What's My Line?

Season 9 Episode 31

EPISODE #408

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Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 30, 1958 on CBS
9.1
out of 10
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Episode Summary

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EPISODE #408
AIRED:
Game 1: Thomas Lee - "Jockey" (salaried; of Chinese descent; he rides race horses for thoroughbred horse trainer Mr. William Christmas and spoke of the injuries he has received from his career as a jockey; from Ocean City, New Jersey)

Game 2: Mrs. Hilda Broughton - "Fish Counter For U.S. Government" (salaried; smiled a lot; as fish climb the ladders and swim over the dams, she counts and identifies fish for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers; John mentioned that Dow Dam has 85 steps and Utila Dam has 90 steps - and then added "that's a lot of DAM steps"; from Portland, Oregon)

Game 3: Hope Lange (11/28/1933 - 12/19/2003) & Don Murray (b. 7/31/1929) (as Mystery Guest Duo) They are Mr. and Mrs. Don Murray.

Per Gil Fates' handwritten logs, there was not enough time for the next scheduled contestant, a person who was a probation officer. This person was also unable to appear on the following week's show. - Suzanne (2008)
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SUBMIT REVIEW
    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)

    Hope Lange

    Hope Lange

    Mystery Guest Duo

    Guest Star

    Don Murray

    Don Murray

    Mystery Guest Duo

    Guest Star

    Martin Gabel

    Martin Gabel

    Guest Panelist

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at two down. Arlene Francis correctly guessed this contestant's line, with some major assistance from her husband, Martin Gabel. John said he was flipping in the cards "in view of the sacks," a reference to the chemise dresses worn by Arlene Francis and Dorothy Kilgallen that were the subject of such controversy. Really, though, it was more likely that John was disappointed that this contestant's line was figured out so quickly; it almost seemed as if Martin recognized him. In the mystery guest round, John flipped the remaining cards for mystery challengers Hope Lange and Don Murray after Bennett guessed Murray's name out of turn. All mystery challengers were paid an unpublicized appearance fee of $500, so it didn't really matter whether the cards went over or not. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND CURTAIN ENTRANCE WATCH: Once again, the main sponsor is Helene Curtis. Tonight, Arlene and Dorothy wore the chemise (sack) dresses so hated by Bennett. As they entered the stage during the opening, they twirled around before taking their respective positions at the panel desk. Even Martin Gabel got into the spirit (or the act) by twirling around as he entered, though he wore the standard tuxedo attire. Only Bennett, seemingly chastened by all this, entered in the conventional manner. John, upon his entrance, waved his white handkerchief towards the panel. In essence, John was saying, "I surrender" as he strode towards his desk. It was his way of saying he wasn't going to get involved in the controversy.
        (2) BAD PUN ALERT: During the post-game chat with the fish counter, as they were discussing different types of salmon, Bennett made reference to "Salmon & Schuster." This was an obvious play on the name of one of Random House's chief publishing competitors, Simon & Schuster, founded in 1924 by Richard Simon and Max Schuster. It was that company that founded Pocket Books (in 1939), which gave birth to the paperback book format; and published "Little Golden Books" for children from 1942 to 1958, when that imprint was sold to Western Publishing Company. However, the first half of the Simon & Schuster namesake is probably better known to the "baby-boom" generation as the father of singer/songwriter Carly Simon, who had a string of hits in the 1970's including "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be," "Anticipation" (used in Heinz Ketchup commercials for several years in the 1970's), "Haven't Got Time for the Pain," and her Number One smash from late 1972/early 1973, "You're So Vain." As of this writing in December 2008, Simon & Schuster is owned by CBS.
        (3) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: The regular contestants' overlays were set in the usual Futura Demi Bold, but the overlay for the mystery guests -- laid out in a mixture of capital letters and mixed case (upper and lower case) letters, as "HOPE LANGE & DON MURRAY (Mr. & Mrs.)" -- was hand-painted.
        (4) This was to be the only appearance by Hope Lange and Don Murray on "WML?" within its 17.5-year CBS run. Long after their divorce in 1961, they would make individual appearances on the syndicated incarnation of "WML?" as mystery guests. Mr. Murray was on twice, during the final week of the 1972-1973 season and again in the final 1974-1975 season, and Miss Lange made one appearance on another week of the 1974-1975 season. It was ten years from tonight's show, in 1968, that Miss Lange landed the role of "Carolyn Muir" on the TV series version of "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir" which ran until 1970, followed by the 1971-1974 sitcom "The New Dick Van Dyke Show" on which she played "Jenny Preston." Both shows had individual connections to the "wild and crazy" 1970's version of "Match Game," in the form of Charles Nelson Reilly who played "Claymore Gregg" on "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir," and Richard Dawson who played "Richard Richardson" in the final season (1973-1974) of "The New Dick Van Dyke Show." Coincidentally, Miss Lange herself appeared on "Match Game '78" the week of June 6, 1978. Mr. Murray had a few TV series credits himself, probably the most famous of which was as car dealer "Sid Fairgate" in the first two years of the 1979-1993 nighttime soap "Knots Landing."
        (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: The end credits for tonight's show only go up to a brief shot of the "A Mark Goodson-Bill Todman" production art card, but that didn't stop doggoned GSN, on its December 20, 2008 airing of this episode, from continuing its unbroken streak of "crunching" the screen, to the eternal detriment and dismay of its viewing audience.
        (6) The December 20, 2008 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by the May 7, 1957 edition of "To Tell the Truth," hosted by Bud Collyer, with the panel assembled this week as Mary Healy, Jackie Cooper, Kitty Carlisle and Hy Gardner. This was the first of eleven "TTTT" appearances by Jackie Cooper, the former child actor turned TV star; Mr. Cooper's appearances were a bit ironic, given his former marriage to very early regular "TTTT" panelist Hildy Parks. As for the games, the first game featured bagpipe player William Hannah (he was a Pipe Major of the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada) and two impostors (Robert Parks and Harold Connoly); the second game featured Howell M. Forgy (a Presbyterian minister who was Navy chaplain on board the USS New Orleans at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; he coined the phrase "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" which was the inspiration for Frank Loesser, who wrote the song of the same name) and two impostors; and the third game featured Janice Lee Romery (the Women's National Fencing Champion who, up to the point of this "TTTT" episode, had participated in three successive Olympics, and who subsequently took part in three more Olympics up to 1968) and two impostors. - W-B (2005, updated 2008)

      • BRING ON THE POTATO SACKS!!! After weeks of Bennett's sarcastic remarks on the latest fashions, Arlene and Dorothy both strolled out and modeled a pair of chemise dresses and all Bennett could do was shake his head at the sight. Even Martin got into the act when he strolled out and pirouetted as he entered the stage. John also got into the act by waving his white handkerchief as a sign of surrender. As for the games themselves, the panel had a so-so night. The competitive portion of the show got off with a bang when Arlene, with a subtle hint from her husband Martin, correctly guessed that the first contestant was a jockey. In fact, it was done so fast that John, feeling sorry for Mr. Lee, decided to flip over the rest of the cards. Unfortunately, the panel's luck didn't carry over into the second game as they failed to guess that the contestant was a government fish counter. This also led to some of the funniest moments of the night, especially John's rather blue (by 1958 standards) comment about "dam steps." In the mystery guest round, the panel did correctly identify Hope Lange and Don Murray, but John decided to penalize the panel for guessing out of order. After the game, John mentioned that the couple met on the set of the film "Bus Stop." However, they corrected him by saying that they have now known each other for seven years, but got married while both working on the 1956 film. - Sargebri (2005)

        HOPE LANGE: As was mentioned during the mystery guest round and during the post game chat, Hope Lange was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in the 1957 film version of "Peyton Place" where she played incest victim "Selena Cross." She was beaten out for the award by Miyoshi Umeki for her work in the film "Sayonara." Another notable nominee from "Peyton Place" was Lana Turner, who was nominated for the Best Actress award. She was beaten out by Joanne Woodward for her performance in "The Three Faces of Eve." - Sargebri (2005)

        PERSON TO PERSON: At the end of the episode, John announces that the Cerfs - Bennett Cerf and his wife Phyllis Cerf - will be featured on Edward R. Murrow's television program "Person to Person" on the following Friday, which was April 4, 1958. - Suzanne (2005)

        MYSTERY GUESTS: Hope Lange promoted her upcoming appearance in the 1958 war drama film, "The Young Lions" in which she co-starred with Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Dean Martin. - Suzanne (2005)

      • If there were a grade higher than an A, this episode would get it! BEST OPENING SEQUENCE EVER!!
        1) After all the grief that BC has received over the prior 3 episodes for his negative comments regarding the 50's "sack" dress fad...out come Arlene and Dorothy donning none other than the latest thing! After a thundering audience response, Dorothy says, "Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I realize you're not applauding me, but my courage." Bennett emerges, head hung low, shaking his head and says, "Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case." He proceeds to comment, "A couple clowns over in the circus at Madison Square Garden are going to be awfully angry when they see their costumes are missing!" (HUGE laugh!)
        2) The first question of the night goes to DK, who is still cracking up (probably over how ridiculous she looks more than anything!) The entire panel is in TOP form tonight, absolutely wonderful.
        3) The 2nd guest is Mrs. Hilda Broughton from Portland, Oregon. She is a fish counter for the U.S. Government. Not much comedy to come from this, you think? Then think again and read on. The panel is pretty much stumped once they figure out that she has something to do with fish, so a conference is called:

        BC: "Her work possibly has to do with fish conservation."
        DK: "Well, they're still alive when she finishes with them."
        BC: "Well, that's what fish conservation IS, Dorothy."

        Dorothy's expression and reaction to that were HILARIOUS! After her profession is exposed, Mrs. Broughton describes the 85 steps in the fish ladder which the fish must climb up, in order to successfully get over the dam. JD jumps in with, "That's a lot of DAM steps." (More thunderous laughter from the 1958 crowd that is NOT accustomed to hearing THAT kind of language on a television show. Remember, just to allow Clark Gable to say "damn" in 1939's "Gone With the Wind," the producers had to pay the censors a fee of $10,000!) So, then Martin Gabel adds, "I'm only a guest here of course, but as I understand it, that KIND of remark is only allowed to one member of this show." To finish off the fish counter, Random House publisher BC has to get in a pun by saying, "There's one more kind of salmon, Salmon & Schuster." (By now, my sides ache from laughter!)
        4) And just when you thought the show couldn't get any better: During the questioning of the MG's, a conference is called. Dorothy thinks that perhaps they're being "led up the garden path" and that the guests are actually a husband and wife team from a movie (not in real life) "like Red Buttons and that darling girl..." (she probably is thinking of the 1957 movie "Sayonara" and the cute actress Miyoshi Umeki) but BC points out a technicality which dispels her theory. Dorothy says, "OH! Sorry, sorry, cancel me out, I'm...shaky tonight." Arlene immediately responds "Back to your sack!" - fiveninegal (2003)

      • PUTTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: Don Murray was married to actress Hope Lange from 1956 to 1961. John Daly asked them both, in regards to the 1956 movie "Bus Stop," "Incidentally, that's where you two met, wasn't it?" Don answered, "No, we've known each other for about 7 years now, we got married during that picture." So, they evidently met in about 1951. What makes this an interesting comment is the fact that the "Bus Stop" studio executives thought it would make a more romantic story to say that their stars had met during the filming of the movie, and put out this rumor. It was evidently a common misconception, even to Mr. Daly. - Suzanne (2003)

        Panel: Arlene Francis, Martin Gabel, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.

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