What's My Line?

Season 17 Episode 26


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Feb 27, 1966 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
7 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Game 1: The Supremes (as Mystery Guest Trio)

Diana Ross (b. 3/26/1944)
Mary Wilson (b. 3/6/1944)
Florence Ballard (6/30/1943 - 2/22/1976)

Game 2: John T. Pennel (7/25/1940 - 9/26/1993) - "Sells Wine" (salaried; he wholesales wine to United Vintners, the large grape-grower cooperative that owns Italian Swiss Colony Wine; see more wine notes below; John Pennel is also a pole vaulter, and he held world records in 1963, 1966 and 1969)

Game 3: Lana Turner (2/8/1921 - 6/29/1995) (as Mystery Guest #2)

Game 4: Mrs. Katharine Montgomery - "Assistant to Racetrack Bookie" (salaried; this elderly woman is from Hayling Island, Hampshire, England, and she handles the betting payoffs)

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)

    Diana Ross

    Diana Ross

    Mystery Guest

    Guest Star

    Mary Wilson

    Mary Wilson

    Mystery Guest

    Guest Star

    Florence Ballard

    Florence Ballard

    Mystery Guest

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (10)

      • REVIEW: This was a rather so-so night for the panel as they had a .500 record for the evening. In fact, the only correct guesses they got in regulation were the two mystery guests for the evening. In the first mystery guest round, Suzy correctly identified the Supremes, who were on the show to promote their engagement at the Copacabana. In the second game, which was the first regular game, Bennett correctly guessed that the former world record holder in the pole vault, John Pennel, sold wine. Unfortunately, Bennett's correct guess came after John had flipped all the cards. Bennett had better luck in the second mystery guest round as he correctly identified Lana Turner. Lana was in town to promote the classic tear jerker "Madame X" which was about to open. She mentioned that it was the first time that any of her pictures had been given a world premier. In the final game of the evening, Arlene correctly guessed that the rather elderly lady from England was a bookie. However, just like what happened earlier this evening to Bennett, she made the correct guess after John had flipped the cards. This night definitely was one where the old saying, "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades," definitely applied. - Sargebri (2007)

        GUEST PANELIST DIGBY WOLFE: "Digby Wolfe" may not have been a household name in America at the time, but it would be, just two years later. In 1967, he produced a television special for NBC titled "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In." That special did so well in the ratings that in January 1968 it was added to NBC'S prime time schedule and became one of the classic variety hours of that decade. Also, during the show's 1968 to 1973 run, it helped launch the careers of Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, Judy Carne, Ruth Buzzi, JoAnne Worley, Henry Gibson and others. - Sargebri (2007)

        JOHN PENNEL: At the time of his appearance on the show tonight, John Pennel was the world record holder in the pole vault. In fact, he was the first man in history to vault over 17 feet. However, he never achieved the big prize, an Olympic gold medal. In 1964, he suffered a back injury three weeks prior to the Tokyo Olympics and could do no better than 11th place. In his final appearance in the 1968 games in Mexico City, he was only able to finish in 5th place. - Sargebri (2007)

      • FLIP REPORT: In the second game, John flipped the remaining card for the night's first regular contestant at nine down. Suzy had come up with "wine" and Bennett had come pretty close to determining that the guest sold it. John flipped all the cards for the final contestant at five down. After they were flipped, Arlene impressively blurted, "not a bookmaker." The contestant was, in fact, not a bookmaker, but an assistant to one. - agent_0042 (2007)

      • (1) LANA TURNER: Three years after her mystery guest appearance tonight, Lana Turner landed her first TV series starring role as "Tracy Carlyle Hastings" in the ill-fated nighttime soap opera, "Harold Robbins' 'The Survivors'," which originally ran on ABC for fifteen episodes (or "chapters") from September 22, 1969 to January 12, 1970, and was repeated in the summer of 1970. A few people who either were on "WML?" in the past or would be appearing on the show in the future were among the cast of this program, which would be listed among "The Worst TV Shows Ever" in the 1980 book of the same name. The role of her husband, "Philip Hastings," was played by Kevin McCarthy who would be a guest panelist on "WML?" EPISODE #867 of July 2, 1967 (and also appear as a mystery guest twice during the course of its 1968-1975 syndicated incarnation); her half-brother, "Duncan Carlyle," was played by George Hamilton who appeared twice on "WML?" as a mystery guest and once as a guest panelist; and appearing as "Baylor Carlyle" was another person who'd been on "WML?" in the past, but was more involved with another Goodson/Todman show, "To Tell the Truth," as a regular panelist in that show's early years, Ralph Bellamy. At the time of "The Survivors'" premiere, former "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" writer and singer/songwriter/guitarist Mason Williams (of "Classical Gas" fame) took out an anonymous ad in Variety which read, "Congratulations to ABC-TV for coming up with the new series 'The Survivors,' starring $8 million and no sense" - a reference to the fact that even before it debuted, the program had gone way over budget, in no small part due to Miss Turner. After "The Survivors" was cancelled, it would be another 12 years before Lana landed another series role, when in the 1982-1983 season she played "Jacqueline Perrault" for six episodes of another nighttime soap, "Falcon Crest." As a side note about "The Survivors," its initial creator, best-selling novelist Harold Robbins, did not appear on "WML?" at any time in its 17.5-year CBS run, but was a mystery guest on an episode from the syndicated version during the 1971-1972 season.
        (2) SPEAKING OF WORST TV SHOWS: The same 1980 book also spotlighted the aforementioned one-time-only 1969 effort "Turn-On," of which tonight's guest panelist Digby Wolfe was a producer.
        (3) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight's opening sponsor is a newcomer to the program, Phillips' Milk of Magnesia tablets.
        (4) "LIVE" WATCH: This is the 11th surviving episode since the passing of Dorothy Kilgallen to retain the "live" wording during the intro on the kinescope recording.
        (5) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: For the first time in two weeks, Arlene is introduced first, with announcer Johnny Olson varying his introduction for her by mentioning that she was to be honored in her hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. Also, once again, guest panelist Suzy Knickerbocker's nameplate only shows her (pen) first name of "Suzy."
        (6) TALL TALE ALERT: Bennett introduced John with another of his yarns, about "our panel moderator" resolving to quit smoking, chewing toothpicks instead, and coming down with Dutch elm disease.
        (7) "WML?" CREW CREDITS WATCH: On GSN's October 29, 2007 airing of tonight's show, the end credit sequence cut off right after dissolving to the slide card graphic with the positions of associate director and program staff.
        (8) Following the October 29, 2007 airing of this "WML?" edition, GSN ran a Halloween-themed episode of "I've Got a Secret" which originated "live from New York" on October 28, 1963. The host was Garry Moore, the panel was the "classic" lineup of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson, and the celebrity guest was Groucho Marx whose answers were "impersonated" by Dayton Allen - who was once a regular on the 1956-1961 variety show hosted by Mr. Moore's ultimate "IGAS" successor, Steve Allen. The final contestant of the evening was Rusty Steubing (which might be a nickname for Russell Steubing - or possibly Russ Stubing - the exact spelling is unknown) from San Antonio, Texas. His secret was that he had recently won the National Top-Spinning Championship and had been awarded $5000. - W-B (2007)

      • Earlier, on EPISODE #688 of November 17, 1963, John had mentioned that he and his wife Virginia have a "little place" in St. Helena, which is in California's "Napa-Sonoma-Mendocino" wine country north of San Francisco, not too far from Santa Rosa. This is why John inquires about which area the guest in game 2 gets his grapes from. John was nice about it, but especially in 1966, the wine from John's area was far superior to the bulk jug wine that the contestant sold. - Suzanne (2004)

        In the 1960s, Italian Swiss Colony wine producers chose a sweet little Austrian-born old man, Ludwig Stossel (or Stössel, 1883-1973), dressed in an Alpine hat and lederhosen, to be their advertising spokesman. His motto was that he was "That Little Old Winemaker, Me!" in a long series of commercials that spanned a decade. - Suzanne (2004)

      • This was a fair performance by the panel. Suzy correctly guessed that the first guests were The Supremes. She also determined that John Pennel had something to do with wine, even though she incorrectly guessed that he made wine. Bennett correctly guessed that the second mystery guest was none other than the original sweater girl, Lana Turner, who was on the show to promote her classic film "Madame X." More on John Pennel: as was mentioned on the show, he was the first man to vault over 17 feet. However, he sadly never medaled in the Olympic Games. In 1964, he suffered a back injury three weeks before the Olympic competition, and finished in 11th place. In 1968, he finished in 5th place in the Olympics. - Sargebri (2004)

        SOCK IT TO ME! Guest panelist Digby Wolfe would later become responsible for one of the biggest and most influential shows on television, when two years later, he would help to create the 1968-1973 classic comedy/variety show "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In." It began on September 9, 1967, when a show that Wolfe co-wrote featuring comics Dan Rowan and Dick Martin appeared on NBC as a one-off special. On January 22, 1968, "Laugh-In" premiered as a regular series on the network, and soon became one of the classics of television with its rapid fire gags, one liners, comedy blackouts, sketches and schtick. The show would also be responsible for launching the careers of Goldie Hawn, Lily Tomlin, Ruth Buzzi and Arte Johnson, among the many comedians that were part of the show. Wolfe was also responsible for one of the biggest flops in television history, a show he produced named "Turn-On" which would only last one night, February 5, 1969, on the ABC primetime line up! This show was even more outrageous than "Laugh-In." Wolfe had said that "Turn-On" would be a "visual, comedic, sensory assault involving animation, videotape, stop-action film, electronic distortion, computer graphics, even people." It was cancelled for its poor taste and double entendre laden humor. In spite of this turkey, Emmy Award winning Wolfe still produced and wrote several television specials as late as 2001. - Sargebri (2004)

        WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO? - The Supremes were not only the biggest act on Motown Records, they were the most successful girl group in the history of popular music. Their popularity was only exceeded by the Beatles. However, in 1968, Florence Ballard, who was considered the best singer among the girls, was forced out of the group due to a severe alcohol problem. Many also believe that it was Diana Ross' domination of the group that led to Ballard's problems. Ballard eventually died on February 22, 1976 from cardiac arrest, almost ten years to the day, after their appearance on the show. As for The Supremes, after Ballard's ouster, they were re-christened as "Diana Ross and the Supremes" with former Bluebelle Cindy Birdsong (from the group The Blue Belles) as Ballard's replacement. Diana Ross eventually left the group in 1970 to begin her long-awaited solo career which was hugely successful. Now without Ross, The Supremes carried on for a few years with Mary Wilson, the lone original member, Birdsong and a succession of several other female vocalists. The Supremes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. However, Ross was a no-show for their induction. Many have speculated that her refusal to appear was due to the fact that she and Mary Wilson were still at odds over the negative comments that Wilson made about Ross in her book "Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme" in which Ross was portrayed as a bitch and a conniving diva. Ironically, in 2002 Ross announced that she was going on tour with The Supremes, but this was a bogus version of the group featuring two ladies who sang in latter versions of the group, and not Mary Wilson. Needless to say, when the truth came out, the tour was cancelled due to poor ticket sales. - Sargebri (2004)

      • The ovation that Lana Turner receives on this episode is one of the loudest and most boisterous ones I've heard in the series. When a panel member asks if she's a star in movies, the audience bursts into applause, as they also do on some of her other questions. It's simply amazing. You can tell how touched and overwhelmed Lana is by the adoration. On this same episode, John Daly asks Diana Ross if her name is "Diane," and she nods in agreement. "Diane" happens to be her actual birth name, but it is still a goof by Daly. I love John Daly, and one of his charms is that in his attempts to be precise, he is occasionally incorrect when calling various guests by name, or when referring to certain products or items. Suzie Knickerbocker makes another great helpful appearance, guessing The Supremes out of nowhere. I think they should have kept her as a permanent panelist. She's the closest thing to Dorothy we have. As you can tell, I still miss Dorothy. - girlbird

      • Suzy Knickerbocker is the pen name of journalist Aileen Mehle. No occupation overlay screen was shown for her on this episode. An overlay was shown for Digby Wolfe that read, "British TV Humorist." - Suzanne (2004)

      • Tidbits: We see a new sponsor, Phillips Milk of Magnesia Tablets. Johnny Olson introduces Arlene by announcing that she won a Distinguished Citizen Award from her birth city of Boston, Massachusetts. She was the first woman ever to be so honored. Bennett mentions that John Daly was featured in an article in Coronet Magazine.

      • Digby Wolfe (6/4/1929 - 5/2/2012) Panel: Arlene Francis, Digby Wolfe, Suzy Knickerbocker, Bennett Cerf.

      • The Supremes are Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. (They are listed by both their individual names and group name so their appearance will be listed in their respective databases.) They promoted their appearance at the Copa. John noted that they have had six #1 hits. They will make a second mystery guest appearance on EPISODE #862.

    • ALLUSIONS (1)