What's My Line?

Season 11 Episode 11


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Nov 15, 1959 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
2 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Mrs. Juanita Kidd Stout (3/7/1919 - 8/21/1998) - "Judge" (salaried; African-American; previously a lawyer, currently a judge; she was at first appointed to fill an unexpired term, and then ran for office the next year and was overwhelmingly elected to her judicial position; she works in the municipal court in the First Court of Record; she donated her game winnings to the United Cerebral Palsy Fund; from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Game 2: Robert C. Wishart - "Makes Horse Liniment" (salaried; he works for The Kendall Company in Griswoldville, Massachusetts; they manufacture Kendall's Horse Liniment and also make Kendall's Counter Irritant, which is a major competitor of Absorbine, Jr.; Arlene's story about P.D.F., Pa's Damn Fool, is historically accurate and can be seen on the net under Pa's Darn Fool; from Conway, MA)

Game 3: Fabian (also known as Fabian Forte) (b. 2/6/1943) (as Mystery Guest)

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 (4)

      • FLIP REPORT: In the night's first game, John flipped the sole remaining card for the first contestant at nine down. He did this at the very last second, stating that the full winnings were being donated to the United Cerebral Palsy Fund. Shelley Berman had correctly identified this contestant as a judge. In the night's second game, John flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at six down because time was running a bit short and he felt that the panel was "off on a sticky wicket" when it came to trying to identify the contestant's line. Indeed, they never really came near identifying the product of "horse liniment." - agent_0042 (2009)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR AND ANNOUNCER WATCH: This is the fourth straight week in this stretch where Sunbeam is the main sponsor, and this was the week where Hal Simms used the "award-winning panel of 'What's My Line?'" variation of the intro.
        (2) SHELLEY BERMAN: This was the popular comedian's first appearance on "WML?," out of a total of seven he would make over the next three years, five months and thirteen days. Only one such appearance -- on EPISODE #521 of July 10, 1960 -- was as a mystery guest; all others, including tonight, were as a guest panelist. In the wake of his fame, which derived from his numerous TV and club appearances -- and record albums such as Inside Shelley Berman (Verve MG V/S-15,003) and its follow-up Outside Shelley Berman (Verve MG V/S-15,007) -- Mr. Berman also made a memorable appearance as "Archibald Beechcroft" in "The Mind and the Matter" episode of "The Twilight Zone" which originally aired on May 12, 1961, as well as other acting jobs over the next several years.
        (3) FABIAN - PART I: The popular singer was the only one of the three major Philadelphia-based "teen idols" to appear on "WML?" during its 17.5-year CBS run. Eventually, Frankie Avalon appeared on "WML?" too, as a mystery guest -- but in its daily syndicated incarnation, during Week #85 which was taped on May 14, 1970; the host then was Wally Bruner, and the panel on that occasion consisted of Gene Rayburn, Gail Sheldon, Bert Convy and Arlene Francis. Bobby Rydell never appeared on "WML?" in any of its forms.
        (4) FABIAN - PART II: A little more than a decade from Fabian's lone "WML?" appearance in 1959, the definition of the phrase "Philly Sound" had changed considerably. This musical sound epitomized not only Fabian, Mr. Avalon and Mr. Rydell, but also the Philadelphia-based record labels Cameo/Parkway (which also boasted Chubby Checker of "The Twist" fame), Swan (whose most famous artist was Freddy Cannon) and Jamie (home of "twang" guitarist Duane Eddy.) By 1970, the slogan had begun to morph into "The Sound of Philadelphia," and was defined by a smooth-sounding form of soul music as exemplified by the producing team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and arranger/producer Thom Bell; their productions were a precursor to what would come to be called disco music. The biggest artists to be handled by Gamble/Huff and/or Mr. Bell during the 1970's included the O'Jays, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, The Spinners, The Stylistics, Billy Paul, The Three Degrees, Lou Rawls, and Teddy Pendergrass.
        (5) CRYPTIC DOROTHY QUESTION WATCH: Miss Kilgallen's first question to mystery guest Fabian was, "Have you been in Canada recently?" (He answered "no.")
        (6) "WML?" END CREDITS AND CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: For the 2005 and previous airings, it has now been six weeks without a "Rollercoaster" ride, as once again, "The Toy Trumpet" is used as the closing theme. When GSN aired this episode on March 14, 2009, only the first second or so of "The Toy Trumpet" was heard, and was then immediately superseded by the cable and satellite channel's hideous "credits crunch" procedure which distorts the screen and strips away the beautiful vintage audio. Speaking of the end credits, which came after the United Airlines plug, they once again go all the way through.
        (7) The March 14, 2009 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by the October 8, 1959 edition of "To Tell the Truth," hosted by Bud Collyer, with the panel again consisting of Polly Bergen, Don Ameche, Kitty Carlisle and Robert Q. Lewis. This episode -- which bears a new alternating sponsor, Toni home permanents -- marked the first major set design change for "TTTT," courtesy of one Nelson Baumé who is credited for the first time this evening; Mr. Baumé's design change, with a new background, replaces the previous design of Carl Kent's and is a precursor to the set revamping which came several months later in mid-1960, after "TTTT" -- like "WML?" and "I've Got a Secret" -- switched to a different studio. (Over "TTTT's" 12-year run on CBS, covering both nighttime and daytime versions, there were four different set designs.) The first game featured Carolina Iñigo (approximate spelling; a member of the Bayanihan Philippine dance company) and two impostors; the second game featured Philip Marsden (a British radio personality known as the "Budgie Man" for his shows offering advice on the keeping and care of budgerigars, or as they're known in America, parakeets) and two impostors (in an attempt to direct the parakeet to the real Mr. Marsden, Mr. Collyer took the budgie out of its cage and deliberately motioned his arm to set the bird in flight; the plan was that the bird would fly from the area of Bud's desk to the challengers' row of desks and land on its owner's hand, thus revealing the real Philip Marsden; however, the bird was apparently nervous over the studio lights and sounds, and instead flew past the challengers' desks and landed on one of the crew members; the bird took off again and flew behind the panel's desk; during this hilarious kerfluffle which was followed by the camera, a shot of one of the RCA TK-10 cameras, with custom-built zoom lens, appeared in the shot); and the third game featured Roy Fairman (golf caddy for President Eisenhower; Roy also appeared as the first guest on "WML?" EPISODE #471 of July 5, 1959) and two impostors. - W-B (2005, updated 2009)

      • REVIEW: This was a fairly good night for the panel as they went a respectable "two for three" this particular night. In the first game, debuting guest panelist Shelley Berman made the last second save as he correctly figured out that the very bubbly Mrs. Stout was actually Judge Juanita Stout of Philadelphia. She made a very good impression on the panel and also showed why she was re-elected to the bench with the largest plurality ever. It also was announced after she left the stage that any of her winnings were to go to United Cerebral Palsy, which prompted John to make a plea on behalf of Diabetes Week urging the audience at home and in the studio to get tested. Unfortunately, in the second game, the panel was so far off the beaten track that John flipped the remaining cards and the young man from Massachusetts who made horse liniment won the full prize by default. The panel had better luck in the mystery guest round when Arlene correctly identified teen heartthrob Fabian. Ironically, when Ricky Nelson was on the show a few weeks earlier, Arlene thought that Ricky was Fabian. However, this time she was right when she identified the teen idol from Philadelphia. After the game, Fabian talked about the film he was about to make with Bing Crosby. Though he didn't mention the title, the film "High Time" would come out the next year starring "Der Bingle" as a millionaire who decides to go back to college. And so, this night ended on a rather successful note. - Sargebri (2005)

        Arlene managed to get off two classic lines in this episode.
        1. During the questioning of Judge Stout, in determining if she was a lawyer, Shelley Berman innocently asked the judge if she had passed the bar. This question prompted Arlene to remark, "Haven't we all?," which got a huge laugh from the audience.
        2. In the conversation after the second game, Arlene also got off a classic line. When she was discussing Absorbine Jr., she talked about the initials PDF which were on the bottle and she said that her uncle told her the initials stood for PAPA'S DAMN FOOL and that got an even bigger laugh. - Sargebri (2005)

        FABIAN: At the time of his appearance on the show, Fabian was one of the biggest teen idols in America. In fact, he was one of three fresh-faced young men from Philadelphia who were dominating the charts at the time. The other two were Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell. The three of them essentially dominated the charts in the late 1950's to early 1960's - until 1964, when a certain quartet of mop tops known as the Beatles (and the rest of the acts of the British invasion) came along and pretty much relegated the American teen idols to also-ran status. However, several years later, Fabian, Avalon and Rydell started a successful series of concert tours which drew packed houses across the country. - Sargebri (2005)

        "NO, NOT THAT PDF": In the years since this episode, the meaning and significance of the initials "PDF" have changed completely from the "Pa's Damn Fool" (or "Pa's Darn Fool") of Arlene's time. Since 1993, the computer file extension "PDF" has stood for "Portable Document Format," a digital-based document system developed by Adobe Systems, Inc. (of "Photoshop" fame) for use in their "Acrobat" suite of software which creates as well as reads such documents and files. - W-B (2009)

      • Visit Shelley Berman's web site!


        There is a classic moment on this What's My Line? The mystery guest is 1950s singer Fabian. The panel asked if he had a last name, and he replied "Forte." This prompted Bennett to remark that for Fabian, "Life begins at Forte." Mr. Daly waited a full 14 seconds for the bad pun to sink in before saying anything. - bgwill (2003)

        Great episode! There was swearing, too much lipstick, furry bosoms, terrible puns and a great "passing the bar" joke from Miss Francis. Lots-o-fun! Don't miss it! - fiveninegal (2003)

        PSA: John delivered a Public Service Announcement before the second game. He announced Diabetes Week and urged the viewers to visit their doctors for a check-up. - Suzanne (2005)

        Tidbits: Arlene was not wearing her signature heart-shaped diamond pendant necklace on this episode. She was wearing a diamond pear-shaped drop pendant necklace instead. - Suzanne (2005)

        Shelley Berman (b. 2/3/1925)

        Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Shelley Berman, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)