What's My Line?

Season 1 Episode 4


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 16, 1950 on CBS
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Episode Summary



Game 1: "Irish Consul" (a male)

Game 2: "Lighthouse Keeper" (a male)

Game 3: Gypsy Rose Lee (1/8/1911 - 4/26/1970) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: "Tree Surgeon" (a male)

A backup profession was listed in Gil Fates' notes for a female physician. - Suzanne (2004)

I have supplied the contestant data from Gil Fates' handwritten show logs which do not include the names of the regular contestants. - Suzanne (2004)

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    John Daly

    John Daly

    Moderator (1950-1967)

    Dorothy Kilgallen

    Dorothy Kilgallen

    Regular Panelist (1950-1965)

    Hal Block

    Hal Block

    Regular Panelist (1950-1953)

    Louis Untermeyer

    Louis Untermeyer

    Regular Panelist (1950-1951)

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (3)

      • (1) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: Wendy Barrie, the first of countless guest panelists in "WML?'s" history, was a popular movie actress whose credits included the first Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce "Sherlock Holmes" film, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1939), a few installments of "The Saint" movie series of the late 1930's and early 1940's (each time as a different character), and two titles in "The Falcon" series -- "The Gay Falcon" and "A Date with the Falcon" (both 1941) -- as "Helen Reed." Miss Barrie was also a fixture on early television, appearing on "The Adventures of Oky Doky" and "The Wendy Barrie Show." The latter program was one of the first television talk shows in the history of the medium. She continued to appear on television through 1962, and also hosted a local radio show which ran through the mid-1960's. Unfortunately, alas, tonight's "lost" show would be Miss Barrie's only "WML?" appearance.
        (2) NEW "REGULAR" PANELIST: During his three years as a regular panelist on "WML?," Hal Block would make it a habit of making puns on the show's title to fit the professions of certain contestants (e.g. "What's My Shrine?," "What's My Crime?" or "What's My Time?"). One pun of the kind Mr. Block would make formed the basis for the title of an animated cartoon short. In 1961, Warner Brothers' cartoon division released "What's My Lion?" in the "Looney Tunes" series. In this cartoon, directed by the late Robert McKimson, "Elmer Fudd" declares hunting season, and a mountain lion named "Rocky" hides out in "Elmer's" cabin to avoid getting shot, mostly posing as one of the stuffed and mounted animals hanging on the wall. "What's My Lion?" was notable in that it was the last appearance of the "Elmer Fudd" character in the history of the original cartoon division, and that the character this time out was voiced by Hal Smith, who was already known by this point as Mayberry town drunk "Otis Campbell" on the 1960-1968 hit sitcom "The Andy Griffith Show." This cartoon was released two years after the 1959 death of "Elmer's" original voice, veteran radio actor Arthur Q. Bryan.
        (3) A FEW FINAL WORDS ABOUT "WML?'S" FIRST HOME: The Grand Central studio (aka Studio 41), the first home of "WML?" where the show had its baptism by fire, was located at 15 Vanderbilt Avenue on the third floor, and had been in use by CBS from 1937 to 1964. The building was next door to the Graybar Building which was, and still is, located at 420 Lexington Avenue. For years, the Graybar Building was the base of operations for CBS News while, from 1955 to 1963, the nightly CBS newscast -- called "Douglas Edwards with the News" from 1950 to 1962, and the "CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite" from 1962 until Mr. Cronkite's retirement in 1981 -- originated from the Grand Central studios. In 1963, a "newsroom-studio" was built on the 29th floor of the Graybar Building from which the newscast originated until the next year. CBS's run at the Grand Central studios ended in 1964, the year the network opened its "CBS Broadcast Center" on West 57th Street, the grounds of which had once been a milk bottling plant. The studios at the new facility would be designated 41 through 46. The network began radio operations at the Broadcast Center in July of 1964, while its TV studios would first go online in November of that year. In December of 1964, CBS News moved all its operations, including the "newsroom-studio" where the "CBS Evening News" originated, to the new Broadcast Center. The information on CBS News' studios came from Gary Paul Gates' 1978 book "Air Time: The Inside Story of CBS News." A list of all the studios in use by CBS in New York over the years, as well as studios used by "other networks" NBC and ABC, can be found at the link below. - W-B (2008)


      • As printed in an unsigned "Video Vignettes" column in the April 8, 1950 issue of TV DIGEST (Philadelphia, PA):

        "Hal Block, comedy writer who recently guested on What's My Line, (sic) was blindfolded along with the other experts as they tried to guess the identity and occupation of a visiting celebrity. He drew a hearty laugh with his question: "Are you famous for being well-dressed?" The mysterious visitor was Gypsy Rose Lee!"

        Since this incident is often repeated in other stories about the show, could it be that this unexpected serendipity inspired Goodson & Todman to put Hal on as a permanent panelist on the fledgling show? - stopette (2004)

      • MYSTERY GUEST Gypsy Rose Lee would later cause a bit of controversy during her third WML appearance on EPISODE #854 on March 19, 1967. While serving as guest panelist on that future episode, she was given the duty of introducing Bennett. However, during her introduction, she took the chance to publicly criticize Bennett for not publishing her book. She rudely said, "And now, the man who was too short-sighted to publish any of my books, Bennett Cerf." Needless to say, Bennett was very miffed at her and did not speak one word to her all evening. After that episode, Miss Lee was never invited back either as a panelist or as a mystery guest. - Sargebri (2004)


        Per Gil Fates' handwritten logs, no kinescope of this episode exists. It was destroyed by CBS before Gil Fates noticed the destruction policy in 1952 and began saving the kinescopes. Only about 10 episodes exist from February 1950 to July 1952. - Suzanne (2004)

        Hal Block (8/2/1913 - 6/16/1981)

        Wendy Barrie (4/18/1912 - 2/2/1978)

        Panel: Wendy Barrie, Louis Untermeyer, Dorothy Kilgallen, Hal Block. This is Hal Block's first appearance. He becomes a regular panelist on this fourth episode, replacing Dr. Richard Hoffmann. Arlene Francis had the night off. - Suzanne (2004)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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