What's My Line?

Season 11 Episode 28


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 13, 1960 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Richard Hanley (9/1/1908 - 1/1/1971) - "Elizabeth Taylor's Secretary" (salaried; John said that Hanley had been employed by Elizabeth Taylor "for some years now" but did not name the exact number of years; originally from Los Angeles, California; currently from New York, NY)

Game 2: Miss Carolyn Herron - "Exterminator" (salaried; she is her father's assistant at the Garfield Sanitation Service company; from Chicago, IL)

Game 3: Kathryn Murray (9/15/1906 - 8/6/1999) & Arthur Murray (4/4/1895 - 3/3/1991) (as Mystery Guest Duo)

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  • Male bonding and toupee removal! What more can you ask?

    Everyone is in a jolly mood, especially John Daly. He seems uncommonly ebullient tonight. Perhaps it’s because one of the panelists is an old colleague, actor Richard Boone (1917-1981). The tall, craggy Boone was then starring in the hit TV Western series, "Have Gun, Will Travel." Like many WML guest panelists, Boone isn't especially good at the game, but he more than makes up for it with his agreeable personality. He's so laid back that he appears to have dropped in from another decade.

    Filling in for Dorothy is actress Betty White, looking bright and perky. Bennett mentions that “we miss Dorothy,” who is on the West Coast covering a murder trial. Then he introduces John as “our dazzling, brilliant but slightly misleading John Charles Daly.”

    John greets Boone warmly and mentions that they once appeared together in a television production of “The Front Page.” “You were excellent,” says Boone. “Yes, I know,” mutters John sardonically. He gives Boone all the credit. The rapport between these two men is one of the two best things about this episode.

    The first contestant, Richard Hanley, is a blonde, wavy-haired gentleman with heavy, dark-rimmed glasses. He is Elizabeth Taylor’s private secretary. The audience laughs when Arlene asks, “Do you work for a profit-making organization?” Bennett inexplicably decides all the laughter means Hanley might have something to do with betting. He asks this question even though Arlene has already determined that no money changes hands. Bennett, what were you thinking?

    The wrong guesses go on and on. John seems awfully pleased when the panel loses. But then Betty White and Bennett stage a revolt. They feel they’ve gotten unfair “no” answers to two of their questions. John isn’t having any of that, of course, and the game continues.

    But first there’s some more male bonding. Boone says, “It’s nice having you here, John, and those old years of friendship mean a lot.” “I hope you have your bandages with you tonight," John jokingly warns him.

    The second contestant, exterminator Carolyn Herron, seems shy and nervous. John tells the young lady not to be scared “because nothing can happen aside from the ceiling falling in.” The audience laughs when Boone asks her, “Do you perform the service for both men and women?” Boone flashes a tentative smile. Then, looking toward Arlene, he says, “I’m waiting for my laugh interpreter on my right to tell me what that means!”

    To another one of Boone’s questions, John gives a qualified yes after a whispered conference with the young lady followed by one of John’s famous convoluted "clarifications." To this Boone replies, ”I’m certainly much more confused than when you started.” John can’t resist razzing his old friend some more. “You should have seen him when I pushed pie in his face!” he gloats. Boone replies in a rueful tone, "At least I had something to eat instead of egg on my face!”

    Now it’s Betty White's turn to ask some odd questions. As you watch the wheels turning in her head, you can’t help but remember those ditzy characters she played on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and "The Golden Girls." “Miss Herron," she asks, "Am I correct in assuming that you have nothing to do with birds?” Getting a yes on that, she inexplicably decides that the contestant must then have something to do with babies. Shades of Bennett!

    By now the panel is really stumped. Even John is frustrated. “Sometimes I wish I’d gone to law school,” he ruefully declares. Finally, with seven down and three to go, Bennett suddenly thunders down the stretch like Seabiscuit and wins the round.

    The mystery challengers are TV stars Arthur Murray (1895-1991) and his wife, Kathryn (1906-1999). They were noted ballroom dance instructors. The couple starred in a popular musical variety show, “Arthur Murray Time,” which was then near the end of its 11-year run.

    Bennett comes close to identifying them when he asks if they appear on a “Mr. and Mrs.” show. He gets a no only because the Murrays’ program is not titled “Mr. and Mrs.” Arlene finally nails it when she asks, “Is it possible that it takes two to tango with you two?”

    And now, here's the other best thing about this episode: Arthur Murray asks, “Do you mind if I take off my mask?” Then he peels off his toupee! It’s a very funny moment. Arlene asks them to dance off, and they oblige by waltzing over to the panel desk. (Just before they do this, Mr. Murray can be seen deftly slipping the rug into his jacket pocket.)

    John mentions at the end of the show that next week they’ll be preempted for a “spectacular,” which is what television specials were called in those days. He also mentions that, when the show returns, he hopes Dorothy will be rejoining them.moreless
John Daly

John Daly

Moderator (1950-1967)

Arlene Francis

Arlene Francis

Regular Panelist (1950-1967)

Bennett Cerf

Bennett Cerf

Regular Panelist (1951-1967)

Kathryn Murray

Kathryn Murray

Mystery Guest Duo

Guest Star

Arthur Murray

Arthur Murray

Mystery Guest Duo

Guest Star

Betty White

Betty White

Guest Panelist

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (4)

    • FLIP REPORT: In the night's second game, John flipped the remaining cards for the second contestant at seven down. Bennett actually correctly figured out this contestant's line, right at the last minute, as John had given the panel the warning that he was only going to give them one minute more. The benevolent moderator went ahead and flipped over the cards anyway, stating that they'd had "so much fun." - agent_0042 (2009)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Florida Citrus is the chief sponsor for this edition.
      (2) COINCIDENCE CORNER: There was a slight ironic significance to the first contestant, Elizabeth Taylor's secretary, being on this "WML?" edition, since "La Liz's" "BUtterfield 8" co-star, Laurence Harvey, was a guest panelist on last week's show.
      (3) "WML?" OVERLAY FONT WATCH: In what seems to be a trend during this period, the regular contestants' overlays are in the regular Futura Demi Bold font, while the lower-third overlay of mystery guests Kathryn & Arthur Murray are hand-painted. Incidentally, this was Mr. Murray's third and final "WML?" appearance (and his second to still exist on kinescope, as his first appearance on EPISODE #79 of December 2, 1951 has become lost to history). And tonight marked the only time his wife Kathryn Murray ever appeared on the program.
      (4) "WML?" CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: Time ran so short at the end that not only did Mr. Daly say good night for all the panel, but the end credits sequence consisted solely of a brief shot of the "WML?" title card. This had the effect of stymieing GSN in their obsessive compulsion to "crunch" the screen on their March 29, 2009 airing of this episode.
      (5) A DOUBLE-BLAST FROM "TTTT'S" PAST: Immediately subsequent to the March 29, 2009 airing of tonight's show, GSN repeated the January 28, 1960 edition of "To Tell the Truth," hosted by Bud Collyer. This "TTTT" episode was distinguished by guest panelist appearances by two regulars from "TTTT's" early months on the air, John Cameron Swayze and Hildy Parks. This meant that Kitty Carlisle (who was an indirect replacement for Miss Parks) sat at the "anchor" end of the panel desk on this occasion; though the seating arrangement was the reverse of what would transpire after the June 1960 set design change, it anticipated Miss Carlisle's seating order after her "TTTT" panel colleague configuration was set as Tom Poston, Peggy Cass and Orson Bean. As for Mr. Poston, on this edition he was seated, as always, at the far end of the panel desk (which at this point was still to the viewer's right side). As for the games on this episode, the first game featured Mr. Kirpal Singh (a rocket designer who was twice a "WML?" contestant, on EPISODE #283 of November 6, 1955 and EPISODE #590 of November 26, 1961) and two impostors; the second game featured James Keebler (or Keibler, spelling approximate; a locomotive engineer for the Long Island Rail Road who played organ music at Penn Station for the past two Christmases; he had recently flown to Africa to attend the inauguration of the president of Liberia, and played the organ at three state functions) and two impostors; and the third game featured John Hoyte (spelling verified; an historian, not the actor; his specialty was Carthaginian general Hannibal and his march over the Alps with 30,000 men and 37 elephants in 218 B.C., during his battle with the Roman army; to figure out how long the trek took, Mr. Hoyte took an elephant with him and walked the same route) and two impostors. Of note was that the associate director on this "TTTT" episode was Alan J. Shalleck, who served in the same position on some 1962 "WML?" episodes. - W-B (2009)

    • REVIEW: The only lowlight for this episode was the fact that Dorothy was still in Los Angeles covering the Finch trial. However, she was ably subbed for tonight by future "Golden Girl" Betty White. Also joining the panel this evening was John's former crony Richard Boone. As for the games themselves, the panel did wind up having a good night after a slow start. In the first game, they were totally stumped by Elizabeth Taylor's secretary. He had accompanied Taylor to New York while she was filming "Butterfield 8." However, they were on somewhat of an extended break while the actor's strike was going on. The panel was more successful in the second game as Bennett correctly figured out that the young girl from Chicago was an exterminator. The highlight of the night, though, had to be the mystery guest round with Arthur and Kathryn Murray. It looked as though the Murrays were going to stump the panel, and they had one more question to go when Arlene wound up figuring out who they were and coyly asked them "if it took two to tango?" to which they gave an affirmative answer. However, the real highlight came when Arthur removed his "mask" and lifted off his toupee. The couple also delighted the panel by doing a brief waltz as they left the stage. Unfortunately, there was no time for the panel to say good night, so John said it for them. - Sargebri (2005)

      ELIZABETH TAYLOR: As was mentioned in the first game, Elizabeth Taylor was making the 1960 film "Butterfield 8." The film was about a call girl who was trying to go straight, but "La Liz" hated the role and hated making the movie. Of course, the only reason she took this role was because she had essentially been blacklisted due to her scandalous love affair and subsequent marriage to Eddie Fisher, who had walked out on "America's Sweetheart" Debbie Reynolds to be with Liz. Ironically, Liz wound up winning the Best Actress Oscar for the role. However, the reason she got it was not because of a great performance, but because many of the voters felt sorry for her because she contracted a case of pneumonia and nearly died. In fact, it was so serious that Liz had to have an emergency tracheotomy. Nevertheless, she still wound up winning the first of her two Oscars even though she hated the role. - Sargebri (2005)

      THE FRONT PAGE: John Daly mentions having previously appeared in a television production of "The Front Page" with guest panelist Richard Boone. John said he looked at the kinescopes of the production five years later, and was unimpressed by his performance. John was referencing the 1949-1950 television series that both he and Boone starred in, which was loosely based on the 1931 play of the same name. One can't help but wonder if, like the WML? kinescopes currently being shown on GSN, kinescopes of John's old performance survive to this day stored in some old film storage area somewhere. - Garrison Skunk (2005)

    • Arthur and Kathryn Murray were married from 1925 until his death in 1991. Arthur had a LOT of personality! While chatting with John after his game, he removed his toupee for laughs. It worked, too, the audience howled! - Suzanne (2003)

      Tidbits: John Daly announced that next week's episode would be preempted for a "CBS Spectacular." - Suzanne (2003)

      Panel: Arlene Francis, Richard Boone, Betty White, Bennett Cerf.