What's My Line?

Season 17 Episode 20


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Jan 16, 1966 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
2 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: Henry A. Barnes (12/16/1906 - 9/16/1968) (as Mystery Guest #1) - "Henry Barnes, Traffic Commissioner of N.Y.C." (salaried; Henry Barnes and John discussed Henry's new changes for New York, including changing 5th Avenue into a one-way street heading Southbound, and changing Madison Avenue into a one-way street heading Northbound. Also mentioned were Henry's radio shows with both Carol Reed and Jack Sterling. Many of Henry Barnes' traffic innovations are still in use today in 2007. For more Henry Barnes information, see EPISODE #602 of February 18, 1962.)

Game 2: Mrs. Louise Davidson - "Designs Door Knobs" (self-employed; her company is named Novelties by Louise, and she makes doorknobs out of many diverse items, including abalone shells; from Whittier, CA)

Game 3: Mickey Rooney (b. 9/23/1920) (as Mystery Guest #2) . .moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
    John Daly

    John Daly

    Moderator (1950-1967)

    Arlene Francis

    Arlene Francis

    Regular Panelist (1950-1967)

    Bennett Cerf

    Bennett Cerf

    Regular Panelist (1951-1967)

    Henry Barnes

    Henry Barnes

    Mystery Guest #1

    Guest Star

    Mickey Rooney

    Mickey Rooney

    Mystery Guest #2

    Guest Star

    Steve Allen

    Steve Allen

    Guest Panelist

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (6)

      • REVIEW: This was a pretty good night for the panel, especially for Arlene, who was responsible for both correct guesses. The panel, or more specifically Arlene, went 2 for 3 for the evening. The evening was made even more special due to the fact that after a two week delay, Jayne Meadows made her long awaited return to WML. In the first game, Arlene got things rolling by correctly identifying the first mystery guest; New York City Traffic Commissioner Henry Barnes. Barnes, of course, discussed the recent transit strike and he, along with John and the panel, made some rather unflattering remarks about Mike Quill. The only hiccup for the night came in the second game when the panel didn't guess that the stylishly dressed lady designed doorknobs. In the second mystery guest round of the evening, Arlene once again stole the show by identifying Mickey Rooney. Mickey not only promoted his engagement at the Latin Quarter, but he also talked about his upcoming hosting duties on ABC's "Hollywood Palace" variety show, his upcoming appearance on "The Lucy Show," his book "IE" and last, but not least, his chain of schools for young people who want to break into show business. That definitely put a nice capper on a rather successful evening. - Sargebri (2007)

        MICKEY ROONEY'S TABAS HOTEL AND THEATER: In addition to the other ventures with which Mickey Rooney was involved, as noted above, for many years he was co-owner (with local businessman Daniel Tabas) of Mickey Rooney's Tabas Hotel and Theater in Downingtown, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. The hotel ran commercials throughout the 1970's and into the '80's in the late evening and overnight hours on several radio stations, notably WCBS "Newsradio 88" in New York City. It closed in 1999 and reopened in 2003 as Ashbridge Manor, a senior-citizen community. - W-B (2007)

        JAYNE MEADOWS NOW ARRIVING ON RUNWAY 1-NINER!!! As was mentioned earlier, Jayne Meadows was originally supposed to appear on the show two weeks earlier, but because of bad weather, she was circling high above New York as that show was being broadcast. Tonight was her first appearance on the show in the post-Dorothy era. She would make several more appearances, accompanied by her husband, WML's prodigal son, Steve Allen. - Sargebri (2007)

        SINATRA MENTION: During the good nights, Bennett jokingly said that Jayne looked like Mia Farrow, and Arlene chimed in by wondering aloud if Frank Sinatra was not too far behind. Ironically, ten months later, Frank and Mia would appear in what many have called the most memorable episode in WML history. That night, Frank appeared as the first mystery guest and then replaced WML producer Mark Goodson on the panel. Later that evening, Mia was the second mystery guest and the panel guessed her identity very quickly. Frank then joked about the difference in their ages by saying to Mia, "naughty, naughty," calling her a "sneak," and asking her why she wasn't at home. - Sargebri (2007)

      • HENRY BARNES: The traffic commissioner of New York City first appeared on WML EPISODE #602. For that first appearance, the panel was not blindfolded and Barnes simply signed in as "Mr. X." At the time, Barnes was newly appointed. Dorothy Kilgallen identified him that night, as part of a perfect night for the panel. - agent_0042 (2007)

      • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight's opening sponsor is the Ford Motor Company.
        (2) Tonight's live "WML?" show is the sixth since Dorothy Kilgallen's death to keep the "live" wording intact on the kinescope recording. Also, for the third straight week, a male guest panelist - Steve Allen, "the popular host of 'I've Got a Secret'" - is introduced first.
        (3) In the episode summary, mention is made of New York City Traffic Commissioner Henry Barnes' appearing on the radio shows of Jack Sterling and Carol Reed. Mr. Sterling was a popular radio host at the time on CBS' New York radio flagship, WCBS (880 AM), where he held court in the mornings from 1948 until later in 1966. In addition, in the early 1950's, he hosted a Philadelphia-based television show, "The Big Top," as the ringmaster, and one of the clowns at one point in the show's run was future "Tonight Show" sidekick Ed McMahon. After leaving WCBS, Sterling joined WHN (1050 AM) for a while and then, for years afterwards, did radio commercials for Family Circle magazine - which, ironically, aired in New York on WCBS after it became "Newsradio 88." He died in 1990 at age 75. There is a tribute to Jack Sterling on the Web:


        As for Carol Reed, she was a weather girl on WCBS-TV (Channel 2) from 1952 to 1964, and at the time of tonight's show, she also hosted a radio program on WCBS. She is not to be confused with the male British film director of the same name, Sir Carol Reed. Miss Reed died in 1970 at age 44.
        (4) A "CRYSTAL BALL" MOMENT? - During the good nights, Bennett noted that Jayne looked so young, he almost mistook her for Mia Farrow, after which Arlene chimed in, "Can Sinatra be far behind?" Before the year was out, not only Frank Sinatra, but also his then-wife Miss Farrow, appeared on "WML?" EPISODE #838 of November 27, 1966.
        (5) "WML?" CREW CREDITS WATCH: The same crew members which were credited on one of the production crew slides last week are in place for tonight's show.
        (6) Following the September 24, 2007 airing of tonight's "WML?" show, GSN aired one of only two known surviving episodes of the 1971-1975 ABC incarnation of "Password," as a tribute to long-time "Match Game" panelist Brett Somers who died on September 15, 2007 at age 83. She and her husband, Jack Klugman, were the celebrity contestants on this show which originally aired on or about October 23, 1973. (The other known episode to exist was a 1972 edition with Sheila MacRae and Martin Milner.) Interestingly, while the announcer introduced her as Brett Somers, her name was shown on the lower-third overlay screen (set in Lydian Bold) as "Brett Somers Klugman," and host Allen Ludden actually addressed her at one point as Brett Klugman! This episode, which exists on color videotape, could have come from either one of the ABC affiliates that aired the show or a private collector who had worked in the industry, as the audio frequency response ranges from 50 Hz to 5 kHz, which suggests that the audio was transmitted via AT&T phone (telco) lines as was customary with the feed to most network affiliates across the country at the time, as opposed to the higher-quality 50 Hz-15 kHz audio frequency response of other Goodson-Todman shows that exist on videotape, whether black-and-white or color, as was heard on major-market TV stations such as in New York. In addition, within the first two minutes or so of the start of this show, there is a tracking problem on the tape which wreaks havoc with the color. This episode previously aired on the cable and satellite channel on September 11, 2006, back-to-back with a 1967 color videotape episode of the CBS "Password." As a side note, the videotape masters of a few episodes of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" - which originally aired on December 20, 1975 and May 21, 1977, as well as the Mardi Gras episode from February 20, 1977 - also have low-quality, "pinched"-sounding audio equivalent to this surviving ABC "Password" installment. - W-B (2007)

      • MRS. ALLEN HAS FINALLY LANDED! Jayne Meadows was supposed to join the panel two weeks earlier with her husband Steve Allen. But due to bad weather, her plane was in a holding pattern while Steve, who was on an earlier flight, landed safe and sound. Luckily, she managed to join the panel on an especially fun evening. Arlene was very hot tonight, as she guessed both mystery guests, traffic commissioner Henry Barnes and Mickey Rooney. The contestant that came on after Barnes really seemed to have fun on the show, and had a very bubbly personality. This made it easier for the panel to accept getting totally stumped! Mickey Rooney really had a busy week coming up. After finishing his engagement at the Latin Quarter, he would soon be appearing on an episode of "The Lucy Show" as well as appearing on "The Hollywood Palace" and starting a new picture. He also promoted his new school for performing arts. This show definitely had an "I've Got a Secret" feel to it. Steve was in the middle of his second year as host of the program after taking over from Garry Moore, and his lovely wife Jayne had been a panelist on that show from 1952 to 1959. Steve and Jayne were married on July 31, 1954, almost 12 years previously. However, Jayne mentioned that 13 years ago, it was Bennett who had hosted their first wedding party. Maybe she was referring to an engagement party. At any rate, they would be very happily married for another 34 years until Steve's death in October of 2000. This truly was a fun evening. - Sargebri (2004)

      • The versatile Mickey Rooney promoted several items, including his new book "i.e., an autobiography by Mickey Rooney"; his upcoming TV appearances on The Fugitive, Hollywood Palace, and The Lucille Ball Show; his current films; and his school in Los Angeles for young talent. - Suzanne (2004)

        Several references were made to Mike Quill (Michael J. Quill). He founded the Transport Workers Union, and hence the skirmish with Barnes, since his union had held a recent 12-day strike in NYC. More strike details are listed on the previous episode. He literally gave his life for the strike. Against all medical advice, Quill had insisted on leading his union members in this particular strike. He died on January 28, 1966, three days after speaking at the mass rally called to celebrate the new contract, and 12 days after this broadcast. Quill is buried in the same cemetery as Dorothy Kilgallen and Fred Allen, the Cemetery of the Gate of Heaven in New York. - Suzanne (2004)

        Tidbits: John stated it was a chilly 13 degrees Fahrenheit outside! John told a pun, and mentioned that Bennett Cerf wrote a column for King Features. This was the first time Bennett's column has been mentioned. Suzanne (2004)

      • Panel: Steve Allen, Arlene Francis, Jayne Meadows, Bennett Cerf.

    • ALLUSIONS (1)