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What's My Line?

Season 10 Episode 22


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Feb 01, 1959 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
2 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Ingemar Johansson (9/22/1932 - 1/30/2009) - "Heavyweight Boxing Champion of Europe" (self-employed; the panel is blindfolded; in a stunning game, Martin begins the questioning and identifies Ingemar all by himself)

Game 2: Mr. J. R. Hanahan (James R. Hanahan) - "Termite Exterminator" (self-employed; he owns the Ex-Termite Company; from Columbia, SC)

Game 3: Burl Ives (6/14/1909 - 4/14/1995) (as Mystery Guest #2)

Game 4: John E. Eberle - "Beer Tester" (salaried; he works for Piel Brothers Brewing Company in Brooklyn New York; they are the makers of Piel's Beer; from Brooklyn, NY)

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    John Daly

    John Daly

    Moderator (1950-1967)

    Arlene Francis

    Arlene Francis

    Regular Panelist (1950-1967)

    Dorothy Kilgallen

    Dorothy Kilgallen

    Regular Panelist (1950-1965)

    Ingemar Johansson

    Ingemar Johansson

    Mystery Guest #1

    Guest Star

    Burl Ives

    Burl Ives

    Mystery Guest #2

    Guest Star

    Martin Gabel

    Martin Gabel

    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 all of the cards after Martin Gabel, amazingly, identified the contestant as champion boxer Ingemar Johansson without a single "no" answer. John said he was doing this as a matter of norm, since Ingemar had come so far to see them. In the night's second game, John flipped the one remaining card at nine down after Martin chose to "pass" rather than ask a question. Time had run out on this game before the panel could determine that the guest was an exterminator. In the night's final game, John flipped the remaining cards at two down for the final contestant. Very little time had been allotted for this game; nevertheless, Dorothy Kilgallen figured out that this contestant was associated with beer just as the cards were going over. - agent_0042 (2009)

        DATE COINCIDENCE: Ironically, on GSN's "broadcast day of" February 1, 2009 (which also applied to the actual air date in the early hours of February 2, 2009) GSN aired tonight's EPISODE #450 of February 1, 1959 exactly 50 years after its initial showing, and only two days (or three, depending upon which date you use) after the January 30, 2009 passing of Ingemar Johansson. Johansson, tonight's first guest, was the only heavyweight champion to come from Sweden. His devastating right hand -- which won him the championship several months after this show was aired -- was dubbed by the press at that time as the "Hammer of Thor," after the Norse god of thunder. - brklnbern (2009)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND ANNOUNCER WATCH (OR, "LET THE 'SUNBEAM' IN"): Before introducing Dorothy Kilgallen, announcer Hal Simms points out that "WML?" is starting "its tenth year on television," one day shy of the ninth anniversary of its February 2, 1950 premiere. It was also the first instance of Mr. Simms starting the panel intros with the phrase "And now, let's meet our award-winning panel of 'What's My Line?'," which by year's end will be used full-time, and will continue through EPISODE #582 of September 24, 1961. And this is the first episode to be sponsored by Sunbeam electric appliances, which will be an alternate sponsor for "WML?" up to EPISODE #543 of December 18, 1960.
        (2) NAMEPLATE WATCH: As in his previous guest panelist stint on EPISODE #406 of March 16, 1958, James Roosevelt's nameplate reads "REP. ROOSEVELT" on the panel desk; he was a Congressman for the 26th Congressional District of California at the time.
        (3) HISTORIC CONNECTIONS: GSN's February 2, 2009 airing of this episode fell exactly 59 years to the day from "WML?'s" February 2, 1950 premiere; however, as the cable and satellite channel considered the airing of tonight's show to fall within the "broadcast day of" February 1, 2009, this repeat would therefore have been exactly 50 years to the day from the original transmission of this episode. In addition, this 2009 airing served as an unofficial tribute to tonight's first mystery guest, European heavyweight boxing champion Ingemar Johansson, who died on January 30, 2009 at age 76.
        (4) FROM THE "THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME" DEPARTMENT: Tonight's show marked both the final "WML?" appearance of guest panelist Rep. James Roosevelt (D-CA), and also mystery guest Burl Ives' last appearance for the balance of its CBS run. The singer/actor will make at least one more mystery guest appearance within the 1968-1975 syndicated incarnation, during Week #165 which was videotaped on September 14, 1972. The host at that point was Larry Blyden, and the panel that week consisted of Soupy Sales, Meredith MacRae, Mel Torme and Arlene Francis. But more importantly, tonight's episode marked the final appearances of the panelists' and panel moderator's desks which have been in service since 1953 (albeit placed in use a few weeks apart from each other), and the curtain layout which has been in place since EPISODE #273 of August 28, 1955.
        (5) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: While the overlays of the regular contestants and first mystery guest Inegmar Johansson were set in the usual Futura Demi Bold, second mystery guest Burl Ives' lower-third overlay employed the "last-minute" font.
        (6) MORE ON BURL IVES: The entertainer's name was an occasional source of parody over the years. One famous example was originated by British comedian Benny Hill, who on two different occasions (in 1965 and 1970) played an inept "click" singer named "Ivor Burles," whose style was supposedly modeled after Miriam Makeba.
        (7) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: After the United Airlines plug, the full production crew credits were once again shown, but the last art card slide (crediting Ann Kaminsky, Vernon Gamble and Hal Anderson) was only on for a few milliseconds before being cut off. And judging from GSN's malevolent and totally unnecessary "crunching" of the screen on its February 2, 2009 airing of this episode, the historic significance of the anniversaries of "WML?'s" debut and the original airing of tonight's show was completely lost on the cable and satellite channel.
        (8) The February 2, 2009 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by the April 15, 1958 edition of "To Tell the Truth," with host Bud Collyer and the panel of Polly Bergen, Don Ameche, Kitty Carlisle and Jim Backus. The first game featured famed rodeo cowgirl Wanda Harper Bush and two impostors; the second game featured John F. Moran (who supervised the literal burning of money for the U.S. Treasury) and two impostors; and the third game featured Shirley Dinsdale (who had been a West Coast-based ventriloquist, famous for her dummy "Judy Splinters," and early TV personality who in 1949 won the very first Emmy Award every given out, for Outstanding Television Personality of the year) and two impostors. As with the previous week's episode, the camera work suffered greatly due to the technicians' strike against CBS which was in its second week; on the plus side, the full "TTTT" set was restored, and the contestants' desks were back in order (#1, #2 and #3 as seen from the viewer's left to right), after being reversed the previous week during the first game only. - W-B (2005, updated 2009)

      • NINE DOWN, EIGHT AND A HALF TO GO!!! As was mentioned at the opening, this was the beginning of the tenth year of WML. It also was significant in the fact that it was the 450th episode of the show, something that most shows in today's short television shelf life probably won't even reach. However, this was a very special night. Martin Gabel, who was filling in for the vacationing Bennett, got things off to a bang when he did a solo job (as his wife Arlene did two weeks earlier) and correctly guessed that the first mystery guest of the evening was the European Heavyweight Boxing Champion, and soon to be World Champion, Ingemar Johansson. However, what made Martin's guess even more impressive than Arlene's was the fact that he was blindfolded and Johansson's name or hometown wasn't even mentioned as he walked onstage. Johansson was on the show to help start the hype for his upcoming title shot against the then current champion Floyd Patterson that coming June. In the second game, the panel came back down to earth when they failed to guess that the contestant from South Carolina was a termite exterminator. In the regular mystery guest round, once again it was Martin who made the correct identification when he figured out that it was Burl Ives. Ives was on the show to promote "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," in which he co-starred with the previous week's mystery guest, Paul Newman. In the final game, the panel ran out of time, so the Piel Brewery beer tester won the full prize by default. - Sargebri (2005)

        BOXING: Ingemar Johansson did fight Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight title in June 1959 in New York and defeated him by knockout to win the title. However, Johansson's most famous moment in his boxing career occurred some seven years earlier when he was competing for his native Sweden in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. Johansson was in the gold medal bout and was fighting the feared American heavyweight Ed Saunders. Johansson, fearful of Saunders' punching power, spent much of the fight backpedaling in order to keep from being hit. However, when the officials saw this tactic, Johansson was disqualified and lost the bout. Besides that, he was not even awarded a silver medal. However, 30 years later in 1982, he finally got his medal. - Sargebri (2005)

        MYSTERY GUEST: As John mentioned in the post game chat with Burl Ives, Ives' performance in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" was one of the best performances of the year and he should have received an Academy Award nomination. Ives did win a Best Supporting Oscar for 1958. However, it wasn't for his portrayal of "Big Daddy," it was for his performance in the film "The Big Country." - Sargebri (2005)

        FIRST GUEST: Ingemar Johansson makes his second and final "WML?" appearance on EPISODE #518 of June 19, 1960. That future appearance is the night before his 1960 title bout with Floyd Patterson. Ingo looses that 1960 fight and relinquishes his title. We also meet Johansson's fiance and future wife, Birgit Lundgren, when she is a contestant on EPISODE #468 of June 14, 1959. See those episodes guides for more Johansson notes. - Suzanne (2005)

        The panel was blindfolded during the questioning of Mr. Johansson. But did that stop Martin from blowing everyone away by guessing who he was after only several questions? NOPE! It was QUITE impressive! Side note: be sure to check out Dorothy's BEAMING smile as she meets the good-looking boxer as he exits.
        DEAR JOHN
        JD: "This, I must say Mr. Hanahan, with your permission, the question as it was phrased 'Is there any product connected in any way with what you do?' - I think we would have to say 'yes'. As is so often true, anyone who is dealing in services often needs a product of some kind perhaps to effectively perform the service that he is prevailing."
        AF: (shaking her head, smiling) "I just couldn't agree with you more, John, whatever it is you said!"
        JD: "I'm just sittin' here waiting to pounce. You go ahead and say something."
        The absolute funniest moment occurred during the questioning of Guest #2 James R. Hanahan. The panel was pretty confused and after the "it is engaged by people" clarification, Arlene looks down, has some epiphany, then jerks her head up with the strangest expression! It's very difficult to describe in writing, but when this episode rolls around again, be sure to watch! It sure made John burst out laughing! - fiveninegal (2003)

      • Guest panelist James Roosevelt is the son of former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor Roosevelt. - Suzanne (2003)

        Since "What's My Line?" was first broadcast on February 2, 1950, they are near their "ninth anniversary" show. However, instead of mentioning the ninth anniversary, the opening announcer stated that they were beginning their tenth year. - Suzanne (2003)

        Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, James Roosevelt, Arlene Francis, Martin Gabel. Bennett was taking a well deserved vacation in both Florida and Jamaica. He visited the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami, and the Round Hill Golf Course in Jamaica.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)