What's My Line?

Season 9 Episode 44


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jun 29, 1958 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Cpl. R. K. Beecham (Richard King Beecham) - "Dog Catcher at Marine Base" (salaried; age 22, today is his birthday; Corporal Beecham appears in full USMC uniform; originally from Philadelphia, PA, currently from Parris Island, South Carolina)

Game 2: Mrs. Kathy Gretschman - "Ferryboat Captain" (self-employed; she operates the ferry named "Bertha" which provides service between Running Water, South Dakota and Niobrara, Nebraska; in an unusual move, her occupation overlay screen was shown for a second time when the cards were at $30 down - possibly because John was letting the panel get so far afield in the questioning about animals - a connection which was never fully explained to the panel - but we can possibly assume that John was figuring that household animals would sometimes benefit from her ferry services when in the vehicles with their owners, because he did agree that the animals she dealt with were domesticated - however - when one of the panelists asked if the animals were either cats or dogs, she replied no; maybe she also transported livestock; in short, this was an inconsistent game; John Daly was asleep at the wheel; from Springfield, SD)

Game 3: Sophia Loren (b. 9/20/1934) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Larry Gilbert - "Telephone Operator" (salaried; he works for General Telephone Company in his hometown of Mahomet, IL)

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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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)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Dick: Mrs. Gretschman, would it be possible that after this animal passed on... (loud laughter from audience, the occupation Ferryboat Captain reappears on-screen)

    • Bennett: And here to the great surprise of nobody is our brilliant, fast-talking and frequently coherent master of ceremonies, Mr. John Charles Daly.

  • NOTES (4)

    • FLIP REPORT: In the first game, Arlene correctly identified the occupation of the dog catcher, however, John flipped the remaining card because she spoke out of turn and there had been no conference called. In the second game, John threw in the towel at six down for the second challenger, a ferryboat captain, after a long line of unsuccessful questions regarding her connection with animals. In the final game, John flipped all the cards for the final challenger because the panel ran out of time. - agent_0042 (2006)

    • (1) INTRODUCTION MOMENTS: During the opening segment, Dorothy introduces guest panelist and "American Bandstand" host Dick Clark as "The host of 'American Broadcast.'" She was apparently confusing his show's title with the name of the network it was shown on, ABC or American Broadcasting Company. Later, Arlene corrects Dorothy's faux pas. Another cute introduction moment occurs when Arlene introduces Bennett as "The Count of Monte Kisco," which is a pun on their neighboring homes in Mount Kisco, NY. This pun causes Bennett to shake his head as he enters. Of course, Bennett has his own reputation for groan-inducing puns!
      (2) GUEST PANELIST: There was some irony in Dick Clark's guest panelist stint this evening. Starting in 1973, and continuing through 1988, he would host a game show that started out as "The $10,000 Pyramid." This dollar figure would incrementally increase by some thousand dollars over the years. "Pyramid's" producer, Bob Stewart, was once associated with the Goodson-Todman organization, as producer on such G-T shows as the 1956-1968 "To Tell the Truth," the original version of "The Price Is Right" and the 1961-1967 incarnation of "Password."
      (3) "WML?" SPONSOR AND PANEL WATCH: For this episode which marked another turning point in "WML?'s" history (as noted below), the chief sponsor was Kellogg's cereals. And this was the first of two "WML?" appearances over its CBS run, both as a guest panelist, by "America's Oldest Living Teenager," Dick Clark. (He would subsequently make two mystery guest appearances on the syndicated "WML?," in 1969 and 1973.)
      (4) MAMMA MIA!!! Besides Mr. Clark, another celebrity was making a "WML?" debut tonight: internationally famed actress Sophia Loren, in the first of two mystery guest appearances. At the time of her appearance tonight, she was filming the motion picture "That Kind of Woman" which was released in 1959. Besides "Desire Under the Elms" (whose co-star, Anthony Perkins, was a mystery guest earlier this year), Miss Loren's other 1958 films were "The Key" (co-starring William Holden), "The Black Orchid" (with Anthony Quinn), and "Houseboat" (with Cary Grant). Of these co-stars, only Mr. Grant made no appearances whatsoever on "WML?," either as a mystery guest, panelist, or cameo.
      (5) CRYPTIC DOROTHY QUESTION WATCH: During the mystery guest round, Dolly Mae posed the following question to Sophia Loren, "Have you ever made a phonograph record of a popular song?," to which the actress answered "Oui" (French for "yes"). For the record (not necessarily any pun intended), Miss Loren had put out a single on Columbia Records that was released on June 23, 1958 (six days prior to tonight's show), "Love Song from 'Houseboat' (Almost In Your Arms)" coupled with "Bing! Bang! Bong!" (4-41200; the record did not chart, needless to say). She would issue one more 45 RPM for the label, in 1964: "Secrets of Rome" (4-43170, backed with an instrumental version of the same song as conducted by British composer John Barry). But as was made clear during the questioning, she was not primarily known as a singer, whether at the time of tonight's show or afterwards, even though she did make a few recordings for different labels over the years.
      (6) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Tonight's end credit sequence only went up to the "In Association with the CBS Television Network" art card slide, in this last show to be aired under Goodson-Todman ownership. There was no indication of any changing of the guard in terms of GSN's deservedly infamous "crunching" of the screen, however, when it came to the cable and satellite channel's January 4, 2009 airing of this episode.
      (7) Right after the January 4, 2009 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the August 27, 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 Chester Lauck (who played "Lum Edwards" on the 1931-1954 radio series "Lum & Abner") and two impostors; the second game featured Dolores Shorty (a Native American who won the title of Miss Indian America 1957) and two impostors; and the third game featured Michael MacDougal (a gambling detective and syndicated newspaper columnist) and two impostors. - W-B (2005, updated 2009)

      NEW YEAR'S 2006 TRIBUTE: GSN aired this episode in the early morning hours of New Year's Day, January 1, 2006, preceded by an episode of "To Tell the Truth" which originally aired on September 2, 1958. Both Goodson-Todman programs shown were distinguished by Dick Clark's guest appearances on the respective programs' panels. This "WML?" episode had been shown in regular rotation on GSN on August 18, 2005, and again on January 4, 2009. - W-B (2006, updated 2009)

      FINAL EPISODE WITH GOODSON-TODMAN OWNERSHIP: This is the final "WML?" episode to announce, "'What's My Line?' is a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Production in association with the CBS Television Network." Beginning with the following show (EPISODE #422) we will see the evidence of the new CBS ownership change. The end credits will eventually change to announce, "'What's My Line?' is a CBS Television Network Production in association with Mark Goodson and Bill Todman." More information on the following episode guide. - W-B (2006)

      KILGALLEN WATCH!!! In hindsight, Dorothy's flubbing of the title of guest panelist Dick Clark's teen music show, "American Bandstand," as "American Broadcast," could be seen as another subtle sign of a growing alcohol addiction. Nor was this the last time Dolly Mae would get a show title wrong; on EPISODE #783 of September 26, 1965, when introducing guest panelist Allen Ludden, she mistakenly referred to the show he was hosting at the time, "Password," as "Passport." Of course, fifteen weeks from tonight's show, Miss Kilgallen's gradual downward slope culminated in a two-week hospital stay at New York's LeRoy Sanitarium following a fall in her home where she hit her head, which caused her to miss EPISODE #436 of October 12, 1958 and EPISODE #437 of October 19, 1958. - W-B (2009)



      06/08/2006 - RIVER OF DREAMS - By Doug Lund

      What's My Line?" was a television game show that ran an incredible 17 years on CBS from 1950 to 1967. In it, a panel of experts would try to guess the unusual occupations of people from around the country, including a Springfield, South Dakota woman 48 years ago. Because the program was "live," she has never seen her appearance on it - until now. It was June 29th, 1958. It was a very nervous 19 year old Kathy Gretschman from tiny Springfield, South Dakota waiting her turn to appear on national television live from New York. She was hoping panelists, Dorothy Kilgallen, Dick Clark, Arlene Francis and Bennett Cerf wouldn't be able to figure out that her line was Captain of a Ferryboat and she would win the badly needed 50 dollars prize money. All these years later, seeing the show for the first time, Kathy Gretschman, now Kathy Hamberger, clearly remembers a meddlesome make-up person backstage. Hamberger says, "Before I went out there, a lady came over and messed up my bangs and I thought now I don't know what it looks like and that's the first thing I wanted to see is those messed-up bangs. She took a comb and said it looks better that way."

      Kathy Thompson was sort of a tomboy growing up and dreamed of piloting her grandfather's ferryboat, Bertha. It ran back and fourth on the Missouri river between Springfield and Niobrara, Nebraska before the bridge was built. At the age of 17 she got her grandfather's okay and her license. "I was out on the tractor so I thought what difference could it make?" Hamberger says. "What's My Line?" moderator, John Daly, was clearly enjoying himself as the panel kept drifting farther and farther away from figuring out Kathy's occupation. That's alright, she wanted to savor every moment of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. A local minister had recommended her for the program. The producers had made reservations for three nights at a posh hotel, sent her a plane ticket. "My husband at the time, his sister went out and got me a dress in Yankton," she says. And just that fast she was boarding a DC-3 in Yankton, bound for New York. It would take more than a big city to intimidate the South Dakota girl, though, after all she certainly had no fear alone at the wheel of the big stern-wheeler ferryboat called Bertha. It could haul up to 27 tons of cargo from cars, trucks and people to livestock. "She was one of the fastest ferryboats I've heard of since then. I don't know why, whether it was the size of the plank and paddlewheel or the size of the motor."

      By 1960, though, Kathy Gretschman says she had to leave her abusive husband and her beloved ferryboat, Bertha. "That's when she sunk. Everybody told me that Bertha's going to leave with me and it did." Kathy says her ex-husband improperly moored the boat over the winter and the ice broke it apart. In New York that night in 1958, though, Kathy Gretschman did get her wish. The panel, hopelessly lost, gave up and she was able to collect fifty dollars and an extra night's stay in the big city. She really did have an unforgettable 15 minutes of fame. "It was really awesome. It was just overwhelming. I really enjoyed it. That's why I wanted this one more day to see New York," she says.

      Kathy Hamberger now makes her home in Concord, California where she's operated her own barber shop for 17 years. Although she occasionally visits family in South Dakota, she's never been back to New York City or piloted another ferryboat.

      By Doug Lund - 2006 KELOLAND TV - All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.


      REVIEW: This definitely was a night the panel would have loved to have forgotten. In fact, the bad luck began during the intros when Dorothy referred to guest panelist Dick Clark's classic show "American Bandstand" as "American Broadcast." Luckily, Arlene corrected Dolly Mae on her error. As for the games themselves, in the first game, Arlene correctly guessed at the last possible second that the Marine corporal from Philadelphia, who was now stationed at the United States Marine base in Parris Island, South Carolina, was a dog catcher. Unfortunately, it was after her turn had passed and because of this, John flipped over the last card. After the game, John mentioned that his daughter and the corporal shared a birthday today, so they had a small party for the two of them prior to the broadcast. In the second game, the panel really was off track when they thought that the contestant's primary job dealt with animals, after Bennett asked if she did deal with them. Unfortunately, they were so far afield that John flipped over all the cards due to time and they never did figure out that she was a ferry boat captain. The panel did redeem themselves nicely when Arlene correctly identified the voluptuous Italian screen legend Sophia Loren. Miss Loren was on the show to promote her latest film, "That Kind of Woman," which was directed by Sidney Lumet, John added. She also discussed another film she had made called "The Key" which was due to open the following Tuesday. However, despite their good job in the mystery guest round, the panel reverted back to form as they ran out of time during the final game, so the schoolboy telephone operator won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

    • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAUGHTER! In addition to today being the first guest's birthday, John also said it was his daughter Helene Grant Daly's birthday. He declined to announce Helene's actual age, saying he'd been forbidden to do so - but then he jokingly said she was 56. In actuality, Helene Grant Daly, also known as Buntsy, was born in 1945, thus making her 13 years old. Her mother is Margaret Katherine "Kit" Daly. - Suzanne (2005)

      BUDDY HACKETT TRIBUTE: GSN did not air this episode in 2003. Instead, on July 5, 2003, GSN aired a tribute to Buddy Hackett, who had recently passed away on June 30, 2003. The 4-show black & white marathon included:
      Password (2/10/1963)
      What's My Line? (EPISODE #787 of 10/24/1965)
      I've Got A Secret (3/1/1965)
      To Tell The Truth (1965 Daytime version)
      This episode was then successfully shown in August 2005. - Suzanne (2005)

      Dick Clark (b. 11/30/1929)

      Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Dick Clark, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.