What's My Line?

Season 15 Episode 33


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Apr 12, 1964 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Game 1: Mr. Lee Shephard & Miss Lee Shepherd - "Television Weather Reporters" (both salaried; their names sound the same, but are not spelled the same; they both work for TV stations, Mr. Lee Shephard works at WTOP & Miss Lee Shepherd works at WJBK; Mr. Lee Shephard is from Washington D.C. & Miss Lee Shepherd is from Detroit, MI)

Game 2: Mr. Claude Goodyear - "Makes Nitroglycerine" (salaried; he works for the National Powder Company in Eldred, PA, where he has been employed for 13 years; see company notes below; from Olean, NY)

Game 3: Barbra Streisand (b. 4/24/1942) (as Mystery Guest) She signed in as "Barbraesi?? ? Streisand" complete with the three question marks.

Game 4: Mr. Mac Scherer - "Grinds & Packs Pepper" (salaried; he works for Pride of India Pepper Estates, Ltd.; from Brooklyn, NY) . .moreless

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)

Dorothy Kilgallen

Dorothy Kilgallen

Regular Panelist (1950-1965)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (7)

    • REVIEW: After the previous week's poor performance, the panel rebounded very nicely and went a very impressive 3 for 4 despite a couple of near-fatal errors. In the first game, Bennett would have gotten the credit for correctly guessing Mr. Lee Shephard and Miss Lee Shepherd were both weather forecasters, but he made a mistake when he unfortunately asked his question in the negative rather than the affirmative. Luckily, Dorothy was there to clean up Bennett's goof and identified their occupation. Bennett made up for his goof, in a big way, in the second game when he made the last second save by guessing that the contestant made nitroglycerin. In the mystery guest round, guest panelist Gore Vidal was so sure that it was Joanne Woodward that he briefly unmasked himself, even after John said he was wrong. As a result, John insisted that Gore Vidal disqualify himself. However, Dolly Mae correctly identified up-and-coming entertainment legend Barbra Streisand. Babs was on the show to promote the Broadway musical "Funny Girl," in which she played the role of legendary entertainer Fanny Brice. Of course, four years later, Streisand would star in the 1968 film version and would win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Babs also remarked that she watched WML since she was 9 years old. Unfortunately, the perfecto was foiled when the panel ran out of time while questioning the pepper packer. However, this still was a good evening for the panel. - Sargebri (2006)

      Interestingly, two years prior to her appearance on WML, Barbra Streisand was the heavy favorite to win a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a musical for her role in "I Can Get It for You Wholesale." However, she was defeated by someone who would go on to have a huge impact on WML, Phyllis Newman, who won for her work in "Subways Are for Sleeping." - Sargebri (2006)

      One of Gore Vidal's most infamous works was the transsexual comedy novel "Myra Breckinridge." The book was later adapted into a 1970 motion picture starring Raquel Welch as post-op "Myra" and also featured John Huston and Mae West. However, the film was universally panned and eventually would go down as one of the worst films in history according to the book of the same name. - Sargebri (2006)

    • (1) "LIVE" WATCH: This was the fourth known kinescope of a live "WML?" broadcast in which the word "live" was edited out of the introductory segment.
      (2) BAD RIDDLE ALERT - BENNETT STRIKES AGAIN: While not a pun this time, Bennett proved he could be just as atrocious in the riddle department with this groaner:
      "What's red and goes putt, putt, putt?"
      "An outboard apple."
      (3) "WML?" CREW CREDITS WATCH: For the second week in a row, Jay Fairman is substituting for B.A. Taylor at the audio board, and Dan F. Smith is once again credited as associate director. - W-B

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the television weather reporters at four down, even though Dorothy had correctly guessed their line. John flipped the remaining card for the second contestant at nine down, but Bennett had been correct that he made nitroglycerin. Finally, John flipped all the cards for the final contestant at three down because time ran out. - agent_0042

    • Barbra Streisand promoted the 1964 Broadway musical based on the life of Fanny Brice, "Funny Girl." Later, Barbra would reprise the role in the 1968 film version, and win an Oscar for her performance. (She tied with Katharine Hepburn in "The Lion in Winter.") Barbra had recently been featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Bennett mentioned that the accompanying Time article contained four pages of text. This is Barbra's first of two WML appearances. She wore a conservative dark lace dress with a matching waist-length jacket with elbow-length sleeves. Bennett wanted to know why she changed the spelling of her name from Barbara to Barbra. This was a rather ironic question for Bennett to ask, since his own wife had years earlier changed her birth name from Helen Nichols to Phyllis Fraser. Barbra replied that the extra "a" was like an appendix, not needed. She pantomimed "dropping it" with an outstretched arm. Unfortunately, Barbra's game was over much too quickly! It was an interesting look at a future megastar's humble beginnings. - Suzanne Astorino (2004)

      See screenshots of both of Barbra's WML appearances on Matt Howe's page:


      His site also contains the entire Time Magazine article which is mentioned by Bennett, and much more! - Suzanne

      QUALITY CONTROL? NATIONAL POWDER COMPANY: Watching this program in 2004, it seems odd that the explosives maker was giving out the nitroglycerine "recipe" on the air. He made the plant on Route 446 in Eldred Township, McKean County sound safe, but net research shows at least three explosions at the National Powder Company. In 1939, three men were killed in an explosion. In 1950, seven men were killed in an explosion which shook the entire town and was felt as far away as Portville, NY. In 1968, the plant explodes again and cracks windows as far away as Prentisvale, PA. The explosives manufactured were used primarily for the oil well drilling industry in northwest Pennsylvania. In 1977, the company was sold to Joyce National Powder Company, which eventually closed in the mid-1980s. In 1997, the 43 buildings on the property (covering over 200 acres) were auctioned off in parcels to approximately 30 separate purchasers. During demolition of the buildings, the new owners came upon haphazardly stored containers of hazardous substances (including thousands of pounds of nitroglycerine) in deteriorating condition. This led to an investigation by the EPA, and designation as an EPA Superfund Site for EPA cleanup action. - Suzanne Astorino (2004)

    • This is Barbra Streisand in pre-diva mode. She seemed truly awed when she appeared on the show. She mentioned watching WML every Sunday night when she was a child. She claimed it was her one last bit of freedom before school on Monday! (John Daly mentioned her being age 9, which would have been in April 1951, when WML had been on the air for a little over a year.) Barbra was truly touched when the panel sang her praises, and when John Daly relayed how Bette Davis had highly complimented her two weeks earlier on WML. Also, it is slightly ironic that Phyllis Newman, who was a frequent WML guest panelist in 1963, triumphed over Barbra for a Tony Award in 1962. (Barbra was nominated for another Tony Award in 1964 for "Best Actress in a Musical - Funny Girl," but also lost that year, to Carol Channing in "Hello, Dolly!") Another interesting thing about this appearance was that when Gore Vidal asked her if she were married to another performer, she replied, "yes." Barbra married fellow actor Elliott Gould on March 21, 1963, and they had just recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary. However, Gore Vidal was thinking of Paul Newman as the "other performer" when he asked the question! The funniest moment of Barbra's appearance was when Vidal then guessed she was Joanne Woodward, and prematurely removed his mask! He repeatedly claimed he did not see her, but John Daly still disqualified him. - Sargebri (2004)

    • Tidbits: Bennett announces that this is National Library Week. - Suzanne

    • Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Gore Vidal, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.