What's My Line?

Season 11 Episode 31


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Apr 03, 1960 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
3 votes
  • We missed Arlene, but the show was still lots of fun.

    Arlene is missing in action tonight. She's stranded at the Tampa airport, Martin explains. “To Tell the Truth” panelist Polly Bergen is a delightful last-minute substitute. She introduces Bennett by saying, “And now will the real Random House publisher, lecturer, panelist and collector of funny stories please stand up?” “I think you got your shows mixed up!” he replies.

    The first challenger is tall, regal-looking Louise Emmons, who is a census taker. The twist is that she has recently visited the homes of the panel. Bennett’s red hot tonight! He nails her in five questions, without a single no. Dorothy seems a bit perturbed when she learns that Miss Emmons has been to her home. She insists on knowing who gave out information about her. Miss Emmons replies, “I believe it was your husband.” Dorothy then smiles sweetly, looks into the camera and says, "OK, honey, Just stay home, I’ll be home in a few minutes.” Martin mentions that he’s delighted that Bennett did so well "because his son Chris is out front tonight.”

    The second round is the best. The contestant is a handsome young man who designs maternity clothes. His youth, gender and good looks make the line seem even funnier. The audience roars with laughter at almost every question. Dorothy asks. “If I were walking down Fifth Ave. with one of these things, would it be noticeable?" (Big laugh.) When she asks, "Is it smaller than a jet plane?" John replies “Most of the time,” and the audience roars. Bennett's innocent inquiry, “Does it sometimes vary in size?” sets off another wave of laughter. Dorothy finally nails it. But Bennett, having gotten a no on “intimate,” has a post-game quibble with John. He asks, “Isn’t having a baby kind of an intimate thing?” (Well, yes, but that wasn't the product.)

    The mystery guest is Jane Fonda, then a pretty young ingenue chiefly known as Henry's daughter. After John announces, "Sign in, please," the audience goes wild, with loud cheering and whistles. John reacts to this with an uncharacteristic scowl. He most assuredly does not like rowdy audiences! Fonda speaks in a Southern accent, answering one question, “That’s right, honey!” Bennett once again homes in on it like a bloodhound tracking a scent. "Do you happen to have a father who is also reasonably well-known in the theatrical world?” he asks. Then he triumphantly announces, “You’re Jane Fonda!” She comments that even without their masks, she doubts if the panel would have known who she was. John gently admonishes her for being so modest and wishes her success. Then he pays tribute to Mr. Cerf's brilliance. "Somebody gave him some hot Bovril or something!”

    A very British butler is the final contestant. John has to correct him after he answers yes to, "Do you work for a non-profit organization?" To Dorothy's question, “Could the entire panel avail themselves of your services?” he answers, “I wish they would!” John is uncharacteristically indulgent toward Polly. He refrains from giving her a no to one of her questions "because you’re so pretty.” This is most unusual for John, who's normally such a stickler. Maybe he's the one who had the hot Bovril! The panel loses this round. In closing, Daly warns Fayetteville, Wichita, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Cleveland to "lock the doors and get the children in early, because Bennett is coming out your way.”

    There's a brief Easter Seals announcement before the credits with a graphic that says, “Help Crippled Children. Give to Easter Seals."

    I would have given this show a 9.5 if Arlene had been on it. Like Mary Poppins, it was practically perfect in every way.