What's My Line?

Season 14 Episode 17


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Dec 23, 1962 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Game 1: John Carruthers or Caruthers (His signature was so illegible, even Mr. Daly commented on his chicken scratch. I'm posting the two common spellings of this surname) - "Raises Reindeer" (self-employed; he and his family raise reindeer; from Santa Cruz, CA)

Game 2: Mrs. Barbara Boone - "Collects Traffic Tolls at Lincoln Tunnel, NJ to NY" (salaried; African-American; she works at the toll plaza and stated that the public only pays on the NJ side of the tunnel, heading into NY; from New York, NY)

Game 3: Liberace (5/16/1919 - 2/4/1987) (as Mystery Guest) His "signature" was a lovely drawing of a grand piano complete with his trademark candelabra on top. He is opening at the Latin Casino in Camden, NJ on January 9, 1963.

Game 4: Mr. Barrie Sloan (11/29/1931 - 3/19/2007) - "Professional Stilt Walker (Circus Act)" (salaried; he works for the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros Circus; from London, England; Barrie's wife Shelagh Sloan will be a contestant on EPISODE #825 on August 7, 1966 while then working for the Ringling Brothers Circus. John mentions that her husband was on an episode in 1962, but does not mention Barrie's name. Shelagh is pronounced as Sheila. See notes below.) . .moreless

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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 (0)

    • NOTES (13)

      • BUDDY & LEE: Guest panelist Buddy Hackett guessed the identity of the evening's special guest, Liberace, or Lee, as he was known to his friends. The amazing part is that Buddy identified Liberace by accident - with a lucky guess! The questioning got to the point where it was known that the celebrity to be identified played a musical instrument. Buddy then asked if the musical instrument was a piano. When the answer was "yes," Buddy blurted out, "Is it Liberace?" When the answer was again "yes," Buddy explained that he had guessed "Liberace" not because he thought that was who the guest was, but only so he could purposely mispronounce the latter part of the name to get a laugh, saying it not as "ah-che," but as "ace," as it is spelled. This episode holds a special meaning for me, because Buddy's stunt has stayed with me these many years. And while I saw some of these shows, as a young boy, when they originally aired, this is the only episode I actually remember, thanks to Buddy. Also, there is an interesting story about Liberace and his coining of a phrase. Some years before this show, a British tabloid had made some accusations about his sexual preferences. Liberace went to court and sued the paper for slander and won a hefty monetary settlement. (This is incredible in light of revelations that came out many years later!) When Liberace was asked - after the fact - if he was hurt by the ensuing hullabaloo and charges, he replied, "Yes, I cried all the way to the bank. - brklnbern

      • THE NAME'S THE SAME, BUT THE PRONUNCIATION IS OFF: Interestingly, given Buddy Hackett's unorthodox pronunciation of Liberace's name tonight, a 1999 independent film called "Rock 'n' Roll Frankenstein" featured a scene in which one of the characters pronounced the legendary showman & pianist's name as "LIE-ber-ACE" ("Liber Ace") because he was unaware of the correct pronunciation. - Peter Palmieri

      • REVIEW: This was less than a Merry Christmas for the panel as they didn't guess any of the regular contestants. Only Buddy's correct identification of the mystery guest prevented the panel from being shut out this evening. In the first game, the panel figured out that the contestant dealt with some kind of animal. However, they forgot what time of year it was and failed to figure out that he raised reindeer. In the second game, the panel also failed to guess that the contestant was one of the new female toll takers at the Lincoln Tunnel, which was celebrating its 25th anniversary that same year. Buddy managed - by accident - to save face for the panel when he correctly identified Liberace. To be humorous, Buddy offered a wild guess and purposely mispronounced the guest's name as Libber-ACE. Buddy was amazed when his guess was correct! Buddy explained that he'd only guessed Libber-ACE because he wanted to purposely mispronounce Liberace's name. At any rate, it chalked up the evening's one lone win for the panel. Liberace was on the show to promote his upcoming appearance at the Latin Casino. In the final game, the panel did figure out that the young man from England was a circus performer, but they failed to figure out that he was a stilt walker. This definitely was a less than spectacular way to celebrate Christmas. - Sargebri

      • As Liberace mentioned, he was preparing for an appearance at the Latin Casino in Camden, New Jersey. However, the Latin Casino actually was in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Despite the name, it was not a casino, but a very stylish nightclub where many of the top acts of the day would come to perform. Unfortunately, when casino gambling became legalized in New Jersey in 1977, the Latin as well as several other clubs in the vicinity closed down. - Sargebri

      • From Lee McIntyre: There's always a slight possibility for confusion when a program is prerecorded for later release, and this episode is no exception. This program, as is noted elsewhere, was taped Sunday, December 16, 1962, for release the following week on Sunday, December 23, 1962. In this era, rarely did performers acknowledge the fact that a particular program was prerecorded, beyond the obligatory "This program was prerecorded," notice that was required by the FCC. But tonight's episode produced this bit of inadvertent and revealing dialogue. During the panel's farewell:

        Dorothy: Merry Christmas to you, John, and to you, Buddy. ... And happy Las Vegas.

        Buddy Hackett: Thank you very much. I'm going to open at the Sahara ... [Buddy realizes that at the time the show is to be aired, he will have already opened!] ... I'm there now, in fact.

        Nervous giggles are heard all around, as the panel realizes the incongruity of what Buddy just said, which could be explained only by the fact that he was going to open in the week between the taping of the show and its release.

        Arlene (quick of wit, and distracting the viewers with a bit of auditory diversion): Yes, Buddy just flew in to be with us on one of those reindeer we missed in the first round!

        But even unflappable Arlene was flustered, for she then said, turning to Bennett Cerf, "Merry Christmas, John!"

      • FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the final challenger at seven down because time ran out. The panel came reasonably close to Sloan's occupation and John suggested they might have guessed it if there had been more time. - agent_0042

      • In contrast to the lighter color hairstyle of his only guest panelist appearance on EPISODE #629 of September 2, 1962, Liberace's hair color has become noticeably darker, and in fact would essentially remain that way until his death in 1987. His appearance tonight is similar to how he would appear in the 1965 film "The Loved One," in which he played "Mr. Starker," and which featured, in starring or supporting roles, such individuals who either had appeared or would in the future appear on "WML?" as Robert Morse, Jonathan Winters, Dana Andrews, Milton Berle and Tab Hunter. - W-B

      • Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Buddy Hackett, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.

      • Dorothy asked Barrie Sloan, "Do you 'do a turn' as we say?" He replied "yes." This is an old entertainment phrase that denotes "getting on stage and doing your act." Pictures of Barrie Sloan and his stilt-walking Sloan family can be seen at the STILTWALKERS web site listed below. - Suzanne


      • On December 11, 1961, John Carruthers (or Caruthers) was also a contestant on "To Tell The Truth." - Suzanne

      • Liberace promoted his appearance at the Latin Casino in Camden, NJ. During his mystery guest game, Dorothy incorrectly guessed that he was Vaughn Meader. Unbeknownst to her, Vaughn Meader would be the mystery guest on the following episode. - Suzanne

      • The Lincoln Tunnel is the world's only three-tube underwater vehicular tunnel facility, linking midtown Manhattan and central New Jersey. It travels underneath the Hudson River. - Suzanne

      • 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 16, 1962.

    • ALLUSIONS (1)