What's My Line?

Season 2 Episode 27


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 18, 1951 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary



Game 1: Mike Tomasco - "Makes Dog Collars" (salaried; from Philadelphia, PA)

Game 2: Joseph Langen - "House Detective" (salaried; he is an in-house private detective for the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Madison Avenue and 46th Street; there were references made to the hotel being torn down soon, and indeed, it was razed in 1951; he wore a U.S. Marines lapel pin; from New York City, NY)

Game 3: Senator Estes Kefauver (7/26/1903 - 8/10/1963) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Alan A. Gerstel - "Wine Taster" (salaried; he wore a BPOE 'Elks' ring and an American Legion lapel pin; from New York City, NY)

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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)

    Dorothy Kilgallen

    Dorothy Kilgallen

    Regular Panelist (1950-1965)

    Hal Block

    Hal Block

    Regular Panelist (1950-1953)

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

    • NOTES (5)

      • TRADE WINDS COLUMN: In Bennett Cerf's "Trade Winds" column in the April 7, 1951 issue of the Saturday Review magazine, Bennett writes about tonight's "WML?" mystery guest, Senator Estes Kefauver. Bennett wrote:

        During the local phase of the Kefauver investigations, work in publishing and pretty nearly every other business slowed to a standstill while people surrounded television sets to watch every move in the greatest show of the decade. Keep your eye on Senator Kefauver: he's going places -- and quickly too. I had the pleasure of meeting him on a TV show just after I returned from the coast and was deeply impressed.

        - cerfnet (2008)


        THE CLOCK IS TICKING: In this episode, John Daly granted the panel 30 seconds for a conference, as opposed to the 20 seconds he had been granting them when they requested it in all surviving previous episodes. - agent_0042 (2008)

        FLIP REPORT: John awarded the full prize to the final contestant due to time. However, rather than flipping all the remaining cards, he instead reverted to the practice of turning them all back to the question mark. On a side note, he stated on the mystery guest spot that $50 would be awarded to the student fund of the mystery guest's college. Of course, all mystery guests were actually awarded a $500 appearance fee. We can only assume that $50 went to charity and the guest's appearance fee was reduced to $450. - agent_0042 (2008)

      • (1) NOW THE PIECES COME TOGETHER - OF LONGTIME REGULAR PANELISTS, THAT IS: Tonight, Bennett Cerf becomes a series regular, assuming the second seat on the panel desk where he will be seated for the next two years. He replaces Louis Untermeyer whose final show was the previous week, in a now-lost episode; Mr. Untermeyer had been dropped from the show due to his alleged Communist affiliations, during the apogee of what has come to be known as the "Red Scare." It will be another two years from this evening before Bennett becomes the permanent "anchor" on the panel, effective with EPISODE #145 of March 8, 1953, after Hal Block is given the heave-ho due to a combination of his own boorish behavior and the ethos of "WML?" by that point drifting further and further away from Mr. Block's.
        (2) THE LOOK OF THINGS: Both the set arrangement and the sign-in board are exactly the same as on EPISODE #40. As for the male panelists, all of them are decked out in the formal attire that will come to formally define the program in a few years from now. As for Hal Block, this was probably one of the last times he looked like he was going out for a night on the town, as the other male panelists did. While Mr. Block always wore bow ties, on most of his remaining appearances (among the surviving kinescopes), he otherwise wore regular "street" clothes, making him look more like a travelling door-to-door salesman of the era (circa 1940's-1950's).
        (3) "WML?" END CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: As with other surviving 1950-1951 episodes, the production credit is given as "CBS with Mark Goodson-Bill Todman." And the highly unprofessional, unreasonable and undignified procedure of "crunching" the screen during the end credit sequence was carried out again by GSN on its March 4, 2008 airing of this rare surviving episode of the 1950-1952 period.
        (4) Following GSN's March 4, 2008 airing of tonight's show, the cable and satellite channel ran an edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, which was first transmitted "live from New York" on September 16, 1963. The panel, as always in this period, consisted of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson, and the celebrity guest was Alan King. The first game featured a young man named John Cale who, within a few years of this episode, became part of an experimental rock band named The Velvet Underground (sometimes known as The Velvet Underground and Nico), whose lineup also boasted one Lou Reed who would have a hit of his own in 1973 with a song co-produced by David Bowie, "Walk on the Wild Side," which had no connection with the 1962 movie of the same name. The other members of The Velvet Underground, besides Mr. Cale, Mr. Reed and Nico (who sang three songs on their debut LP), included Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker. Their first album, "The Velvet Underground and Nico," released in 1967 on MGM/Verve Records (catalogue number V/V6-5008) and featuring a drawing of a banana on the cover, was "officially" produced by "pop" artist (but not in the music sense) Andy Warhol, though it was later revealed that Mr. Warhol had little or no input on the actual production of the record. The group's sound had an influence on everything from post-punk to "new wave" to "goth" (gothic) rock. - W-B (2008)

      • REVIEW: This was a pretty good performance tonight for the panel. After a little difficulty, Hal was able to guess that the first contestant made dog collars. Next, it was Arlene's turn to shine, and she successfully guessed that the second contestant was a "house dick." Bennett was just as successful in guessing that the mystery guest was Estes Kefauver. This WML appearance was in the middle of the senator's high-profile probe into organized crime. He later would parlay that popularity into a bid for the vice-presidency as Adlai Stevenson's running mate during both of Stevenson's failed bids. Another byproduct of the Kefauver Hearings was that it helped gain national attention for a young senator from Massachusetts and his younger brother, who was acting as prosecutor. That young senator, John F. Kennedy, would later become president of the United States and his younger brother, Bobby, would later become Attorney General in his brother's staff. Tragically, of course, John was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 23, 1963 and his brother Bobby was assassinated in June 1968 while he was running for president. - Sargebri (2004)

      • From The University of Tennessee Libraries: As a Senator, Kefauver made his mark in the fight against organized crime. As chair of the Special Committee on Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce (usually known as "the Kefauver committee"), Kefauver conducted hearings leading to the public realization that there was a nationwide organized crime syndicate backed by the Mafia. As a result of the hearings, thousands of bookies were put out of business, Congress passed legislation aimed at curbing organized criminal activities, and the Treasury Department won indictments against hundreds of mobsters. "Crime in America" (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1951) was Kefauver's book about the results of the hearings and investigations. - Suzanne (2004)

        Senator Carey Estes Kefauver: Born in 1903, he served in the Senate from 1949 until he died in office in 1963. He was a Democrat who represented Tennessee. Senator Kefauver donated his show winnings to the "student fund" at Hiwassee College in Madisonville, TN. - Suzanne (2004)

        Listen for Hal Block's cute pun about Kefauver's committee when he says, "I just wanted to tell the senator that I love his new show, What's My Crime?" - Suzanne (2004)

        THE LOOK OF THINGS - These early kinescopes look far better than some of the later kinescopes do, especially the kines made from the end-of-series color shows. - Suzanne (2004)


        FIVENINEGAL'S THOUGHTS - It's great to see Bennett again! I noticed that Arlene wasn't wearing her beautiful anniversary present tonight! Listen for Dorothy's remark during the dog collar maker's questioning: before learning his line, Dorothy ventures, "All right, I'll stick my neck out..." There's a visual for you! Also, listen for Dorothy's competitiveness start to emerge during the questioning of the first contestant! Dorothy asks if women are more likely to buy the product than men. While John is thinking it over, Dorothy jumps in and asserts, "Notice, I said 'buy' and not 'wear.'" John decides to give her a "no," to which she argues, "But women buy 80% of all the things that are bought in this country." John quickly responds with, "Oh, I know that. I'm married, Miss Kilgallen!" (LOL) Hal Block got big laughs from the audience when he asked the dog collar maker, "Would I wear one of these?" When he referenced his comment again, Dorothy doubled the laughs when she quickly joked, "A muzzle would be more appropriate." We are only 42 episodes into the series, and the panel, especially John, already seem like they are at home with this game. Already, they are interacting like the family they would become. (At least, anyway, on Sunday evenings from 10:30 to 11:00 PM!) It's a joy to watch! - fiveninegal (2004)

      • Tidbits: John smokes a cigarette during the mystery guest game, but the panel refrains. At the end of the show, a preview photo of a man who is one of next week's regular contestants is shown. - Suzanne (2004)

        Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis, Hal Block.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)