What's My Line?

Season 12 Episode 26

EPISODE #553

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Aired Daily 12:00 AM Feb 26, 1961 on CBS
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EPISODE #553
AIRED:
Game 1: Miss Debbie Drake (b. 3/28/1930) - "Teaches Reducing Exercises on TV" (salaried; she is the shapely hostess of the "Passport to Beauty" television series which airs in the morning on station WISH, and is syndicated and seen in 50 other cities; from Indianapolis, Indiana)

Game 2: Mrs. Lucille Troutt (as John said, "Troutt, double T") - "Sells Parking Meters" (salaried; she works for the Duncan Parking Meter Company which was founded in 1936 by yo-yo pioneer Donald Duncan; her territory includes all of Arkansas and Memphis, TN; from Benton, AR)

Game 3: Bobby Darin (5/14/1936 - 12/20/1973) (as Mystery Guest)

Per Gil Fates' handwritten logs, there was not enough time for the next scheduled contestant, a man who shoes horses for the New York City Police Department.
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SUBMIT REVIEW
    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)

    Bobby Darin

    Bobby Darin

    Mystery Guest

    Guest Star

    Debbie Drake

    Debbie Drake

    Contestant

    Guest Star

    Joey Bishop

    Joey Bishop

    Guest Panelist

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (6)

      • John: (to Bennett, referring to Bennett's return to the show from a vacation) It's nice to have you home, Pops.

      • Bennett: Bobby, bring your bride with you tonight?
        Bobby Darin: No, I did not. She's at home watching the show.
        Joey Bishop: John, for fifty dollars you can't expect the whole family to show up!

      • (In the mystery guest round, Joey Bishop had previously gotten a "no" when he asked if the guest snapped his fingers regularly. Now, Bobby Darin has been identified and Joey wants to argue his "no" response from John.)

        Joey Bishop: I think - I think I should have gotten a "yes" answer there, John!
        John: Well, we were begging the issue there because I suppose in contemporary terms, "Mack the Knife" is as well known a record as any in the whole history of records that has been produced. But we felt, Joey, that that would be giving too much away.
        Dorothy: But it's not just "Mack the Knife," it's everything! Joey was right!
        Bobby Darin: Oh no, I don't snap fingers on ballads, Dorothy.
        Dorothy (snapping): You sure do, honey. You sure do!
        Joey Bishop: You snap fingers when you can't get a table in a club!

      • Joey Bishop: Well, so far I have you selling pogo sticks.

        (Audience laughs, and Joey displays a few confused looks for about ten seconds)

        Joey Bishop: "I tell ya, John, I need the job, but I'm stuck!"

      • Joey Bishop, confused by one of John's trademark doubletalk answers - said while pointing his finger at John:

        Joey Bishop: "John, you son of a gun!"

        ("Son of a gun" was Joey Bishop's familiar catch phrase, which was also used on Joey's own television show)

      • Arlene: "Do you wear something other than what you are presently wearing on your job?"
        Debbie Drake: "Yes."
        Arlene: "Could it be considered in any way a costume or uniform?"
        Debbie Drake: "Yes."
        Arlene: "Is it in any way more revealing...though that would be..."
        Debbie Drake: "Yes, it would be."
        (Audience starts to laugh)
        Joey Bishop: "Wait a minute, where do you work?"
        (Audience laughs louder)
        Arlene: "You can tell him later. What I want to know is... (Audience laughs) ... would this revealing costume be in the area... well, I KNOW the area it covers, but would it be... (Audience laughs louder) ... anything like a bathing suit?

    • NOTES (12)

      • GSN skipped this episode on January 1, 2006 to air a tribute to Dick Clark. Shown instead was "WML?" EPISODE #421 of June 29, 1958 on which Mr. Clark was a guest panelist; it was preceded by an episode of "To Tell the Truth" which originally aired September 2, 1958, and which also featured Mr. Clark as a guest panelist. - W-B

      • POSSIBLE PIANO JOKE EXPLANATIONS: Regarding Joey Bishop's story about the piano being wheeled in at the White House dinner: My immediate thought was that his joke was referring to Harry Truman, who was known to play fairly well. However, he had been out of office since January 20, 1953, over eight years by the time this WML episode was broadcast. It could also have been a reference to Richard Nixon. He had just left office as Vice President under Eisenhower, and was known as a barrelhouse / banger type of player. Nixon had been "only" VP at that time, so I don't know if he would yet have been known for his piano playing as much as he was when he became President and could "impose" himself more at White House parties. Truman was better known for playing. - Scott Voiss

      • PIANO JOKE: A cryptic joke was told tonight that I don't understand. Bennett asked Joey Bishop to repeat the joke he had used while entertaining at the White House. John first "set things up" by explaining that a piano was wheeled out behind Joey. Joey then said that he turned around and saw a piano coming out on the stage, and said, "Good Heavens, don't tell me he's back in Washington." John and the panel laughed, so the joke apparently made sense to them. - talksonthephone

      • Despite the panel's good performance, it was still painful to watch as Dorothy was obviously inebriated this particular night. Ironically, a few weeks earlier she had been hospitalized to help combat her substance abuse problems. - Sargebri

      • This was a pretty good night for the panel. Frequent guest panelist Joey Bishop, the original "Son of a Gun" himself, correctly guessed that Debbie Drake was a television exercise instructor with her own show on television. Unfortunately, the initial good luck didn't carry over into the second game, as they were totally stumped by the lady who sold parking meters. Ironically, Bennett did ask if her product had anything to do with the law. The panel got lucky again when Bennett managed to guess that the evening's mystery guest was Bobby Darin. In fact, the only "no" the panel got was when Joey asked if the guest was famous for snapping his fingers. Joey also thought it might have been his good friend Frank Sinatra. However, that would have been next-to-impossible at the time, due to "Old Blue Eyes" feud with Dolly Mae Kilgallen. After the round, Bennett asked Bobby where his bride was. At this time, Bobby was married to Sandra Dee. Bobby then took time to promote the Heart Fund, which was special to him, because Bobby's own heart had been scarred by a severe case of rheumatic fever when he was a child. Unfortunately, in 1973, Bobby would die in the recovery room following open-heart surgery to replace two artificial valves that had been inserted in 1971. There was no formal funeral ceremony. Bobby willed that his body be donated to the U.C.L.A. Medical Facility for research. - Sargebri

      • GSN broadcast this episode on December 30, 2004 as part of a week-long celebration of the release of the new Bobby Darin biopic, "Beyond the Sea," starring Kevin Spacey. This was the third of Bobby's five What's My Line? appearances to be aired during the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. - Garrison Skunk

      • GSN did not show this episode in 2003. It was skipped over for unknown reasons. Possibly, it was being held over for the "Bobby Darin Fest" which was shown out-of-sequence in December 2004.

      • Bobby Darin walked on stage to great applause, holding a pipe. He promoted his appearance at the Copacabana in NYC. During his round, he used excellent impersonations of Dean Martin and Bing Crosby to disguise his voice. As always, his kindness and humor showed through. Even though he said he was earning $50 for the Heart Fund, Goodson-Todman paid all mystery guests an appearance fee of $500. Read more about Bobby's mystery guest segment at bobbydarin.net, where they have a full transcript of Bobby's round. Bobby Darin on 1961 WML - Suzanne

      • Debbie Drake is the author of a health and exercise book published in 1961, "Debbie Drake's Easy Way to a Perfect Figure and Glowing Health (For All Women - A Perfect Figure in Just Fifteen Minutes)" A quote on the book jacket proclaims, "Debbie soon discovered that simple exercises done 15 minutes each day along with proper diet, could give her the 38½ - 22 - 36 figure she has now." Debbie also made several recorded "exercise albums." A couple of her album titles were: "Look Good, Feel Great!" and "How To Keep Your Husband Happy." - Suzanne Astorino

      • DOROTHY'S WOES: If any person ever doubted that Dorothy Kilgallen appeared on What's My Line? while intoxicated, this is the episode for them to see. She is drunk, and her speech is slow and deliberate. While she can still play the game, she spends time clarifying the previous answers, and is generally not up to her usual game playing standards. The sad part is, in mid-January 1961, Dorothy had been admitted to New York's LeRoy Hospital for a month of rehabilitation for substance abuse. She is barely back to performing on What's My Line?, yet still obviously having sobriety problems. Decades later, we still feel sad for Dorothy, and wish we could have changed history for her. - Suzanne

      • Tidbits: Arlene will be opening in her play "Old Acquaintance" on March 6, 1961 at the Royal Point Sienna Theatre in Palm Beach, Florida. Bennett is just back from a vacation in Miami Beach, Florida. Joey Bishop had presided over a dinner for President John F. Kennedy in Washington, D.C. The occasion was the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner.

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

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

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