What's My Line?

Season 10 Episode 2


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Sep 14, 1958 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • FILM GLITCH: In the second game, right after John Daly flipped the cards for Joe Karitas (the chief house painter at the White House) the video image fades to black for a few seconds. - Dragonlew (2009)

    • A "FIRESTONE" GOOF: During the intros, Bennett mentions John's new gig as host of ABC's "The Voice of Firestone," but erroneously refers to the program as "The Firestone Music Hour." - W-B (2009)

  • Quotes

  • Notes

    • FLIP REPORT: Tonight, John did not increase any dollar amounts won by flipping cards for any of the contestants. - agent_0042 (2009)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR, PANEL AND GUEST WATCH: The main sponsor tonight is Helene Curtis. And for guest panelist John Payne and mystery guest Ed Sullivan, this would be their first extant "WML?" appearances; both Mr. Sullivan's first appearance on EPISODE #23 of November 5, 1950 and Mr. Payne's first appearance, as a mystery guest on EPISODE #81 of December 16, 1951, are tragically lost to history. This was also the first of three appearances on the panel by Mr. Payne.
      (2) "WML?" OVERLAY WATCH: This time, all overlays were set in Futura Demi Bold. For the first contestant, the hula-hoop inventor/designer, the stick figure that appeared below the contestant's occupation looked similar to the stick-figure character that was the logo for author Leslie Charteris' "The Saint" series of books, movies and TV shows.
      (3) ED SULLIVAN: By the time of "Mr. Sunday Night's" uproarious mystery guest spot tonight, his variety series was already called "The Ed Sullivan Show." The program was formerly known as "Toast of the Town," but took the new title (by which it would be known for the rest of its days) on its eighth-season premiere on September 25, 1955 (the same day as the now-lost "WML?" EPISODE #277 on which Jackie Gleason made a mystery guest appearance in his "Ralph Kramden" bus driver's uniform). As for Mr. Sullivan's "Neanderthal" mask, it anticipated by nearly five decades the look of the "GEICO Cavemen."
      (4) There was a bit of irony to Dorothy's asking mystery guest Ed Sullivan if he had any hit records. In 1969, he released a 45 RPM single under the banner of the "Ed Sullivan Singers and Orchestra," "Sulli-Gulli (Parts 1 and 2)," on Columbia 4-44940. The release date was July 25, 1969 -- five days after man first walked on the moon. (Various web sites have erroneously given the release date as September 15, 1969.) This was an attempt to introduce a new dance craze that, unfortunately, never panned out. It was the only single put out in Mr. Sullivan's name.
      (5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Tonight, the end credits sequence only goes up to director Franklin Heller's art card slide. There was no limit, however, to the ways GSN irked its viewing audience with its incessant "crunching" of the screen, on its January 15, 2009 airing of this episode.
      (6) GSN's January 15, 2009 airing of tonight's show was followed by the November 12, 1957 edition of "To Tell the Truth," hosted by Bud Collyer, with the panel of Polly Bergen, Ralph Bellamy, Kitty Carlisle and Hy Gardner. The first game featured Alice Earle (chief telephone operator for the White House) and two impostors; the second game featured West Point cadet Tom Carpenter (who had been selected as "King of the Beasts" at West Point) and two impostors; and the third game featured aqualung diver Norman "Smokey" Ream (who had previously reached a scuba diving depth of 370 feet off Santa Catalina Island, and at the time of this "TTTT" episode, was planning to reach a depth of 400 feet) and two impostors. Given the first contestant's place of employment at the White House, it was a wild coincidence that GSN's 2009 airing of this 1957 "TTTT" episode followed the 1958 "WML?" episode with the chief house painter for the White House as the second contestant. - W-B (2009)

    • THE MASK OF ED SULLIVAN: This has to be one of the most hilarious side-splitting mystery guest appearances I have ever seen. Ed Sullivan, who always seemed a bit of a stuffed shirt type to me, affected a broken-English accent and asked John, "Why they wear masks? If they wear masks, I wear mask too." I expected a blindfold, but he donned a hilarious over-the-head full mask of a decrepit, repulsive wretch of a man, which of course caused the audience to break into uproarious laughter which continued, practically unabated, through the rest of his appearance. So thoroughly was Ed concealed that my thought as I watched was that it would be perfectly fine for John to invite the panel to remove their blindfolds to see what was so funny. In retrospect, because of Sullivan's diminutive height, it was probably wise that he didn't. The panel would have immediately narrowed their thoughts to short men. Ed Sullivan, who was a master promoter and impresario, rattled off a marvelous list of celebs who would be on hand to honor the opening of his 11th season of "The Ed Sullivan Show," which had previously been called "Toast of the Town." For a segment of mirth and belly laughs - a real gut-buster - this episode would be hard to beat. If you have to miss an episode, don't let it be this one! - Lee McIntyre (2005)

      ED SULLIVAN'S MASK ON THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW - PART I: That particular style mask may have been popular at this time. I remember "The Dick Van Dyke Show" using the exact same mask twice: Once Buddy wore it to sneak up behind and startle Rob. It was used another time when Rob did his impression of Alan Brady reacting to and rejecting a new comedy sketch submitted by the writers. Of course, since they were both CBS shows, I suppose its possible it was the same exact mask from the CBS prop department. - Garrison Skunk (2005)

      ED SULLIVAN'S MASK ON THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW - PART II: Ed's mask looks exactly like the mask that was a running gag on early episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show." It was the mask that they always kept in the comedy writers' room of The Alan Brady Show. The gag was that if Rob Petrie were wearing it, Buddy or Sally would come in and say, "Hi, Rob," as though they immediately recognized him. They were all CBS shows, but of course, "The Dick Van Dyke Show" was produced on the West Coast and WML was produced in New York. - TV Gord (2005)

      REVIEW: Not only was this a successful night for the panel, it also had what was probably one of the more humorous moments in the show's history. The evening got off to a bang when guest panelist John Payne correctly guessed that the first contestant, Arthur Melin, was the man responsible for one of the most successful crazes of the 1950's, the hula hoop. Payne used good deductive reasoning when he made his guess. He pretty much figured out what Mr. Melin's product was when he not only heard the audience reaction after being shown his line, but also when Arlene asked the question about it being a sport. Unfortunately, the good fortune didn't carry over into the second game when the panel failed to guess that the contestant was the chief painter at the White House. However, that was just the calm before the storm. In the mystery guest round, Ed Sullivan did a good job not only at bamboozling the panel for a good portion of the game, but he definitely provided one of the funniest moments in the show's history when, in an almost good natured ribbing of the panel's being masked, he decided to wear a Neanderthal mask of his own. This had the audience in stitches as the he answered the panel. The real fun came when Arlene correctly identified him. When she unmasked, she was laughing very hysterically, and so was the rest of the panel. After the game, Sullivan discussed the upcoming 11th season premier of his classic variety show and the fact that nearly every major CBS star would be appearing on the show. Bennett later paid Ed a nice compliment by saying that Ed's wife, Sylvia, was one of the nicest ladies around. (Ed and Sylvia were married from 1930 until her death in 1973.) This really put a nice capper on a very fun evening. - Sargebri (2005)

      TOYS: The Hula Hoop wasn't the only major toy to come from the factory of "Spud" Melin and his business partner Richard Knerr. Other classic toys produced by Wham-O included the Frisbee flying disc, the Water Wiggle, the Super Ball and the summertime favorite, the Slip 'N Slide. - Sargebri (2005)

      THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW: As was mentioned during the post game chat with Ed Sullivan, the next week marked the beginning of the 11th season for "The Ed Sullivan Show," which had previously been known as "Toast of the Town." Sullivan's variety hour provided an excellent springboard for many up and coming performers including comics such as Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Cosby and musical artists such as Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and others. However, the biggest musical act to get their big break on his show was, of course, the Beatles. The 1964 night the Fab Four appeared on his show, an estimated 73 million viewers tuned in to see them. Popular music, as well as society, were changed forever. - Sargebri (2005)

    • Business first - Mr. Melin made a point of saying this, so I will too: his is the WHAM-O hula-hoop. There. Done. Don't be fooled by cheap imitations!
      Okay, now the fun! And SUCH fun this episode was! John Daly really EARNED his paycheck this week. And who knew Ed Sullivan was so heeeelarious? His mystery guest appearance was brilliant. Anytime someone has me literally falling off my sofa with laughter, they're okay in my book!
      Oh, yeah, and he was smart and witty, too! He guessed Mr. Melin's "secret" (I know, that's a different show!) after only TWO questions had been asked. Arlene had inquired if his profession had anything to do with sports. Then JP wanted to know if there was a product involved, and then HE GUESSED IT! Mr. Daly, along with the rest of the panel and audience, was stunned! Of course, everyone inquired as to how in the world Mr. Payne got that. He explained that, based of the giggles from the audience surrounding the "sport" issue, and the fact that he knew Pasadena, CA was the place where the hoops were invented, he put 2 and 2 together and WHAMMO! (pun intended!) JP made a truly wonderful addition to the panel. I hope he gets asked back....SOON!!
      JD: "Let us say that an element of inspection might be considered to reasonably enter into the full and efficient performance of his functions."
      After the first round which was over much too fast, thanks to JP, (but he's so darling, we won't hold it against him, will we?) John Daly remarks, "Who's having a difficult half hour? OH! MEEE!"
      1) JD cannot sing "Volare."
      2) JD cannot carry a tune "from here to that camera I'm looking at."
      3) JP has 6 hula-hoops.
      4) Arlene has a room that needs painting.
      5) Ed Sullivan thinks JP is "very sexy." (And he'll get no argument from me!!!) - fiveninegal (2003)

    • John announced that Arlene Francis' new stage play co-starring Joseph Cotten, "Once More, With Feeling," will open in New Haven, Connecticut on Wednesday. The play will eventually open on Broadway on October 21, 1958 and run for a total of 263 performances. - Suzanne (2003)

      John Payne (5/28/1912 - 12/6/1989)

      Panel: Arlene Francis, John Payne, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.

  • Allusions