What's My Line?

Season 12 Episode 19


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jan 08, 1961 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
2 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain (8/21/1936 - 10/12/1999) - "Professional Basketball Player" (as Mystery Guest #1 and the panel is blindfolded; salaried; Wilt Chamberlain plays in the NBA for the Philadelphia Warriors; John announced that Wilt's team lost today to The Knickerbockers by 1 point; Wilt stated that his height was 7 feet, 1 inch plus 1/16th of an inch)

Game 2: Mrs. Emily V. McAvoy - "Department Store Detective" (salaried; she works for Lit Brothers Department Store and has been employed by them for 64 years; from Philadelphia, PA)

Game 3: Joan Crawford (3/23/1905 - 5/10/1977) (as Mystery Guest #2)

Game 4: Mr. Sascha Burland (b. 10/25/1927) - "Writes TV Commercial Jingles" (self-employed; from New York, NY) . .moreless

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)

    Wilt Chamberlain

    Wilt Chamberlain

    Mystery Guest #1

    Guest Star

    Joan Crawford

    Joan Crawford

    Mystery Guest #2

    Guest Star

    Cynthia Crawford

    Cynthia Crawford

    Cameo Appearance

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

      • John: You know how we keep score, Mrs. McAvoy?
        Emily: Yes.
        John: Alright.
        Emily: Two and two make four.
        John: Two and two make four. Well... sometimes. Are you comfortable?

      • Bennett: Mrs. McAvoy, a lady with a kind face like yours wouldn't be a store detective, would you?

    • NOTES (15)

      • This definitely was a Philadelphia themed night on the show. The first two contestants were from Philly. In addition, Joey Bishop was a Philadelphia native. As for the games themselves, the panel had a fairly good evening and was once again one game away from perfection. In the first game, Arlene correctly identified basketball superstar Wilt Chamberlain. However, she mistakenly said he was with the Harlem Globetrotters instead of the Philadelphia Warriors. Because of this error, John flipped over all the cards. It also was fun when John, a New York Knicks fan, took time to needle Wilt about the fact that the Warriors were beaten by the Knicks - by a mere one point - earlier that day. It especially was fun seeing Bennett climb up on the desk and Joey climb up on his chair just so they could look Wilt in the eye as they were shaking his hand. In the second game, Bennett gave a good performance as he did a solo in guessing that the rather elderly lady was a store detective. However, Bennett was most likely tipped off when the lady signed in, and he probably heard her say that she worked for Lit Brothers Department Store. The post game conversation almost provided a censorship moment as she related how a woman tried to steal a diamond ring by swallowing it and almost said how they were waiting to get the ring from her. In the mystery guest round, Bennett did another great job in guessing screen legend Joan Crawford. He had her nailed when he asked her if she were associated with a soft drink, which she was. She was the widow of a man who had been the head of Pepsi and she was a major stockholder. However, the main reason she was on the show was to promote her upcoming appearance on "Zane Gray Theater" that coming Thursday. Unfortunately, the panel's bid for a perfecto came to an end when they ran out of time trying to identify Sasha Burland, the man who not only wrote WML's opening theme, but was responsible for the novelty record "The Nutty Squirrels." However, this still was a remarkable performance by the panel. - Sargebri

      • WHERE WAS CHRISTINA? It was a nice touch when Miss Crawford brought out two of her daughters, Cynthia and Cathy. However, one daughter that was missing was her daughter Christina. Of course, several years later, Christina would write a scathing tell-all book about her mother entitled "Mommie Dearest," in which she accused her mother of child abuse. The book was later made into a 1981 major motion picture which wound up becoming a camp classic and was later called one of the worst films of all time by the book of the same name. Faye Dunaway played the role of Joan Crawford. - Sargebri

      • Interestingly, when Joan was being questioned by Bennett, he asked if she were good friends with any members on the panel. Of course, she was very good friends with both Dorothy and Arlene. Those friendships would play a role in one of the most interesting moments in the history of television. In November 1965, Joan appeared on "To Tell the Truth" in a segment in which the panel was supposed to guess which lady, hidden under a veil and with her voice electronically distorted, was the real Joan Crawford. Playing the "imposter Joans" were Dorothy and Arlene. However, what made this so ironic was the fact that the show, which had been taped several days earlier, was scheduled to air on November 8, 1965, a few hours after Dorothy's tragic death. The show was still aired, but an announcement informing the audience of Dorothy's passing was played after the credits rolled. - Sargebri

      • When Arlene seemingly made a mistake about what team Wilt Chamberlain played for by saying he was with the Harlem Globetrotters, she wasn't far off, due to the fact that he played with them for two years prior to joining the Philadelphia Warriors. Chamberlain, of course, was one of the greatest players - if not THE greatest player - in the history of basketball. He was also one of the most dominant basketball players of his era. His career records for scoring and rebounds stood for several years - long after his retirement from the game. However, it was a year after his appearance on the show that he would provide one of the greatest moments in the history of sports. On March 2, 1962, in a game against the New York Knicks, Chamberlain scored an incredible 100 points. So great was this accomplishment that the game was immediately halted with 46 seconds to go. In fact, this is probably one record that will never be broken. Ironically, for all of his individual achievements, Chamberlain only won two NBA championships. Of course, at the height of his career, the Boston Celtics were dominating the NBA with their 11 championships in 13 years. However, in 1967, Chamberlain was a member of one of the greatest teams in NBA history, the 1966-1967 Philadelphia 76ers, which won an incredible 69 games and won the 1967 NBA title. Ironically, the team they beat in the finals was the San Francisco Warriors, for which Chamberlain played when the team was still in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, that team ranks a close second behind another great team that he played for, the 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers. That team not only won the 1972 championship, but in the process, they went on one of the most incredible winning streaks in history that season by winning 33 games in a row. That record, like Wilt's 100 point game, is one that in all likelihood will never be broken. - Sargebri

      • During the good nights, Arlene said, "Happy Caribbean" to John Daly. John did not reply. Possibly, John and his new wife Virginia are taking a trip to the Caribbean for their honeymoon. - Suzanne

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the department store detective, Mrs. McAvoy -- most likely because she identified the name of the store where she worked when she signed in. John had asked her where she was from, meaning what city she was from, but she gave the panel a hint when she replied "Lit Brothers." John was probably reasonably assured that Bennett had heard this, thus helping Bennett to identify her line so quickly. John flipped all the cards for the final challenger at three down and seven to go because time had run out. - agent_0042

      • OPENING TITLE OVERLAY WATCH: It appears the production staff has reverted to going from the opening animated titles to a shot of the center stage to the "WHAT'S MY LINE?" overlay title appearing one second later on shows with curtain entrances, as has begun to be evidenced on EPISODE #542 of December 11, 1960 and continuing with tonight's show. - W-B

      • One year after his appearance on the show, Wilt Chamberlain would set a record that still hasn't been broken as of 2004. On March 2, 1962, while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors (later named the Golden State Warriors) against the New York Knickerbockers (aka the Knicks) Chamberlain scored an amazing 100 points. That amazing record still stands to this day. - Sargebri

      • This was a super show. Emily, the store detective, was great. When John greeted her at the sign-in board, he asked her where she was from. She replied, "Lit Brothers" instead of the city she was from. Maybe the panel heard this clue? After Bennett guessed her fairly quickly, she was asked, "What was the biggest thing anyone ever tried to steal?" After the question was repeated several times, due to her obvious hearing loss, she finally told a funny story about a woman who came into the store and swallowed a diamond ring! - chromatica (David)

      • You have to be quick to catch it, but during the goodbyes, Bennett says, "I'm glad you're back Dorothy." - taherb

      • The final contestant, "Sascha" Burland (Granville Alexander Burland) wrote the opening theme to WML called "Sounds." He also released an LP titled "The Nutty Squirrels" that John Daly stated was a hit seller. It was a jazzy companion piece to a cartoon series of the same name. Sascha Burland later went on to write the 1966 instrumental hit "No Matter What Shape Your Stomach's In," the famous Alka-Seltzer TV commercial jingle. - Suzanne

      • Joan Crawford promoted her upcoming appearance on The Zane Grey Theater. At the end of her game, Joan introduced two of her four adopted children, Cathy and Cynthia (Cindy). The girls walked on stage and shook hands with Mr. Daly. These are the girls that Joan attempted to "pass off as twins" even though they were not twins. They were born one month apart, and were not biologically related in any way. - Suzanne

      • Bennett mentioned Joan Crawford's Pepsi-Cola Corporation connection. Here is the background: In May 1955, Joan married Pepsi-Cola Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alfred N. Steele. He died unexpectedly in April 1959, the victim of a heart attack. In May 1959, Joan was elected to the Board of Directors of Pepsi. (I will surmise that she was elected to the board because she had inherited a large amount of Pepsi stock from her husband Alfred Steele. She thus would have had a large block of votes, and could have been in a position to influence the corporation.) She was the first woman ever to serve on that board, and also signed a publicity contract as a celebrity spokesperson for Pepsi-Cola. She retained her board seat until 1972, when Pepsi-Cola forced her out. - Suzanne

      • GREAT EPISODE! This was a delightful and fun episode! At 7 feet, 1 & 1/16th inch height, things were looking up for Wilt Chamberlain! (Bennett's pun influence is still strong!) It was especially cute when both Bennett and Joey Bishop stood on their chairs to shake hands with Wilt after his game was over. The added height put Joey eye-to-eye with Wilt! Speaking of Joey, he opens Wednesday night in Las Vegas at the Sands Hotel and Casino. Also, the elderly detective was so entertaining! Bennett guessed her very quickly, probably because he heard the accidental clue that she worked for Lit Brothers. Clay Leak of Alabama summed it up when he said, "That department store detective lady was the most adorable and hilarious thing I have seen on this show in a long time! I love when the contestant is hard of hearing! It makes for a cute episode." - Suzanne

      • Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Joey Bishop, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (1)