What's My Line?

Season 11 Episode 28


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Mar 13, 1960 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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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.