What's My Line?

Season 14 Episode 48


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jul 28, 1963 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • GOOF: While on camera, one end of Peter Cook's clip-on bow tie becomes unclipped and hangs free. Before the questioning cycles around again, his bow tie is once again correctly in place on his shirt. - Suzanne (2006)

  • Quotes

    • Bennett Cerf (to the umpire): I think, Mr. Somers, that umpires are the most mistreated, underpaid people in professional sports.
      Al Somers: I agree with you!

  • Notes

    • (1) SIR RALPH RICHARDSON: During the first season of the Canadian-based "Second City Television" (aka "SCTV") in 1976-1977, tonight's mystery guest, Sir Ralph Richardson, made a memorable guest appearance, along with Sir John Gielgud, in an episode called "Crosswords," which first aired in Canada on December 16, 1976. The two esteemed British actors appeared on the show as themselves. The details on "SCTV's" parody of "WML?" can be found in the notes to EPISODE #318 of July 8, 1956.
      (2) DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN: Tonight's second contestant, Al Somers, would go on to make another "WML?" appearance, in the 1968-1975 color syndicated version. Incredibly, he was the second contestant on that show too, and signed in as "Mr. X." On both tonight's classic episode and the future syndicated episode, his occupation was listed as "Runs School for Baseball Umpires." This later syndicated episode was taped on March 6, 1969 and was hosted by Wally Bruner. The daytime panel on that occasion consisted of Soupy Sales, Joanna Barnes, Hal Holbrook and Arlene Francis, who was the only other person besides Mr. Somers to have been on both the 1963 and 1969 editions. The mystery guest for this syndicated episode was the famed hair stylist, Vidal Sassoon. The 1969 episode was aired by GSN on August 8, 2006 as part of a month-long tribute connected with the 70th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
      (3) "WML?" CREW CREDITS WATCH: As with the live EPISODE #652 which was transmitted directly after the taping of tonight's show, John Kuehn is credited as associate director, subbing for Alvin R. Mifelow. - W-B (2006)

    • THE STORY BEHIND BENNETT'S UNSMILING REACTION: When Sir Ralph Richardson was the mystery guest tonight, Arlene praised his then-recent film performance of Eugene O'Neill's play, "Long Day's Journey Into Night." The audience, as well as guest panelists Phyllis Newman and Peter Cook, applauded the comment. In addition, John Daly had positive things to say about the movie. But, Bennett didn't join in with any accolades and looked extremely displeased as he fiddled with his bow tie. There was a reason for this. Bennett was O'Neill's longtime publisher and O'Neill had requested that this play, which was autobiographical and very painful for him to write, not be published until 25 years after his death. Bennett sought to honor this request, but O'Neill's widow Carlotta went around him.

      Here is a summary which was found on the net: "O'Neill gave the manuscript of LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT to Bennett Cerf at Random House on November 29, 1945. The manuscript was sealed in a safe, along with a document signed by O'Neill prohibiting Random House from publishing the play until twenty-five years after his death. When, two years after O'Neill's death, Carlotta asked Random House to publish the play, Cerf refused, believing himself honor-bound to O'Neill's document. Carlotta, who possessed the legal right to O'Neill's literary estate, withdrew the manuscript from Random House and presented it to the Yale University Press, which published the play in February, 1956."

      Even though present-day references to WML personalities are sadly few and far between, they do occur, as this Bennett Cerf reference occurred on National Public Radio in April, 2006. - jerrylh41 (2006)

    • REVIEW: This was a fairly decent and fun night for the panel as they had a somewhat successful night. In the first game, Bennett correctly guessed that Miss Kim from Korea was a television personality in her homeland. In fact, Bennett got so close to determining her exact line that John decided to flip all the cards, but for fun, he had Bennett try to guess what she did on television. Bennett then made the correct call when he guessed that she was on the Korean version of WML. In the second game, Arlene got close when she guessed that Al Somers was an umpire. Unfortunately, neither she nor any of the other panel members could identify that Somers ran a school for umpires in Daytona Beach, Florida. In the mystery guest round, Phyllis correctly identified Sir Ralph Richardson. Ironically, Phyllis was probably the only person to get a "no" answer during the questioning of Sir Ralph. Also, Sir Ralph left the stage before he could promote the film "Long Day's Journey Into Night." In the final game of the night, the panel ran out of time before they could figure out that the young man from Ireland was a butler. However, this didn't put a damper on what was a fun evening. - Sargebri (2006)

      KILGALLEN WATCH!!! Anyone watching this episode that Sunday night in July 1963 might have been wondering where Dorothy was. The answer was simple. This episode was taped five months earlier in February 1963 when Dorothy was becomingly increasingly ill. In March 1963, she was hospitalized for the treatment of her substance abuse problems. When this episode was finally aired in July 1963, Dorothy may still have been in England covering the trial. - Sargebri (2006)

      FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the first contestant at seven down. Bennett had come close and then identified the line afterwards on a guess. John also flipped all the cards for the final contestant at seven down because time ran out. - agent_0042 (2006)

    • HISTORY OF EARLY KOREAN TELEVISION BROADCASTING: Television broadcasting in Korea started on May 12, 1956 when the Korea Office Radio Corporation of America (RCA) Distributor (KORCAD) (with the call sign of HLKZ) beamed television signals with an output of 100W in Seoul. It is estimated that there were about 300 television sets across the country at that time, so in order to have more audiences, KORCAD had to install 31 television sets in 22 spots in Seoul streets. It was the fifteenth ever television broadcasting in the world. From June 1, 1956, KORCAD-TV began two hours of regular broadcasting every other day. From November 1, 1956, it increased its broadcasting for up to two hours per day except for no broadcasting on Friday. However, with little advertising sales, KORCAD-TV went into the red. In the end, in May 1957, an up-and-coming Korean newspaper company Hankook Ilbo bought out KORCAD, renaming it to Daehan Broadcasting Corporation (DBC-TV). In early 1959, however, a mysterious fire broke out in the DBC-TV station, burning most of the broadcasting facilities. Since then, DBC-TV had barely kept in existence by relying on the facilities of the U.S. military station, American Forces Korean Network (AFKN), for its 30 minutes of broadcasting per day. An affiliate of the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), AFKN began television broadcasting in 1957, targeting 60,000-strong audience of U.S. military personnel, civilian employees, and their dependents in Korea, with limited influences on the Korean "shadow audience" who watched the channel either for the purpose of English learning or from the desire for American popular culture. DBC-TV ceased broadcasting in 1961 by relegating its television channel to KBS. - Doobo Shim and Dal Yong Jin (2006)

      THE AL SOMERS UMPIRE SCHOOL: The Al Somers School for Umpires was the first of its kind in baseball history. Previously, umpires learned their profession without standardized training and mechanics. In a fifty year period, amazingly, Somers' school taught and produced over 70 umpires who eventually worked in the major leagues. The school still exists today in 2006. It is now owned by former MLB umpire Harry Wendelstedt and his son, current MLB ump Hunter Wendelstedt. Harry and Hunter have the distinction of being the only father and son to have umpired a MLB game together. - exapno (2006)

      Visit their web page here:


      Sir Ralph Richardson jumped up so fast after his game that John didn't even have a chance to talk to him. Arlene then mentioned how marvelous Sir Ralph Richardson is in his 1962 film, "Long Day's Journey Into Night," which is author Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical account of his explosive life at home. Other Sir Ralph accolades were also offered. - Suzanne (2004)

      This episode was prerecorded. From Gil Fates' logs, we know this episode was taped on February 17, 1963. - Suzanne (2004)

      Panel: Arlene Francis, Peter Cook, Phyllis Newman, Bennett Cerf.

  • Allusions