What's My Line?

Season 11 Episode 17


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Dec 27, 1959 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary


Game 1: Gerald Behn (6/17/1916 - 4/21/1993) - "Secret Service Agent (Guarded President Eisenhower on Recent Trip)" (salaried; he works for the Secret Service in Washington, D.C. as the Assistant Chief of the White House Special Detail; he provided security for President Eisenhower's recent three-week December 1959 trip to Europe, the Middle East, and New Delhi, India; Mr. Behn also accompanied White House Press Secretary James Hagerty on the pre-trip, during which the arrangements for security were made; Behn stated he was from Virginia but did not name the specific city, and amazingly, Bennett did not ask him)

Game 2: Mrs. Hazel Williams - "Sardine Taster" (salaried; very personable; she is employed by the State of Maine in the Quality Control department and tastes 150 sardines per day; she stated that she does not actually eat the fish, but merely tastes them for the correct flavor; from Bangor, Maine)

Game 3: Maureen O'Hara (8/17/1920 - 10/24/2015) (as Mystery Guest)

Game 4: Sal Russo - "Complaint Adjuster for Dept. Store" (salaried; he works for Saks 5th Avenue Department Store; from New Rochelle, New York)


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 remaining cards for the first contestant at five down. Arlene correctly guessed this contestant's line, but John flipped the cards anyway, thanking the contestant for coming to "What's My Line?" In the night's second game, John flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at six down. Arlene correctly identified this contestant as a "fish inspector" and John did not make the panel fish for the exact line of "sardine taster." In the night's final game, John flipped the remaining cards for the final contestant at four down because time ran out. The panel was somewhat within range on this one, but just didn't have to time to narrow it down. - agent_0042 (2009)

      • (1) BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN: After skipping tonight's show in 2005 for the Halloween special, GSN aired this episode in regular rotation on March 19, 2009.
        (2) "WML?" SPONSOR AND ANNOUNCER WATCH: Not only was tonight's show the return of "WML?" after a week's original 1959 preemption, but it was also the first time since EPISODE #486 of October 18, 1959 that Kellogg's cereals was the main sponsor -- and, during the opening, wished the "Best to You." (For eight straight episodes, Sunbeam was the sole sponsor.) For this week, announcer Hal Simms utilized the "award-winning panel of 'What's My Line?'" variation.
        (3) NOT YET IN REMEMBRANCE - BUT ABOUT TO BE: In Arlene's introduction (or "identification") of her actor/producer husband Martin Gabel, Arlene noted that he was producing a play, "Sweet Love Remembered," that was opening in New Haven, Connecticut the following night (on December 28, 1959), and was to star Margaret Sullavan. Tragically, only five days from tonight's show, on January 1, 1960, Miss Sullavan died of barbiturate poisoning in New Haven at age 50; while it is believed she had committed suicide, the county coroner ruled that the onetime "WML?" mystery guest's drug overdose was "accidental."
        (4) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: The overlay for the first contestant of the evening was hand-painted, with "SECRET SERVICE AGENT" in capital letters and "Guarded Pres. Eisenhower on recent trip" in mixed case (upper and lower case) letters. All other overlays tonight were in the usual Futura Demi Bold.
        (5) MAUREEN O'HARA - PART I: The redheaded Irish lass makes her only "WML?" appearance tonight. (Alas, GSN's March 19, 2009 airing of this episode came two days after St. Patrick's Day, so the cable and satellite channel's timing was a wee bit off in this respect.) Besides the upcoming TV production of "Mrs. Miniver," Miss O'Hara was in the 1959 movie "Our Man in Havana" which co-starred onetime "WML?" panelist Ernie Kovacs. In the music field, Maureen made two albums, "Love Letters from Maureen O'Hara" (RCA Victor LPM/LSP-1953, 1958) and "Maureen O'Hara Sings Her Favorite Irish Songs" (Columbia CL 1750/CS 8550, 1961); she later appeared on Broadway in a musical, "Christine," which played at the 46th Street Theatre from April 28, 1960 to May 8, 1960 for a total of 12 performances, and the original cast album of which was issued on Columbia Masterworks (OL 5520/OS 2026) in 1960.
        (6) MAUREEN O'HARA - PART II: There was a special (and rather macabre) irony to the aforementioned 2009 airing by GSN of this episode, due to Miss O'Hara future starring role in the original 1961 film version of Disney's "The Parent Trap" which made a star of Hayley Mills (who was later a mystery guest on EPISODE #792 of November 28, 1965). "The Parent Trap" was subsequently remade in 1998, and the new version co-starred Natasha Richardson in Miss O'Hara's old role, albeit with a different character name. (It should be noted that Joanna Barnes, a frequent panelist of the 1968-1975 syndicated "WML?," was in both the 1961 and 1998 versions of "The Parent Trap.") The 2009 airing of tonight's show came several hours after Miss Richardson died on March 18, 2009 from injuries she sustained in a skiing accident two days before. As a side note, the only member of the Redgrave family to appear on "WML?" in the CBS years was the patriarch, Michael Redgrave, on EPISODE #592 of December 10, 1961. The only other Redgrave to be associated with "WML?" in any of its forms was his daughter (and Natasha's aunt) Lynn Redgrave, who made one mystery guest appearance and a few guest panelist appearances during the final 1974-1975 season of the syndicated incarnation. Lynn was no stranger to Goodson-Todman, though; she appeared as the celebrity guest on the very last episode of the CBS "I've Got a Secret" on April 3, 1967. However, her sister (and Natasha's mother), Vanessa Redgrave, made no appearances on either version of "WML?," nor did Miss Richardson's father, film director/producer Tony Richardson.
        (7) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Following the United Airlines travel arrangements plug, the cutoff point for the end credits was the art card slide crediting set designer Willard Levitas. As always, however, there was no cutoff to GSN's callous disregard of the viewing audience's sensibilities with their relentless and reckless "crunching" of the screen on the March 19, 2009 airing of this episode.
        (8) The March 19, 2009 airing of tonight's show by GSN was followed by the November 12, 1959 edition of "To Tell the Truth," with host Bud Collyer and the panel of Polly Bergen, Don Ameche, Kitty Carlisle and Tom Poston. The first game featured Sir Robert Watson-Watt (the inventor of radar, who served Great Britain in two world wars; he was knighted by King George VI in World War II for his work) and two impostors; the second game featured Lenore Jensen (Central Michigan University's homecoming queen of 1959 and national small bore rifle champion) and two impostors; and the third game featured horse trainer Harry DeLeyer (who purchased a horse named Snowman in 1956 from a truck bound for a dog food factory, and trained the horse as a jumper; Snowman became one of the most famous jumper horses in the history of the sport, winning championships in 1958 and 1959 and remaining a popular fixture on the show jumping circuit into the 1960's) and two impostors. - W-B (2009)

      • GSN'S 2005 HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: This episode was seen on GSN on September 18, 2003. On October 31, 2005, which would have been the next "regular rotation" broadcast, GSN did not air this episode. Four episodes of "WML?" were skipped to air GSN's 2005 HALLOWEEN SPECIAL. Instead, the following shows were seen on the following dates. - Suzanne (2005)

        10/29/2005 = EPISODE #460
        10/30/2005 = EPISODE #536
        10/31/2005 = EPISODE #341
        and a "double bill"
        11/01/2005 = EPISODE #405
        11/01/2005 = EPISODE #224

      • Hmmm, that must have been SOME party the panel and John went to before the show tonight! I have dubbed this episode GOOFYTIME! - fiveninegal (2003)

        Maureen O'Hara promoted her upcoming 90-minute CBS special made-for-TV movie, "Mrs. Miniver." She performed the role which Greer Garson has made famous 17 years earlier. Presented by Westclox & General Mills, it was broadcast on January 7, 1960 at 9:30 PM on CBS, and received excellent reviews. In addition, Maureen O'Hara also mentions that she will be on "The Perry Como Show" this coming Wednesday. - Suzanne (2003)

        Tidbits: Bennett mentions John Daly is just back from Paris, France. He attended NATO. - Suzanne (2003)

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

    • ALLUSIONS (0)