What's My Line?

Season 10 Episode 21


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jan 25, 1959 on CBS



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • John Daly: Bennett just read me the score for the panel tonight. Kind of sorry it happened the night before he went away. No hits, no runs, no errors.

  • Notes

    • PAUL NEWMAN TRIBUTE: GSN aired this episode on 10/04/2008 (in the afternoon) and again on 10/5/2008 (in the regular overnight time slot) as part of a tribute to Paul Newman, after his death on 9/26/2008. The afternoon airing was an unusual occurrence for this series on GSN. - cattaur (2008)

      FLIP REPORT: John flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at eight down. The panel didn't really come close on this one, though after John revealed the contestant's product, Arlene indicated she was thinking of it. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1a) GUEST PANELIST: David Niven appeared in a regular business suit and straight tie tonight, unlike his previous guest panelist appearances where he wore the standard tuxedo attire associated with the program. He speculated in his introduction of Dorothy that each panelist had been introduced "over 500 times" - when, in fact, this was the 449th episode.
      (1b) GUEST PANELIST: David Niven said that his introduction estimate of "over 500 times" was based on his limited math and the fact that the program had been on the air for ten years. One thing he neglected to account for was that when "What's My Line?" was first aired, it was a biweekly program, airing once every two weeks. Another point was that its premiere episode was broadcast in February, rather than at the start of a September television season. Finally, this particular episode was originally broadcast in January, still rather early in the program's tenth season. - agent_0042 (2008)
      (2) PAUL NEWMAN TRIBUTE: GSN aired this episode during the daytime on October 4, 2008 at 4:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time), and again in the usual "Black and White Overnight" time slot of 3:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time) on October 5, 2008, as a tribute to Paul Newman, who died on September 26, 2008 at age 83. The October 5, 2008 airing preempted "WML?" EPISODE #332 of October 14, 1956, whose mystery guest, Jo Stafford, had died on July 16, 2008 at age 90. Ironically, David Niven was a guest panelist on both the preempted 1956 episode and tonight's show. This episode was followed by EPISODE #489 of November 8, 1959, which on the October 5, 2008 airing preempted the April 13, 1954 edition of "The Name's the Same."
      (3) AIRDATE HISTORY: "WML?" EPISODE #449 has been aired by GSN on September 9, 2003; September 15, 2005; October 4, 2008; October 5, 2008; and February 1, 2009.
      (4) "WML?" SPONSOR AND ANNOUNCER WATCH: Tonight's main sponsor was Kellogg's cereals. And Hal Simms, in his opening introduction of "our award-winning 'What's My Line?' panel," introduced Arlene as "our delightful star of stage and television."
      (5) PAUL NEWMAN: This was the first of two "WML?" appearances by the up-and-coming actor. At the time of this episode, Mr. Newman starred in another motion picture, "Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!," along with his then-new wife, Joanne Woodward, Joan Collins and Jack Carson. Two young co-stars, Dwayne Hickman and Tuesday Weld, signed on later in this year of 1959 to star in a new TV series called "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis." Mr. Hickman played the title character up to the show's cancellation of 1963, while Miss Weld's character of "Thalia Menninger" lasted until 1962. Of these individuals, only Mr. Hickman never appeared on "WML?" "Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!" was the last 1958 release from Mr. Newman; that year spawned three other films in which he starred that are now regarded as classics: "The Long, Hot Summer," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "The Left-Handed Gun."
      (6) CRYPTIC DOROTHY QUESTION WATCH: During the mystery guest round, a blindfolded Dorothy asked Paul Newman, "Do you travel on a United States passport?" The up-and-coming actor answered in the affirmative. In addition, there was an irony to Miss Kilgallen's asking Mr. Newman if he were ever a "WML?" panelist, as he never made any appearances on the panel at any time in the show's history.
      (7) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Following the travel arrangements plug for United Airlines, the end credits cut off after director Franklin Heller's art card. At the time of GSN's Paul Newman tribute airing on October 4 and 5, 2008, all this was dishonorably "crunched," as usual, by the cable and satellite channel; this same blasphemous "crunching" procedure likewise plagued GSN's February 1, 2009 "regular rotation" airing of this episode.
      (8) Following GSN's February 1, 2009 airing of tonight's show, the cable and satellite channel reran the April 8, 1958 edition of "To Tell the Truth," hosted by Bud Collyer, with the panel comprised of Polly Bergen, Don Ameche, Kitty Carlisle and Jim Backus (in his first "TTTT" appearance). The first game featured famed polo player Herb Pennell and two impostors; the second game featured fashion model Joan Pederson or Pedersen (approximate spelling) and two impostors; and the third game featured George Landy (a pharmacist who had recently won $140,000 in a sweepstakes) and two impostors. This "TTTT" episode had the misfortune of originally airing in the middle of the technicians' strike against CBS which also affected "WML?" EPISODE #410 of April 13, 1958, and is described in detail in the notes to that aforementioned episode; the same bad camera work (such as out-of-focus shots, shaky camera quality and poor zooming) also plagued this particular edition of "TTTT." Unfortunately, one more "TTTT" episode, originally aired on April 15, 1958, likewise suffered in video quality due to the strike. In addition, there are curtains on the left and right sides of the stage in place of the regular "TTTT" set, though the background used in the area where Mr. Collyer presided was still in place. - W-B (2005, updated 2008 and 2009)

    • GUEST PANELIST: The affable - if somewhat ineffective - David Niven was tonight's guest panelist. During the farewells, Arlene wished him good luck in his new show. The debonair mustachioed actor born in Scotland and known for his film roles in the 1940s was given the opportunity to host his own dramatic anthology series as a summer replacement in 1959, but it was not renewed for the fall season. Niven only starred in one production of the anthology. He went on to star, with Gig Young and Charles Boyer, in the 1964 adventure/comedy/crime/drama, "The Rogues," which, unfortunately, was not renewed for the new season. - Lee McIntyre (2005)

    • WHAT A BRINGDOWN!!! After the previous week's excellent performance by Arlene, the panel came crashing down to earth in a big way as they were stumped by every contestant, including the mystery guest! The disaster began in the first game when the panel was totally stumped by the "target" in the husband and wife knife-throwing act. In fact, she made quick work of the panel as they pretty much asked if she were in every form of entertainment except for her particular speciality. The second game was even worse as the panel was so far off the track that John wound up calling the game and flipping the cards on the basis of time. In the mystery guest round, the panel's luck didn't improve one bit as they were stumped by soon-to-be screen legend Paul Newman. Newman was on the show to promote his latest two pictures, the 1958 Tennessee Williams drama "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," in which he co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor, and the 1958 comedy "Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!" in which he co-starred with his wife, Joanne Woodward. He also promoted his current Broadway play "Sweet Bird of Youth." In the post game chat, it was rather sweet to hear him talk lovingly about his wife, Joanne Woodward, who was home about to give birth in a few weeks. That nice exchange helped Bennett go off on his vacation with a smile, and as a result, the rest of the panel had smiles on their faces as well. This definitely helped ease the pain of a rather disastrous night. - Sargebri (2005)

      PAUL NEWMAN: Years after his appearance on this episode, Paul Newman would become just as well known for his outside interests as well as his long and distinguished acting career. Besides acting, Newman would become a champion race car driver. His interest in the sport began while filming the 1969 auto racing drama "Winning." That interest would also cause him to become part-owner of Newman/Haas Racing with Carl Haas. Newman also became a gourmet food mogul as his Newman's Own brand of salad dressings, salsas, popcorn, spaghetti sauce and more would be sold in grocery stores from coast to coast. The proceeds from the Newman's Own line are used to benefit several charities that are close to Newman's heart, especially the Hole in the Wall camp for terminally ill children. - Sargebri (2005)

    • Arlene asked Paul what his lovely wife Joanne Woodward was currently doing. Paul responded that she was having a baby! Arlene added, "That's the best production of all!" On April 8, 1959, Elinor Newman was born. She has used the stage name Nell Potts. Her birth name is often misspelled as Eleanor. - Suzanne (2005)

      Panel: Arlene Francis, David Niven, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.

  • Allusions

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