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What's My Line?

Season 10 Episode 14


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Dec 07, 1958 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
4 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Thomas Schippers (3/9/1930 - 12/16/1977) - "Thomas Schippers, Conductor of Metropolitan Opera" (salaried; he signed is as "X" to avoid name recognition, and the panel was not blindfolded; he is 28 years old and has been conducting at The Met for 3 years now; very handsome; from New York, NY)

Game 2: Larry French - "Chicken Plucker" (salaried; this is his part-time job, because he is currently a college student at the University of Oklahoma; from Norman, Oklahoma)

Game 3: Jose Ferrer (1/8/1912 - 1/26/1992) (as Mystery Guest #2) He signed in as José Ferrer.

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)

    Thomas Schippers

    Thomas Schippers

    Mystery Guest #1

    Guest Star

    José Ferrer

    José Ferrer

    Mystery Guest #2

    Guest Star

    Pat Boone

    Pat Boone

    Guest Panelist

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: In the night's first game, John flipped four cards at two down after Arlene Francis made an incorrect guess. In the night's second game, John flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at four down because time was running short. The panel figured out that this contestant was associated with chickens, but was unable to discern what he actually did with them. - agent_0042 (2009)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: For the first time since EPISODE #405 of March 9, 1958, Fresh Frozen Orange Juice from Florida is the main sponsor, as they are shaping up to be in the period in-between the end of one sponsor's run and the beginning of another's -- as was the case during the stretch between the end of Remington Rand's co-sponsorship in late 1957 and the start of Kellogg's long run in the spring of 1958.
        (2) FROM THE "THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME" DEPARTMENT: For both guest panelist Pat Boone and mystery guest Jose Ferrer, this was to be their second and final respective "WML?" appearances. As for Mr. Boone, it was a year from tonight's show, in 1959, that he would land one of his most famous movie roles, as "Alexander 'Alex' McKuen," in the CinemaScope production of Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Pat was in good company, in terms of "WML?" connections, due to the fact that his two major co-stars, James Mason (who played "Sir Oliver S. Lindenbrook") and Arlene Dahl (who played "Carla Göteborg"), had made mystery guest appearances over the years, and Mr. Mason was a guest panelist once. Meanwhile, Mr. Ferrer was in two films in 1958: "I Accuse!" (as "Captain Alfred Dreyfus") and "The High Cost of Loving" (as "Jim 'Jimbo' Fry").
        (3) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: The first two contestants' overlays were set in the usual Futura Demi Bold, but mystery guest Jose Ferrer's lower-third overlay was hand-painted.
        (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Following the United Airlines travel arrangements plug, the production crew credits go no farther than the slide card crediting associate producers Bob Bach and Frances Trocaine. Even with all this, GSN still had enough time to indulge in their particular weakness for "crunching" of the screen, on their January 26, 2009 airing of this episode.
        (5) Following the January 26, 2009 airing of tonight's show, GSN ran the February 4, 1958 edition of "To Tell the Truth," hosted by Bud Collyer, with the panel of Polly Bergen, Don Ameche, Kitty Carlisle and Hy Gardner. The first game featured Joseph S. Étienne (approximate spelling; a locomotive engineer with the New York, New Haven & Harlem railroad and hereditary Indian chief) and two impostors; the second game featured Maureen Fain (approximate spelling; who trained police dogs for service in the Salt Lake City Police Department) and two impostors; and the third game featured Arnie Stensley (approximate spelling; who served in two world wars and the Korean War) and two impostors. - W-B (2009)

      • GUEST PANELIST: Pat Boone is riding high on the pop music charts as he makes his guest panelist appearance on WML in 1958. With his choir boy image, he's doing his best to make versions of rock and roll (also called "the devil's music" at this time) which will be acceptable to staid white audiences. He's "covering" recordings by the likes of Little Richard ("Tutti Frutti") and Fats Domino ("Ain't That a Shame") and doing them in white upscale style - and laughing all the way to the bank! So intent is he on legitimizing this R&B music that he seriously considers changing the lyrics of "Ain't That a Shame" to "Isn't That a Shame." "But," he recalled ruefully, "it just didn't fit the rhythm of the song."

        Twice on tonight's show, reference is made to the 1958 book that Boone has just written, "'Twixt Twelve and Twenty." (I was a proud recipient of that book when I was about 14.) The book is a folksy down-to-earth guidebook for American children who are just entering their teen years or who are relatively young teens. It's all about the importance of studying hard, being chaste, dealing with raging hormones, honoring your mother and your father, driving safely, and other stuff that was truly of vital interest to kids. Pat was their hero, and his book, written with his wife Shirley (who was not credited as a co-author, but was referenced throughout the book) was immensely popular, at least with the kids in my church!

        Pat was so squeaky clean at the time, he agonized over whether it was proper for him to kiss a girl co-star while he was filming his movies - since the girl wasn't his wife. His biggest guilt trip came when he had to appear drunk for a scene in the 1957 movie "Bernardine." He finally decided to do it because it was critical to the plot. The movie was a modest success, at least among the teeny-bopper set.

        In the 1980s and 1990s, Pat would occasionally go WAY out of character in his concerts, doing one or more acts in leather and chains and "singing" heavy metal songs, even releasing a 1997 album titled "In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy." Many people felt that it would have been funny if he had been poking fun at the edgy music genre, but he didn't seem to be. Instead, he seemed to be playing it seriously, and it felt pathetic.

        Still, Pat Boone was and is a talented entertainer, rivaling Elvis Presley in popularity in the mid-to-late 1950s, and continuing to sell records long after the death of The King. He was at his best singing dreamy ballads such as "April Love," "Love Letters in the Sand" and even a minor 1959 hit called "For a Penny." Coincidentally, used copies of "'Twixt Twelve and Twenty" are often available on Amazon.com for - what else? - a penny! Now, ain't that a shame? - Lee McIntyre (2005)

        MORE ON "AIN'T THAT A SHAME": Pat Boone was not the only recording artist who had a hit with a cover of Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame." Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons charted with a drastically rearranged version in 1963 on Vee-Jay single #VJ 512, going all the way to #22. In addition, in 1978, the rock band Cheap Trick performed a rendition of the song in concert at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan; it was featured on their album "Cheap Trick at Budokan" (Epic FE 35795), and also released as the second single from that LP (on Epic 9-50743). Cheap Trick's version of "Ain't That a Shame" peaked at #35 on the singles charts in 1979. - W-B (2009)

      • REVIEW: This was a fairly decent night for the panel after being off for a week due to being preempted. In the first game, Dorothy figured out that the contestant was a conductor, but the panel never did recall or say the name of Thomas Schippers. Usually, when someone of the stature of a conductor of Schippers' high caliber is on the show, the panel is blindfolded. However, the producers took a chance and allowed him to come out without the panel being blindfolded and just have him sign in as Mr. X. The ploy did work for a few minutes, but once they latched on to the fact that he was in music, they pretty much had it nailed. Unfortunately, the good luck didn't carry over into the second game, as the panel was totally stumped by the student chicken plucker from Oklahoma. They did get close, though, when they figured out that he had something to do with poultry. In the mystery guest round, Arlene correctly identified Jose Ferrer. Ferrer was on the show to promote his latest play about the life of actor Edwin Booth. During the post game chat, Bennett asked Jose his opinion of the New York drama critics. Jose said that while he thought that the critics did a good job, for the most part, he felt that they were wrong about the play. Unfortunately, there was no time for a fourth game, but it still wound up being a good night. - Sargebri (2005)

        BOONE & FERRER: Little did guest panelist Pat Boone or Jose Ferrer know at the time, but they would be shaking hands for a very different reason several years later. Twenty-one years after they both appeared on this episode, Pat's daughter, Debby Boone, who had her big moment in the sun with the sugary ballad "You Light Up My Life," married Jose's son, Gabriel Ferrer, in September of 1979. Of course, this could be seen as the uniting of two showbiz families as Pat, along with his wife Shirley and their daughters, performed together for several years as a family act after Pat's run on the charts pretty much came to an end. Also, Jose and his then wife Rosemary Clooney also started a showbiz family of their own. Their son, Miguel Ferrer, currently is on the 2001 hit show "Crossing Jordan." Also, Rosemary's brother, Nick Clooney, had several acting credits as well. Nick's son, George Clooney, would become a huge motion picture star. - Sargebri (2005)

        "THE PAT BOONE SHOW" TRIVIA: As John mentioned, Pat Boone was currently appearing on ABC with his own Thursday night variety series, "The Pat Boone-Chevy Showroom" which ran from 1957 to 1960. Pat also hosted a 30-minute daytime show called "The Pat Boone Show" which premiered in 1967. One act that appeared on the daytime show was a British band making its first tour of the United States, and they went by the name of Pink Floyd. Their leader at the time was a charismatic singer/guitarist by the name of Syd Barrett who wrote most of their material. Unfortunately, at the time of their appearance on Pat's show, Barrett was in the middle of becoming what is commonly described as an "acid casualty" due to his almost non-stop use of LSD. This was never more evident than the day the band appeared on Pat's show. Prior to the show, Barrett and the band went through dress rehearsal fine with Barrett lip-synching the band's current single. However, when it came time for the show to air, Barrett just stared blankly into the camera and the group's bass player, Roger Waters, who would later assume the leadership of the band, had to do all of Barrett's parts. Needless to say, Barrett was soon out of the band and was eventually replaced by David Gilmour, and the rest became history. - Sargebri (2005)

      • A++++ episode!!! Everyone was in terrific spirits tonight!
        Congratulations Arlene Francis! She was on a roll this evening, and it was absolutely adorable. Examples to follow. Stay tuned.
        OLD WHAT'S HIS NAME...
        The questioning of Mr. Schippers was hilarious! Once it was established he had something to do with music, AF recognized him from seeing his photo in the paper and exclaims that he is much better looking in person! But, she couldn't recall his name! Moving on to BC who didn't know either. Let's try DK..."Are you a conductor?" (yes) "Well, then, I'm dead too!" (She hangs her head) Poor Thomas! When his identity is finally revealed, AF announces "You must get new pictures taken!" And just FYI, TS had a wonderful smile!
        When I saw the profession of guest #2 - I immediately started laughing and knew that the big "let's rib Bennett Cerf" payoff would be a hoot. If you'll recall, he mistakenly asked the sheep lady (from the 5 Oct 1958 show) if she "plucked sheep." The entire line of questioning during this contestant was a RIOT!! Arlene had a nice, long initial run. Highlights:
        AF: "Is it [the product] found in any particular room of the house?"
        JD: "That can't be answered 'yes' or 'no,' Miss Francis, I'm terribly sorry."
        AF: (eyes widening) "Yeah, it can John! You're not paying attention!!" **BIG LAUGH FROM EVERYONE**
        And a few seconds later:
        AF: "Does it ever come in contact with the body?"
        JD: "Yes...yes...of course, this covers a very broad area."
        AF: (without skipping a beat) "Well, I have a very broad body!" LOL!
        Still later...
        JD: "We'd better explain - we were off last Sunday - things are a little rough here this evening!" (Actually, I think they're a little *off* tonight!! tee heeee)
        Continuing on: once it is established that Mr. French has something to do with poultry:
        PB: "Is it processed before it comes to the home? Like...shredded?"
        AF: "SHREDDED! There's nothing like shredded poultry!!" (I told you she was hot tonight!)
        More Arlene-isms:
        AF: "Well, if it's not larger than a chicken, is it the same size as a chicken? Because, a CHICKEN is the same size as a chicken!" (HA HA HAAAAAA)
        The one sad thing about the climax of this whole bit was that when John tells the panel that the contestant PLUCKS chickens, Bennett doesn't smile AT ALL! In fact, he looks upset. (They were only teasing you, Mr. Cerf, they love you!)
        BC asked Mr. Ferrer his opinion of the New York Drama Critics (who had not been kind in regards to his show) After this answer, I would have gone to see it!
        JF: "I think the NY drama critics are a wonderful group of men who have over-praised me in the past and who, uh, I would say, most of the time are absolutely correct in their verdict - who do a very difficult and often tiresome job night in/night out to the best of their various abilities. Uh, people think that I'm angry at them because they didn't like "Edwin Booth." I'm not angry at them, I simply think that audiences disagree with them and for that reason we're going to try and run the play because night after night, audiences like the play even though the critics didn't. And that is the extent of my beef with them. I love them for what they've said about me in the past and hope they'll say it again."
        Unfortunately, "Edwin Booth" closed on 13 Dec 1958. - fiveninegal (2003)


        Thomas Schippers was regarded as a great American conductor. Life Magazine once called him one of the 100 most important men in the United States. Schippers began studying piano at the age of four. At age 21, he was the youngest conductor to appear at the New York City Opera, and he became the second youngest conductor at age 25 to debut at the New York Metropolitan Opera. In 1958, he conducted the first open air concerts at the famed Spoletto festival in Italy. Schippers' spectacular talent, his sense of style and his youthful, handsome looks were the subject of music lovers and writers around the world, but this private man also suffered personal loss, beginning with the death of his wife of eight years, Elaine Lane Phipps ("Nonie") Schippers to cancer in 1973. She was only 34 years old. Thomas Schippers died of lung cancer just four years later in December 1977 at the age of 47. - Suzanne (2003)

        Jose Ferrer promoted his 1958 Broadway play, "Edwin Booth." The play ran at the "46th Street Theatre" from November 24, 1958 to December 13, 1958, for a total of 24 performances. His wife is Rosemary Clooney. - Suzanne (2003)

        Tidbits: Bennett Cerf mentions that last Sunday's What's My Line? was preempted. - Suzanne (2003)

        Pat Boone (b. 6/1/1934)

        Panel: Arlene Francis, Pat Boone, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)