done by dubbing or editing computer files, which can be totally non-destructive. Splicing film requires razor blades, glue, and actually cutting the film in pieces - a process that seems terribly crude by today's standards, although it's a process that is still used in true film (as opposed to videotape) production. The phrase, "lost on the cutting room floor" is not at all fanciful. The floor of an editing room, or cutting room, could be several inches deep in film scraps, ranging in length from an inch or two to many feet - sort of like the floor of a barber shop after a busy Saturday. - Lee McIntyre (2005)


        REVIEW: What a difference a couple of weeks can make. After the panel's dismal performance a couple of weeks earlier, the break seemed to help as this night they did something they hadn't done in quite a while, and that was to pull off a perfecto, albeit they did have a couple of last minute saves. In the first game, Dorothy managed to figure out that Mr. Stepovich was the governor of the then territory of Alaska. In the second game, Bennett also made a last second save as he figured out that the contestant was a bee keeper. Bennett also correctly identified mystery guest, and former "To Tell the Truth" panelist Ralph Bellamy. Bellamy was on the show to promote his upcoming play, the classic "Sunrise at Campobello." In the post game chat, Bellamy made a special appeal for the March of Dimes, reminding people that even though the Salk vaccine has been a resounding success, there still were many people afflicted with polio and that there was still research being done to find a cure for the disease as well as to treat those that were afflicted. After that, John flipped the remainder of the cards and announced that the money was going to go to the charity. And with that, the perfect night was made even more special. - Sargebri (2005)

        ALASKA: As was mentioned during the chat after the first game, Governor Mike Stepovich was part of the effort to have Alaska become the 49th state. Less than a year after this broadcast, on January 3, 1959, the dream was realized and Alaska gained statehood. Later that year on August 21, 1959, Hawaii was also granted statehood, making it the 50th state. - Sargebri (2005)

        GUEST PANELIST Ricardo Montalban did a marvelous job in his only appearance on the panel. He asked some good questions and looked as if he had been playing the game for a long time. Of course, several years later he would take on his most famous role as the mysterious "Mr. Roarke" on the classic anthology series "Fantasy Island." His second most famous role was a few years before that when he made a memorable guest appearance on the show "Star Trek" playing the megalomaniacal "Khan" in the episode "Space Seed." In fact, he made such an impression in that episode that he reprised that role for the film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." - Sargebri (2005)


        1) DK, is that a bow on your dress or are you just happy to see us??? Geeeez! And how 'bout that train? I thought she might trip on it!
        2) I don't think John pronounced RM's name correctly ONCE!
        3) The tape jumped around near the end. One minute we see the blindfolded panel questioning the mystery guest, and then all of a sudden DK is NOT blindfolded and is talking about her husband (of all people!) - and the next scene has the panel blindfolded again still asking questions!! Eeek! There must have been a break in the original tape, and it was given a very bad editing job!


        1) Biggest groan of the evening: Bennett's "strip poco" pun. However, Bennett DID redeem himself when he said the Hollywood panel from the prior week did a good job!
        2) Scariest moment: The return of DK's freaky "built in eyes" blindfold. That thing needs to be retired! - fiveninegal (2003)

      • An interesting historical contestant was the Territorial Governor of Alaska, Michael Anthony Stepovich. Alaska would not gain United States statehood until a year later, when on January 3, 1959, President Eisenhower signed the official declaration which made Alaska the 49th state. - Suzanne (2003)

        Ricardo Montalban (11/25/1920 - 1/14/2009)

        Panel: Arlene Francis, Ricardo Montalban, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)