What's My Line?

Season 10 Episode 45


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jul 12, 1959 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Miss Jorunn Kristiansen - "Dental Nurse" (salaried; Miss Kristiansen, representing Norway at age 18 as "Miss Norway," was also a 1959 Miss Universe 1st runner-up! The Miss Universe 1959 pageant was held on July 24th, 1959 at the Long Beach Auditorium, Long Beach, California, USA; she came from a town that sounded like Mach or Mock, in Norway)

Game 2: John Benteler - "Makes Roulette Wheels (For Gambling Casinos)" (self-employed; his firm, which was started by his father, has been in business for 29 years; after his game, his sense of humor shone - for instance, when Martin asked him if it was possible to illegally "fix" a roulette wheel, Benteler replied that the panel has already gotten their ten "no's," thereby humorously avoiding the sensitive question; when Arlene asked him which number was the best one on the wheel, he replied "the winning one"; from Chicago, IL)

Game 3: Eartha Kitt (1/17/1927 - 12/25/2008) (as Mystery Guest) She seemed to enjoy herself very much, laughing heartily after she stumped the panel. She gave her voice an excellent disguise. . .moreless

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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 six down because time was running short. Arlene actually identified this contestant as being a nurse just after the cards were over and was given credit for a correct guess. In the night's mystery challenger round, John flipped the remaining cards for Eartha Kitt at eight down because time had run out. The panel was thoroughly stumped by Eartha Kitt's vocal disguise, which never wavered. All mystery challengers were paid an appearance fee of $500 that was undisclosed to the general public, but it was quite unusual for the mystery challenger round to be ended due to time. - agent_0042 (2009)

        EARTHA RECOGNIZED: Eartha Kitt remained an active talent in the world of entertainment up until very close to her death from colon cancer on December 25, 2008. (An ironic date of death, given her fame for the song "Santa Baby.") Among her fairly recent works, she appeared as "Madame Zeroni" in the 2003 film Holes (based on the novel by Louis Sachar). She also voiced the character "Yzma" in the 2000 film The Emperor's New Groove, the 2005 film Kronk's New Groove and the 2006 television show The Emperor's New School (a performance for which she won two Daytime Emmy Awards and Annie Award.) Though GSN did not see fit to air any sort of official tribute to this fine actress, it might be said that this airing served as a sort of unofficial tribute. Read more about Eartha in the notes to EPISODE #209 of May 30, 1954. (Which was a full reverse of tonight's episode, because Eartha was identified without a single "no" answer.) - agent_0042 (2007, updated 2008 and 2009)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND ANNOUNCER WATCH: Tonight offered another opportunity to signal the "Best to You," a motto for Kellogg's, the main sponsor on tonight's edition. In addition, announcer Hal Simms tonight employs the "award-winning panel of 'What's My Line?'" wording on the intro, as is customarily used during this period when Dorothy is introduced first.
        (2) A PORTENT OF THE FUTURE: Prior to the live transmission of tonight's show, the future EPISODE #474 of July 26, 1959 was videotaped. This later episode had the distinction of being the first "WML?" edition to be taped in advance of air date. (Another Goodson-Todman program, "I've Got a Secret," began pre-taping some episodes a few months earlier in 1959.)
        (3) EARTHA KITT - PART I: The singer/actress was in one motion picture in 1959, playing the title role in "Anna Lucasta." Frequent mystery guest and future guest panelist Sammy Davis, Jr. was a co-star, in the role of "Danny Johnson." In addition, GSN's February 24, 2009 airing of this episode served as an unofficial tribute to Miss Kitt, who passed away on December 25, 2008 (Christmas Day!) at age 81.
        (4) EARTHA KITT - PART II: Besides the Christmas classic "Santa Baby" (RCA Victor 20-/47-5502, 1953), another standard associated with Miss Kitt's name was "C'est Si Bon (It's So Good)" (RCA Victor 20-/47-5358, 1953). The last-named number was parodied that year by satirist Stan Freberg on Capitol single #(F)2677; in so doing, he also made merciless fun of Eartha's particular persona.
        (5) "WML?" CREW CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Last week's episode was the first to list Ann Kaminsky as co-associate producer with Bob Bach in the end credits. Tonight's episode was the first to have her surname spelled correctly. The previous week's episode had her surname incorrectly spelled as "Kaminski." As for the rest of the end credits, which (as was customary during this period) followed the travel arrangements plug for United Airlines, the complete production crew was once again shown -- alas, on GSN's February 24, 2009 airing of this episode, in their customary and cringe-inducing "crunched" fashion -- and in so doing, thoroughly ruining the significance of the anniversary of the death of "WML?" panel moderator John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly, who passed away on February 24, 1991 at age 77.
        (6) GSN's February 24, 2009 airing of tonight's show was followed by the February 3, 1959 edition of "To Tell the Truth" with host Bud Collyer and the panel of Betty White, Ralph Bellamy, Kitty Carlisle and Tom Poston. The first game featured Reverend Lillie McGuire (mother of The McGuire Sisters singing trio; the matriarch was later a contestant on "WML?" EPISODE #608 of April 8, 1962) and two impostors; the second game featured foreign correspondent Mrs. Dickey Chapelle (whose photojournalist works were featured in such magazines as Life, National Geographic and Reader's Digest; she was killed in Vietnam on November 4, 1965, only four days prior to "WML?" panelist Dorothy Kilgallen's tragic death) and two impostors; and the third game featured Fred Stevens (or Stephens; a veteran of the domestic oil industry who worked in many capacities, including as a driller) and two impostors.
        (7) THE "TTTT" NOT SEEN: Ironically, given Eartha Kitt's mystery guest appearance on the 1959 "WML?" episode as shown on February 24, 2009, GSN skipped the prior "TTTT" edition of January 27, 1959, on which another "Catwoman" from the 1966-1968 "camp" TV series "Batman," Julie Newmar, was a guest panelist. That "TTTT" episode is among the many that will not be shown by the cable and satellite channel due to its self-inflicted prohibition on vintage cigarette advertising. Nor will the February 10, 1959 "TTTT" which marked the end of Hy Gardner's two-year run as panelist. - W-B (2005, updated 2009)

      • REVIEW: The password for this particular evening was "spiders." This, of course, was in reference to the argument between John and the panel about whether spiders bit or not. As it turned out, the panel won and John playfully played the sore loser. As far as the panel's game performance went, it was a rather poor night for them. In the first game, the panel did get credit for correctly guessing that the lovely Miss Kristiansen, who was representing Norway in the 1959 Miss Universe pageant, was a nurse, even though all the cards had been flipped over. For the record, Jorunn was a dental nurse. Also, this might have set a record for John, as he had a large number of conferences with the very attractive Miss Kristiansen. In the second game, the panel was utterly stumped by the roulette wheel maker. If they had gotten around to identifying the product, as John pointed out, they probably would have had a chance of getting close or winning. Instead, they concentrated on everything except the actual product. That, as it turned out, wound up being their downfall. The panel also did something they hadn't done in a long time - they got stumped in the mystery guest round. Ironically, the lovely Eartha Kitt had the honors, and she pointed out that she had never previously been able to fool the panel. Tonight was her lucky night, though, as she used a high-pitched squeak to completely disguise her very recognizable voice. This was definitely one night the panel should have stayed home. - Sargebri (2005)

        EARTHA KITT: Seven years after her appearance on this show, Eartha Kitt's "feline" looks really came in handy when she replaced Julie Newmar as "Catwoman" on the camp classic television series "Batman." Unfortunately, she would never be able to capitalize on her success. During a visit to the White House in 1968, she made several critical remarks about the Vietnam War in earshot of the First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson. This incident would cause Miss Kitt to become virtually exiled in show business, and her career came to an unfortunate screeching halt. - Sargebri (2005)

        EARTHA KITT: It's a shame the panel didn't identify Eartha Kitt. What an incredible, if underexposed, talent. You may first think of "Catwoman" when you hear the name Eartha Kitt, but I'll always remember this multi-lingual singing and acting dynamo for her sultry, saucy, and sexy song called "Santa Baby." This perennial Christmas classic was released in 1953 and is dusted off every year for discerning turntables everywhere. In the song, Eartha plays the role of a spoiled-rotten sex kitten, writing her annual letter to St. Nicholas. - Lee McIntyre (2005)

        BC: "And now a man who knows everything there is to know about almost everything in the world, except spiders! Mr. John Daly."
        JD: "To save you and me a lot of pain, I'll start off by saying the encyclopedia says that spiders bite. I was wrong and Bennett's right! Happy, Bennett?"
        BC (with an extremely cute grin): "Thank you, John."
        JD: "Yes, I knew you'd be happy and now I'll get even in the next 30 minutes!"
        AF: "The reason I knew that was I thought of myself - my mouth being washed out with soap."
        JD: "Does Martin do that all the time and why?!" (LOL!!)
        Much discussion about the fact that guest #2 wore "less than he was wearing that night" to do his job. After his occupation is revealed, Dorothy asks, "Just so that I won't go home and have a sleepless night, what does he wear when he's making roulette wheels?"
        AF: "What's the best number on the wheel, Mr. Benteler?"
        JB: "The winning number!"
        - fiveninegal (2003)

      • Panel: Arlene Francis, Martin Gabel, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)