What's My Line?

Season 9 Episode 38


Aired Daily 12:00 AM May 18, 1958 on CBS



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

  • Notes

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at just one down. Bennett correctly guessed this contestant's line, but John flipped the cards because he felt the contestant gave a good effort in "trying to take Bennett on some other path." In the final game, John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at two down. The panel didn't come close on this one, primarily due to a shortage of time. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) SONG REFERENCE: During the opening, Bennett Cerf introduces the panel moderator as "our own private witch doctor, Mr. John Charles 'Ooo-Eee, Ooo-Ah-Ah, Ting-Tang, Walla-Walla-Bing-Bang' Daly" - a reference to David Seville's 1958 Liberty Records novelty hit "Witch Doctor" which reached number one on the charts. "David Seville" is the pseudonym for pop songwriter and producer Ross Bagdasarian, who is most popular for his discovery of "The Chipmunks." - W-B (2005)
      (2) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: This evening, Kellogg's cereals take their turn as chief sponsor. And for Ralph Bellamy, this was his second and final turn as a "WML?" guest panelist.
      (3) THE "PRODIGAL SON" RETURNS: This was not only onetime "WML?" regular Steve Allen's first appearance since EPISODE #342 of December 23, 1956, but also his first appearance in the "post-Kovacs" era -- an apropos observation, given that former "WML?" panelist Ernie Kovacs had alternated every two days per week as host of "Tonight!" in Mr. Allen's final months on the program in 1956-1957. It is from this point forward that Steverino's occasional return appearances begin to increase in frequency, reaching a crescendo after his being tapped to replace Garry Moore as host of "I've Got a Secret" in 1964.
      (4) It has become more noticeable in recent weeks that on episodes with four contestants, the last original "WML?" commercial for the evening came between the mystery guest and the final contestant. Previously, the last two games were played one after the other, prior to the last commercial break.
      (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: This time, the end credits only go so far as to the "In Association with the CBS Television Network" art card, but this was not the only thing about such credits to be truncated; so was the picture's aspect ratio on GSN's December 28, 2008 airing of this episode -- otherwise known as their sorry and shameful "crunching" of the screen.
      (6) A DOUBLE-DOSE OF RALPH BELLAMY: Following GSN's December 28, 2008 airing of tonight's show, the cable and satellite channel reran the July 9, 1957 edition of "To Tell the Truth" with host Bud Collyer and the panel of Polly Bergen, Ralph Bellamy, Kitty Carlisle and Hy Gardner. The first game featured major-league baseball umpire and former New York (football) Giants running back Hank Soar (who has sometimes been confused with baseball outfielder Hank Sauer, who played with the New York Giants baseball team at the time of this "TTTT" episode) and two impostors; the second game featured world champion hot-air balloonist Constance Wolf (who served, uncredited, as a technical advisor on the 1956 movie version of "Around the World in Eighty Days") and two impostors; and the third game featured John Arden (who was a window washer for the Empire State Building) and two impostors. - W-B (2008)

      KILGALLEN WATCH!!! While Dorothy was supposedly suffering from "jet lag" on the more recent shows since her return from her European trip, it appears that her somewhat off-kilter appearances are more a sign of an increasing drinking problem, the manifestations of which were mentioned in the notes to EPISODE #407 of March 23, 1958. It was nearly five months from tonight's show, in October 1958, that Dorothy underwent a two-week stay at the LeRoy Sanitarium, ostensibly for "exhaustion and anemia," after falling and hitting her head; this hospitalization caused her to miss EPISODE #436 of October 12, 1958 and EPISODE #437 of October 19, 1958. - W-B (2008)

    • REVIEW: This was a fairly good night for the panel as they had a .500 performance this episode. The first game pretty much was all Bennett. After Arlene had gotten a "no," Bennett was flawless as he correctly guessed that the contestant demonstrated mattresses. Unfortunately, the panel's good work didn't carry over into the second game as they failed to identify Col. Gershom of the Israeli Army's women's auxiliary unit. The fun really picked up in the mystery guest round when the prodigal son, Steve Allen, returned to the show on which he was a panelist for a good portion of its early history for a turn as mystery guest. Steverino had the audience - as well as the panel - rolling with his best Mickey Mouse impression. However, the panel pretty much saw right through him and Arlene used his trademark breadbox question to identify him. After the game, Steve said that it was like coming home for him due to the fact that he enjoyed his year on the panel. In the final game of the evening, the panel ran out of time while questioning the male ballet dancer, so he won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

      CENSOR MOMENT!!! Arlene's rather titillating remark about vibrating mattresses was rather racy for 1958. However, such a remark in today's climate would barely raise an eyebrow. - Sargebri (2005)

    • Two funny moments:

      1.) The first guest is a mattress demonstrator. When it is revealed that they are "vibrating" mattresses, Arlene quips, "Those are the best kind!" This gets everyone laughing and you see John tug at his collar - as though embarrassed at the innuendo. Later, John announces that all 5 of the WML group will be trying out those vibrating mattresses!

      2.) It appears that the guests are trying to get Bennett's goat now, because the second contestant emerges wearing a borderline "sack" dress. Of course, Bennett can't leave well enough alone. He starts to question her about it and John (jokingly) puts an end to it. Fabulous episode! - fiveninegal (2003)



      This segment is just too fabulous to pass up! The following is a verbatim transcript of Steve Allen's funny mystery guest appearance on May 18, 1958! - fiveninegal (2003)

      JD: Now, will you come in mystery challenger and sign in please!

      (Enter Steve Allen - HUGE HUGE HUGE audience response)

      JD: All right. Panel, as you know in the case of our mystery guest, we dispense with the usual forms of questioning and go to another form. You will ask one question at a time, in turn, moving clockwise and we'll begin it all with our distinguished guest, Ralph Bellamy.
      RB: Well, from that, uh, applause obviously it's someone we all know. Do you, by any chance, have any connection with, uh, a recent picture - a picture that just opened? "Gigi" let's say?
      SA: No I don't! (BIG laugh from audience and John because of the extremely high-pitched voice Mr. Allen is using! Think "Mickey Mouse!")
      JD: That's 1 down and 9 to go, Miss Francis.
      AF: Heavens! Do you have anything to do with either television or the theatre?
      SA: Yes.
      JD: Mr. Cerf.
      AF: An opera singer, no doubt!
      SA: Thank you. (Loud giggle from DK)
      BC: Are you male?
      SA: YES!
      JD: Miss Kilgallen.
      SA: Don't let the voice fool ya!
      DK: (cracking up) I'm all mixed up, I was just about to ask if it was a curvaceous blonde.
      SA: Not quite!
      DK: Uh, are you more noted for television than your work in the theatre?
      SA: I'm afraid so.
      JD: Mr. Bellamy.
      RB: Uh, do you have a weekly series?
      SA: Very! (HUGE laugh)
      JD: That's spelled W-E-E-K-L-Y. Miss Francis.
      AF: Are you a comedian on this series..."weakly"?
      SA: VERY! (Hearty laugh from John)
      JD: Mr. Cerf.
      BC: Is the show named after you?
      SA: (immediately) It wasn't named before me! (Theatre erupts in laughter and applause)
      JD: Miss Kilgallen.
      DK: Well, is there a dummy here? (Audience literally HOWLS)
      JD: Miss Kilgallen, I resent that!
      SA: Not on this side of the stage! (Okay, this brings the house down! John hugs Steve and Dorothy is in hysterics!)
      DK: There are...there are four over here!
      RB: (after laughter dies down) Where are we?
      DK: It's you, Ralph.
      RB: Ummm, well, would your first name be Bob?
      JD: Bob? B-O-B?
      RB: Yes.
      JD: Nooooooo. 2 down and 8 to go, Miss Francis.
      AF: Did you have a last name in mind? (chuckles) Are you, uh, do you appear on a network other than this network?
      SA: Yes, I do.
      JD: Mr. Cerf.
      BC: Would that be NBC?
      SA: Yes, it would.
      JD: Miss Kilgallen.
      DK: How does that help? (big laugh) They have so many. Uh, do you do anything else besides be funny? Like sing or dance?
      SA: Mmmm...yes.
      JD: Mr. Bellamy.
      RB: Is your weekly show a situation comedy show?
      SA: Well, the situation is we could use more comedy! (applause, applause)
      JD: (trying to speak while laughing) 3 down and 7 to go, Miss Francis.
      AF: I detect something adorable in that voice.
      SA: I'll see YOU later!! (AF cracks up)
      AF: Would a red-headed woman not approve of that statement? (Arlene is referring to Steve's wife, the lovely red-headed Jayne Meadows)
      SA: Mmmm...yup!
      AF: Are you bigger than a breadbox? (LAUGHS! Arlene asks this question because Steve was THE man who coined the famous phrase, "Is it bigger than a breadbox?")
      SA: Yup!
      JD: Go ahead Miss Arl...Miss Francis.
      AF: Is it the inimitable Steve Allen?
      JD: Steve Allen!
      Rousing cheers from audience! Arlene is in tears and Steve blows a kiss to the panel.
      JD: That was wonderful! Welcome home.
      SA: It was. It's always fun to be on this show. It's sort of like old home week around here for me.
      JD: Well it's old home week for us. I must say that, uh, as most of you know, we all worked together for a long time and we all became tremendously fond of this gentleman. He went off and got to be such a big star that he couldn't stay with us. We were pleased about that, but unhappy that he had to leave us and it's wonderful to have you back, Steve...(shaking hands and Arlene interrupts)
      AF: But, but I think we ought to mention the fact that he isn't just adorable on the screen all the time. He's written a new book and I think we ought to get a plug in for that. Isn't it just out, Steve?
      SA: Yes.
      DK: And I've read it and it's marvelous!
      SA: Thank you.
      JD: "The Girls on the Tenth Floor"?
      SA: Well, thank you all!
      AF: I'm moving up!
      JD: I was going to ask him about it afterwards. I didn't know who the girls were!
      Big laugh as the wonderful, witty, hilarious, adorable and charming Steve Allen says hello/goodbye to the panel.

    • Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Ralph Bellamy, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.

  • Allusions

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