What's My Line?

Season 12 Episode 21


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jan 22, 1961 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
7 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Miss Marianne Means (b. 6/13/1934) - "White House Correspondent" (salaried; age 26; she is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society; born in Sioux City, Iowa; currently living in the "Foggy Bottom" historic district of Washington, D.C.)

Game 2: Mrs. Lorraine Trester - "Mink Rancher" (self-employed; she owns and breeds minks; Arlene Francis started the questioning and won this game in one turn; from Sheboygan, Wisconsin)

Game 3: Mahalia Jackson (10/26/1911 - 1/27/1972) (as Mystery Guest) She recently sang The Star-Spangled Banner at JFK's Presidential Inaugural Gala.

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)

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Betsy: And I would like to introduce the man who will sit on my left and who comes well-prepared for Hawaii or anyplace else. Bennett Cerf-Board.

    • NOTES (14)

      • During the post-game chat with mystery guest Mahalia Jackson, John mentioned that the inaugural gala had been organized by Frank Sinatra - who, of course, had been involved in a bitter and long-standing feud with Dorothy Kilgallen at the time. - W-B

      • This was an interesting night due to the absence of Dorothy Kilgallen, who was incapacitated after "falling ill" while in Washington for the inauguration proceedings. Subbing for her was "I've Got a Secret" golden girl Betsy Palmer. Also on the panel was Governor William Quinn III of the 50th state, Hawaii. Interestingly, Quinn was previously a "regular contestant" on WML on EPISODE #423 of July 13, 1958, while Hawaii was in the process of becoming a state. It was an interesting parallel that the first game tonight also featured yet another contestant who would later become a guest panelist, Marianne Means, who will again appear on WML on EPISODE #793 of December 5, 1965. As for the games themselves, the panel had a fairly good night. In the first game, the panel failed to guess that Marianne was a White House press correspondent. In fact, they were nibbling around the edges and the closest they came was when they figured out that she had something to do with the press. However, in the second game, Arlene gave a remarkable performance as she did a solo in guessing that the lovely young contestant was a mink breeder. In the mystery guest round, the panel really had a lot of difficulty trying to identify gospel legend Mahalia Jackson. At one point, a still-blindfolded Arlene incorrectly guessed that she was Marian Anderson. However, just as it looked as if the panel was going to go down to defeat, Arlene blurted out that it was Miss Jackson and saved the day. After the round, John related the story about how a huge snowstorm almost ruined the inaugural gala, but that most of the artists who were scheduled to appear did make it, but due to the storm they had to perform in their street clothes rather than their tuxedoes and gowns. During the good nights, the panel wished Dorothy well and said they hoped she would be back the next week. However, it would be a little while before Dolly Mae would be heard from again. - Sargebri

      • KILGALLEN WATCH!!! Bennett said that Dorothy wasn't on the show due to the fact that she became ill while at the inauguration and had to be hospitalized. However, it would later be revealed that Dorothy's "illness" was actually her substance abuse problems finally catching up to her and she was admitted into the Le Roy Sanitarium for a few weeks while she was trying to combat them. Of course, Dorothy would make a surprise appearance two weeks later, but not on her customary seat on the panel, but as a very special mystery guest. - Sargebri

      • As was mentioned earlier, Marianne Means was one of the very fortunate few - along with Governor Quinn and Jeanne Parr - to appear on What's My Line? both as "regular contestants" and as panelists. Ironically, even though Dorothy was not on the panel this evening, Marianne would appear on the panel a few weeks after Dorothy's sudden passing. Also, a few years after her appearance on the show tonight, Marianne would leave the White House press corps and start writing the column which she would become famous for. Marianne's syndicated column, distributed by King Features, is printed in some 500 newspapers and is known for really taking aim at the foibles and follies of American politicians. She employs a "take no prisoners" style and plays no favorites in who she goes after, be it the Democrats or the Republicans. Her complete bio can be found at the web site shown below.


        The third person who appeared as first a "regular contestant" and then a guest panelist was Jeanne Parr. She was a contestant on EPISODE #516 of June 5, 1960 with the occupation of "Television Weather Girl." We next saw her as a guest panelist with an overlay screen that read "TV Newscaster" on EPISODE #807 of March 13, 1966. - Sargebri

      • FLIP REPORT: On the first challenger, John threw in the towel with nine cards down and flipped the remaining card. In the second game, Arlene won the round when she asked a series of questions and never received a "no" answer. In honor of Arlene's achievement with the second challenger, John flipped all the cards. - agent_0042

      • The opening of this episode took longer than usual. The introductions of the various panelists took up a fair amount of time and then John Daly talked for a couple of minutes before calling for the word from the sponsor. - agent_0042

      • (1) A variation on Arlene's usual introduction during the opening is used tonight. She is introduced as "The lovely star of stage and television," rather than the usual introduction of "The delightful star of stage and television."
        (2) Governor William Quinn's nameplate reads "GOV. QUINN" on the panel desk.
        (3) Bennett's influence seems to have rubbed off on guest panelist Betsy Palmer, given her introduction of him as "Bennett Cerf-Board." This was both a reference to Gov. Quinn's state of Hawaii and to Bennett's newspaper column titled "The Cerf Board." - W-B

      • I really enjoyed this episode. This is my first view of Mahalia Jackson. After further checking, I learned that she was a great messenger for our Lord. John Daly made a special comment to the audience that Mahalia Jackson was the most talented gospel singer in America at the present time. This is very true, as she was enormously popular. Of course, when the panel was blindfolded, they were confused as to how she could be a recording star, yet not appear in cabarets and nightclubs. It was a very interesting segment. Also, I am amazed at the description of the major snowstorm they talked about. I was only 4 years old when this episode aired, but rate it one of the best, in part because of the current events that were taking place then. - trainsfiremandave

      • It was interesting to see Betsy Palmer on WML. From 1957 to 1967, she was a panelist on "I've Got a Secret" which was always played more for laughs. For this show, she dialed it down a bit. Five years later, on December 5, 1965, three weeks after Dorothy Kilgallen's death, Marianne Means would appear as a guest panelist. Also, she was the only female White House reporter who was in Dallas the day that President Kennedy was assassinated. As of 2004, she now writes a syndicated column, distributed by King Features, which exposes the excesses and follies of government. - Sargebri

      • Arlene guessed the mink rancher all by herself! She started and ended the questioning! John gave her the praise she so aptly deserved. - Suzanne

      • Hawaii's First Governor, William Francis Quinn (born 1919) - also known as William Quinn - Born in Rochester, Monroe County, N.Y., July 31, 1919. Republican. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; candidate for Hawaii territorial senate, 1956; Governor of Hawaii Territory, 1957-59; Governor of Hawaii, 1959-62; candidate for U.S. Senator from Hawaii, 1976. Catholic.

      • Regarding Dorothy Kilgallen's addiction, there was no "rehab" in 1961 in the sense that we know of it today in 2004. As a matter of fact, Dorothy never even went to what was then called a sanitarium for her addiction to pills and alcohol. "Rehab" is a modern, post-1970s term. Dorothy was simply kept at the LeRoy Hospital on Manhattan's east side to dry out. There was no "rehabilitation" per se. That would imply that she entered, as we call it today, a program of recovery. 1961 east side Manhattan did not have a culture that gave someone like Dorothy permission to enter AA. Today she would have had a far different experience, had she still chosen to follow it. Her acute alcoholism and barbiturate addiction landed her back at the LeRoy hospital two years later in March of 1963. - WML Fan

      • During the introductions, Bennett stated that Dorothy was incapacitated at the President Kennedy inaugural festivities, and that Betsy Palmer was taking her place for the evening. He gave no specific details. At the end of the show, John and the panelists wished warm "get well wishes" to Dorothy in a very sweet manner. She was obviously missed. From our historical viewpoint, we know that Dorothy was suffering from substance abuse problems. In January 1961, she was admitted to New York's LeRoy Hospital for alcohol abuse treatment. - Suzanne

      • William Quinn (7/13/1919 - 8/28/2006)

        Panel: Arlene Francis, Governor William Quinn, Betsy Palmer, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (1)