Game 1: Miss Jerry Sue Bradley - "Deputy Sheriff" (salaried; she works for the Harlan County Sheriff's Office; from Loyall, Kentucky)
Game 2: Mr. A. W. Clark - "Makes Foot Warmers" (self-employed; he makes an outdoor foot warmer which is heated by the use of lighter fluid, similar to the popular hand warmers of the day; from Waco, Texas)
Game 3: Celeste Holm (4/29/1917 - 7/15/2012) (as Mystery Guest)
Game 4: Miss Roswitha Poetrsch - "Elevator Operator" (salaried; she works for the prestigious Bonwit Teller department store; her German surname is pronounced as "Perch"; originally from Hamburg, Germany but now living in America, where she said she intends to stay)
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Regular Panelist (1950-1967)
Regular Panelist (1951-1967)
Regular Panelist (1950-1965)
John Daly: Miss Poetrsch, do you know how we keep score?
Roswitha Poetrsch: I think so.
John Daly: All right, you give them "no" answers and, uh, if they're nice, honest "no" answers, you get a card flip and ten flips and they've flipped and you've flipped and you've won and there you are.
FLIP REPORT: In the night's first game, John flipped the remaining cards for the first contestant at six down because time was running short. The panel came pretty close on this line, but just didn't come up with the right questions needed to lead them to the occupation of "deputy sheriff." In the night's second game, John again flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at six down. In this case, Bennett actually correctly guessed the product, foot warmers, but John flipped the cards, saying that it was "even more special" in that it was an "outdoor foot warmer." In the night's final game, John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at two down. The panel didn't really have much of a shot at this one, as very little time had been allotted for this game. - agent_0042 (2009)
(1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: For this first "WML?" edition of 1959, the main sponsor as seen at various sections of the set was Fresh Frozen Orange Juice from Florida.
(2) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: In a frequent occurrence during this period, the regular contestants' overlays were set in the usual Futura Demi Bold, while the mystery guest's overlay (in the case of tonight's show, Celeste Holm) was hand-painted.
(3) CELESTE HOLM - PART I: This was the actress' third and final "WML?" appearance within its CBS run, and her only mystery guest appearance to still survive on kinescope, as her first appearance on EPISODE #41 of March 11, 1951 no longer exists, and her only other extant CBS "WML?" appearance was as a guest panelist on EPISODE #306 of April 15, 1956. Miss Holm made at least one more "WML?" appearance within its total 25-year history, as a mystery guest on the daily syndicated version during Week #92 which was taped on August 27, 1970. Arlene was the only other individual from tonight's show to have also been on the 1970 edition; her panel mates on that later episode were Soupy Sales, Anita Gillette and Gawn Granger, and the host was Wally Bruner. As for Miss Holm's filmography in 1959, there was only one acting role, in an episode of the TV series "Frontier Justice" called "Fugitive," which first aired on August 17, 1959.
(4) CELESTE HOLM - PART II: The January 29, 2009 airing by GSN of this "WML?" episode on which Miss Holm was a mystery guest preceded by one day the cable and satellite channel's scheduled January 30, 2009 airing of the March 25, 1958 edition of "To Tell the Truth" where she was a guest panelist.
(5) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Tonight, following the travel arrangements plug for United Airlines, we are treated to a very rare (for this period) occurrence of the production crew credits going all the way to the end -- up to the final art card slide crediting production supervisor Ann Kaminsky, technical director Vernon Gamble, and lighting director Hal Anderson. However, this made no difference to GSN whatsoever, judging from their continuing -- and always torturous -- "crunching" of the screen on the January 29, 2009 airing of this episode.
(6) Immediately subsequent to the January 29, 2009 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the February 25, 1958 edition of "To Tell the Truth." Host Bud Collyer was back in business, with the panel assembled as Patrice Munsel (only 23 days after her "WML?" mystery guest appearance on EPISODE #400 of February 2, 1958), Don Ameche, Kitty Carlisle and Hy Gardner. The first game featured Ted Scotes (a member of the "Mask and Wig Club" who was dressed up in women's clothing for an upcoming production by that club of "Free for All") and two impostors; the second game featured Dorothy Stratton (national executive director of the Girl Scouts of America) and two impostors; and the third game featured Jimmy McClain (who was host of the radio series "Dr. I.Q." from 1940 to 1946) and two impostors. It should be noted that on this episode, "TTTT" contestants' names were displayed on lower-third overlays, set in Futura Demi Bold, when they and their "impostors" recited the "My name is..." dialogue at the outset of each game; the overlays were in the same style and layout as "WML?" mystery guests' overlays. - W-B (2009)
BY ANY OTHER NAME: Miss Roswitha Poetrsch appeared to add an "r" to her surname when she signed in. Pötsch, or the Anglicized version, Poetsch, are far more common spellings of this German surname. - Dan Albertson (2005)
CONGRATULATIONS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! This was the first episode for 1959 and it started off with a very nice touch as it was announced that "What's My Line?" had won the Look magazine award for favorite quiz show. As for the show itself, the panel batted .500 this evening. In the first game, the panel was absolutely stumped by the female deputy sheriff from Kentucky. In the second game, Bennett correctly guessed that the contestant made foot warmers. Bennett also did a good job in identifying mystery guest Celeste Holm. Miss Holm was on the show to promote her play "Third Best Sport." Miss Holm also took time to praise Arlene's work in "Once More, With Feeling." In the final game, the panel failed to guess that the pretty fraulein from America by way of Hamburg, Germany was an elevator operator in the allotted time, so she won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)
CENSOR ALERT!!! During the post game chat, Miss Holm discussed the meaning of the title of her play "Third Best Sport." She explained that the three favorite activities of Americans were baseball, politics and sex. The mention of sex at this time was pretty much verboten on network television. However, as What's My Line? was aired live, there was no way her comments could be cut from the show. Perhaps the producers received some complain letters from the moralists who viewed the show, but the chat was all in fun. - Sargebri (2005)
HAPPY NEW YEAR 1959!
John Daly mentions that this is the first show of the New Year! And it's a fabulous show! It all begins with the announcer stating that the show had won the "Look Magazine Award as the Best Quiz or Panel Series by the country's television critics and editors." Congratulations everyone!
AWARD WINNING PROOF...
And to start things off, we have Dorothy messing up the name of Tony's soon-to-be-released movie! She calls it "The Mating Season"* (it's "The Mating GAME"). As Tony emerges, smiling wickedly, Dorothy gives out an embarrassed laugh, apologizes to him, and admits to the audience, "I messed up!" Tony jokes, "We're going to change the title to suit you!" LOL!
*"The Mating Season" was a fun movie from 1951 starring Gene Tierney, John Lund, Miriam Hopkins, and Thelma Ritter.
Some very cute Kilgallen moments occurred during Mr. Foot Warmer. Let's just get the pun out of the way (I'm sure you can all guess who said it...): "Do you believe in that slogan 'there's no business like shoe business?'" All right, now that the groans have subsided. Dorothy began this line of questioning, "Is your product something that would be applied to the foot, rather than worn on the foot?" John calls a conference and returns with, "We don't want to mislead you now, do you have reference here to something that is put directly to the foot, on the foot, like unguent ointment, salve, or any such concoction?" Cut to Dorothy who gives what is possibly THE CUTEST head shake in television history! She looked like a child who just got caught with her hand in the cookie jar! So John asks, "What is it you have in mind, Dorothy?" Cue Dorothy who timidly says, (accompanied with a shy smile), "I don't know, John." It's very hard to recreate this moment here, but it was DARLING!
ANY SPORTS FANS IN THE HOUSE?
Celeste Holm was promoting her play "Third Best Sport." She explains, "According to a philosopher in our play, after sex and baseball, conventions are the 3rd best sport. Businessmen's conventions." She follows that up with, "I didn't know baseball was so popular!" That got a huge laugh from everyone! Even John says, "I'm no expert in any of these fields, but they call it the National Pastime, BASEBALL!" The way he paused before clarifying that he was referring to baseball was TOO FUNNY!!!
Arlene compliments Miss Holm on her wonderful job in the play by exclaiming, "She's the best drunk in town!" to which Celeste responds, "I rehearsed a LOT!" HAAA!
LEAVE IT TO DOROTHY
During the final contestant, Miss K asks one of her favorite questions, "Do you ever touch them?" The contestant responds with a "yes," however, John quickly explains that it's not really necessary and gives DK a "no." Dorothy jokes, "Then why does she do it???" - fiveninegal (2003)
Celeste Holm promoted her Broadway play, "Third Best Sport," which was being performed at the Ambassador Theatre. The play ran from December 30, 1958 to March 7, 1959, for a total of 79 performances. - Suzanne (2003)
Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Tony Randall, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.
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