What's My Line?

Season 13 Episode 18


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Dec 31, 1961 on CBS
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Episode Summary


Game 1: Ralph Saggese (7/16/1906 - 10/5/1993) - "Owner of Peppermint Lounge (Home of 'The Twist')" (self-employed; he owns and operates the popular cocktail bar & dance spot on 45th Street in New York City; from Jackson Heights, New York)

Game 2: Miss Dee Purcello - "Professional Bowler" (salaried; she gives lessons and exhibitions for her sponsor, American Machine & Foundry Co. aka AMF; from Omaha, Nebraska)

Game 3: Mickey Rooney (9/23/1920 - 4/6/2014) (as Mystery Guest)


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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)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (7)

    • HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Tonight's episode was broadcast on New Year's Eve and it was a great night for the panel as they rang out 1961. In the first game, Bennett correctly guessed that Mr. Saggese was the owner of the popular night spot, the Peppermint Lounge. In the second game, Dorothy managed to narrow Miss Purcello's area of interest to bowling, but it was Martin who correctly guessed that she was a professional bowler. Things definitely pointed to a perfect night. Then the unthinkable happened, as for the first time in a long time they blew it in the mystery guest round as they failed to identify Mickey Rooney. Mickey really fooled the panel with his very high little boy voice. After the game, he talked about his appearance in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" as well as the upcoming release of the film version of "Requiem for a Heavyweight," in which he co-starred with Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason and Julie Harris. He also promoted his private schools which were geared toward helping young people enter the entertainment business. Despite the poor game-win performance, this was a wonderful way for the panel to ring in the New Year of 1962. - Sargebri

    • As was mentioned in the first game, Mr. Saggese was the owner of what was then the hottest nightclub in New York, the Peppermint Lounge. The Peppermint was known primarily as the home of the then current dance craze, the Twist. However, the Peppermint house band, Joey Dee and the Starliters, would later gain fame on their own and would have a number one single with the "Peppermint Twist," which was dedicated to the club where they got their start. Unfortunately, that was the highlight of their career and they faded back into obscurity after the Twist got stale. However, some of the members of the band would go on to bigger and better things. Three of the members, keyboardist/vocalist Felix Cavaliere, vocalist Eddie Brigati and guitarist Gene Cornish, would go on to form one of the most successful groups of the 1960's, the Young Rascals (later known as just the Rascals). That band would have hits with such songs as "Good Lovin'," "Groovin'," "Beautiful Morning" and "People Gotta Be Free." Another former member who would go on to bigger and better things was Academy Award winner Joe Pesci, who played guitar and sang backing vocals in an earlier version of the band. - Sargebri

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the first challenger at three down, though the panel came close to the occupation. There was no other holiday flipping for this episode, though. - agent_0042

    • Happy New Year's Eve... in spirit... because during the end credits, the announcer, Johnny Olson, stated that this episode was prerecorded. From Gil Fates' logs, we know this episode was taped on December 3, 1961. - Suzanne

    • A new venue in New York took off in 1961, the Peppermint Lounge. The Peppermint Lounge featured live bands, usually Joey Dee & the Starliters, and despite its rough edges, began to attract celebrities to its dance floor, where everybody was doing the Twist. Tennessee Williams, Merle Oberon and Noel Coward were regulars. Norman Mailer did the Twist with Lord Beaverbrook's granddaughter. High society enjoyed slumming it, and the socialites, sailors and salesmen sweated it out together in the noisy gloom, posing, cruising, ogling. Press fascination with the Peppermint Lounge and numerous releases (from Chubby Checker, especially), reissues and reworked songs eulogizing the Twist made it rock 'n roll's first dance craze. It was shortlived and Chubby Checker went looking for the next big cash-in. In 1965 he released "At the Discotheque" on the B-side of "Do the Freddie." Checker got it wrong, the Freddie disappeared to whatever heaven dead dance crazes go but, by the end of 1965, five thousand discotheques had opened in America. - Dave Haslam

    • Many laughs were had over Dorothy's cryptic question to the mystery guest, "Do you now, or have you ever, slept on lavender sheets?" Bennett knew who she was thinking of, and it was Kim Novak. - Suzanne

    • Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Martin Gabel, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.


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