What's My Line?

Season 10 Episode 16


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Dec 21, 1958 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
3 votes

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Episode Summary


Game 1: Captain DeRief A. Greene (b. 7/2/1929) - "Commanding Officer of Nike Missile Base" (salaried; African-American; handsome; soft-spoken; Captain Greene works for the United States Army Air Defense Command and commands the Nike missile base in Washington, D.C.; his missile battery is currently comprised of the Nike Ajax Missile but is now in the process of converting to the second-generation member of the Nike family, the Nike Hercules Missile; the Nike Hercules was test-fired last week and it can travel at 2,000 mph and hit a target 14 miles up; Capt. Greene has been in the U.S. Army for 7 years and was previously a paratrooper during the Korean war, where he was awarded a Bronze Star; from Maryland, city not named)

Game 2: Miss Margarette Hines - "Makes Kilts" (self-employed; she owns the Blue Brown Shop in North Hampton, Massachusetts; from both North Hampton, MA & Centerville, MA which is located on Cape Cod; she evidently produced high quality work because some of her items can be seen for sale in 2005 in online auctions and vintage clothing web sites)

Game 3: Jayne Meadows (9/27/1919 - 4/26/2015) (as Mystery Guest) She was initially dressed in a beard and padded Santa Claus suit, but took it off during her game, revealing a gown and huge rhinestone necklace which was commented upon.

Game 4: William Cruttenden (or William Cruttendon) - "Town Crier" (salaried; the guest wrote "Bill" on the sign-in board, but John told him not to sign in because they were short on time; the surnames seen here are the most common spellings of his name; after his game, he gives a sample of his town call, where his job has been continually held since the year 1205 for an amazing 753 years; from Hastings, England, which is on the southern coast of England)


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 (0)

    • NOTES (5)

      • FLIP REPORT: In the night's first game, John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at five down. The panel figured out that this contestant was associated with launching missiles, but John didn't make them play for the exact line of "Commanding Officer of Nike Missile Base." In the night's final game, John ended the game at six down because time had run out. John allocated a minute and three-quarters for this game and although the panel had been moving in the right direction, they just didn't have time to figure it out. John may have been a bit distracted because he forgot to signify the win by flipping over the remaining cards. - agent_0042 (2009)

        NOTEWORTHY GIFT: When the second contestant, kilt maker Miss Margarette Hines is shaking hands with the panel on her way off stage, Tony Randall gives her the notes he had just read out loud to everyone, which are detailed in "fiveninegal's" comments below. This may have been the only time that something like this had been done over the entire run of the program. - Jim Arnone (2009)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: For this final "WML?" edition of 1958, interim alternating sponsor "Canned Orange Juice from Florida" has the honors of displaying their wares on the panel desk billboard, the sign-in board, and the panel moderator's flip cards.
        (2) JAYNE MEADOWS: The then-current "I've Got a Secret" panelist's uproarious mystery guest appearance tonight came one week after her husband, "WML?'s" prodigal son Steve Allen, made a brief cameo appearance. In addition, it was several months from this episode that Miss Meadows' run on "IGAS," which dated to its earliest days in 1952, came to an end. Her successor on the "IGAS" panel, Bess Myerson, made no "WML?" appearances at any time within its 17.5-year run on CBS, but was a mystery guest during Week #218 of the daily syndicated "WML?" which was recorded on October 18, 1973; the host by then was Larry Blyden, and the panel that week consisted of Soupy Sales, Marcia Rodd, Leonard Harris and Arlene Francis.
        (3) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: After the United Airlines plug, the end credits sequence goes right up to the art card slide crediting associate producers Bob Bach and Frances Trocaine. GSN, on its January 28, 2009 airing of this episode, once again snowed on the viewing audience with its insanity-inducing "crunching" of the screen, in the manner of a snowstorm which gripped certain parts of the country at the time of this 2009 rerun.
        (4) The January 28, 2009 airing by GSN of tonight's show was followed by the February 18, 1958 edition of "To Tell the Truth." Early "TTTT" panelist John Cameron Swayze filled in this week for Bud Collyer as host, and the panel consisted of Polly Bergen, Robert Q. Lewis (making his first "TTTT" appearance), Kitty Carlisle and Hy Gardner. The first game featured men's figure skater Hayes Jenkins (who won the Gold Medal in that category in the 1956 Winter Olympics) and two impostors; the second game featured Gladys Haney (the "Fox Studio schoolteacher" whose pupils included many famous former child stars such as Shirley Temple, Jackie Cooper and Elizabeth Taylor) and two impostors; and the third game featured bullfighter John Fulton Short (who made two "WML?" appearances as a contestant, on EPISODE #184 of December 6, 1953 and EPISODE #722 of July 19, 1964) and two impostors. It should be noted that "TTTT's" associate producer, heretofore credited under the more formal moniker of William Stein, is now listed as Willie Stein. - W-B (2009)

      • MERRY CHRISTMAS 1958!!! This not only was the Christmas episode, but it also was the final show for 1958, as they would be preempted the very next week. It was a nice way to go out, as the panel had a lot of fun this evening. In the first game, the panel pretty much figured out that Mr. DeRief Greene actually was in the military and that he was responsible for firing off missiles. However, they never did figure out that he was actually Captain DeRief Greene and that the missiles he dealt with were the Nike battery that defended Washington D.C.. However, since they were close, and since John was evidently in a Christmas spirit, they were given full credit for the correct guess. In the second game, the panel was absolutely stumped by the lady who made kilts. The one crucial error they made - and that they owned up to - was the fact that not once during the questioning did anyone on the panel asked if the product she made was ever worn. Perhaps if they had asked that question they might have had a chance. In the mystery guest round, the audience roared as Jayne Meadows walked out dressed in a Santa suit. She had everyone in stitches as she did her best low-voiced "Ho Ho Ho" Santa Claus impersonation while answering the panel. However, the biggest laughs came as she was taking off the costume while the panel was blindfolded. Everybody howled when John tried to help her remove the stomach padding and his fingers were close to Jayne's backside. John hammed it up with a funny face, too. All in unison, the panel correctly guessed who she was. She later thanked Dorothy for mentioning her current play, "The Gazebo," on Dorothy's morning radio show. Jayne mentioned that the radio advertisement came in handy since the newspaper strike was going on in New York. In the final game, the panel ran out of time, so the town crier wound up winning the full prize by default. The real treat came just before he left the stage and he treated the panel and the audience with a call. And so ended 1958 for "What's My Line?" - Sargebri (2005)

        The kilt lady was SO adorable! Incredibly cute AND she stumped the panel (much to John's delight). The questions, of course, were perfectly logical, but when applied to a kilt, wound up creating hilarious television!
        AF: "Would it ever be found on or at the dinner table?"
        BC: "Is it stationary? Does it stay in one place?"
        TR: "Is it stationery? E-R-Y???" (that got a great laugh)
        AF: "Does it have moving parts?" (John answers "only elementary") Arlene follows that up with, "But it is used to its best advantage when it's in action of some kind?" John exhales a deep sigh and explains, "I would say that when it is in use, certainly it has one of its more, shall we say, appreciative periods when it is in action." (good cover, John!)
        AF: "Is it something you might put your head on?" Great question, however Dorothy exclaims this reminder, "AT THE DINNER TABLE?" LOL - that CRACKED Arlene up! Must see just to hear Miss Francis laugh that hard!
        BC: "Would it be possible to have meals without this?" (hmmmmmmmm....)
        When Tony's chance rolls around again, he, along with the rest of the panel, is completely stymied. At a loss, he says, "May I read you my notes which will get you nowhere?" He then picks up his notepad and at lightning speed recites, "It's manufactured, it's solid, it's enjoyable and cheerful, it goes on the table, it's inedible, it's not consumed, it's not seasonable, it's decorative and it's useful, it has elementary moving parts, it's appreciative period is in action, you don't put your head on it at the dinner table, it's not stationary, it's in the home and outside, and it has no wood in it." Dorothy got a KICK out of that bit (being the dutiful note taker that she is!) Sadly, with 9 down and 1 to go, Tony asked, "Is it rigid?" The panel lost. But what fun they had trying!
        Jayne Meadows appears in a full blown Santa Claus suit - complete with beard. TOO FUNNY! She lets out a "ho ho ho" (in a very deep voice) before each of her 'yes' or 'no' answers. Audience applauds when Arlene comments, "It sounds like a female Santa Claus!"
        The panel guessed who it was very quickly and even said her name in chorus. Tony was so hurt because one of his questions had been, "Have we ever worked together?" and she replied, "no." After de-blindfolding, he cries, "But Jayne, we've worked together!" Jayne is stumped and asks, "When dear?" Arlene sees her chance and jumps on it by offering, "It must have been terribly private!" *HUGE LAUGH* Suddenly it hits Jayne and she states, "Ohhh! He was on I've Got A Secret! Tony, of courrrrrse!!"
        Mrs. Allen was there promoting her play, "The Gazebo." She explains, "We did open during the strike and Dorothy was so sweet and mentioned it on the radio show, everybody called me up and told me." (Hmmm..so I guess she doesn't actually LISTEN to the radio show then...tee hee)
        Bennett calls attention to the DAZZLING necklace which adorns Jayne's neck and asked if it was a present from Steve? She said that yes it was a present, but not from Steve! Dorothy joked to Bennett, "Don't ask any more questions!"
        The final guest (Town CRIER...hence the Johnnie Ray reference...har har) was told not to sign in due to shortness of time. As always in these instances, the panel didn't have enough time to even come close to guessing his line. But, there was enough time to let Mr. Cruttenden give out a "cry" (which dates back to the year 1205, just FYI). It was most impressive!!
        MERRY CHRISTMAS 1958 - fiveninegal (2003)

      • Jayne Meadows promoted her Broadway play "The Gazebo" which ran from December 12, 1958 to June 27, 1959 at the Lyceum Theatre, for a total of 218 performances. She again referenced the 1958 New York newspaper strike. History tells us that the strike involved all seven major New York newspapers and lasted nineteen days. - Suzanne (2003)

        Tidbits: At the end of the program, John Daly made the announcement that next week's WML would be preempted for "a special show." He did not elaborate. The panel wishes everyone a Merry Christmas. - Suzanne (2003)

        Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Tony Randall, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)