What's My Line?

Season 18 Episode 8


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Oct 23, 1966 on CBS



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Dick Cavett: (After Dick Cavett replies with a complicated wordy follow-up question to one of John Daly's trademark confusing wordy explanations for having accepted the previous answer) Two can play that game, Mr Daly!

    • Dick Cavett: (Blindfolded, during the Mystery Guest round) I have a feeling the Mystery Guest is over there wondering who I am!

  • Notes

    • REVIEW: This was a very good night for the panel as they went 3 for 4 on the evening. In fact, if the final game had not been called due to time, they might have had a perfecto. Things got started off in the first game, which was a mystery guest round. In that game, Arlene correctly guessed panel favorite Suzy Knickerbocker, who used a kittenish, little girl voice in her attempt to fool the panel. In the second game, Phyllis correctly guessed that the young girl from Nebraska made Halloween masks. In the second mystery guest round of the evening, Bennett correctly identified the incomparable Ed Sullivan. Ed really didn't have anything to promote, but he did talk with Bennett about the fact that his wife, Sylvia, attended the same school as Bennett and Richard Rodgers; P.S. 10 in New York. At least Bennett was able to talk about his school for a change and there were no Tilton references. In the final game of the evening, the panel ran out of time as they were questioning the lady auto racer, who also happened to be the sister of racing legend Stirling Moss, and as a result, she won the full prize by default. However, this still was a great night for the panel. - Sargebri (2008)

      PHYLLIS AND SUZY!!! Interestingly, this was the only time that Phyllis Newman and Aileen "Suzy Knickerbocker" Mehle appeared on the show together. Of course, these two ladies essentially became the "unofficial" permanent replacements for Dorothy, following her passing. - Sargebri (2008)

      DICK CAVETT!!! Three years after his appearance on WML, Dick Cavett would go on to host one of the most critically acclaimed late night talk shows in history. "The Dick Cavett Show" would become ABC's latest attempt to try to unseat Johnny Carson in the late night wars. Unfortunately, even though it was a critical darling, it never attracted huge numbers of viewers. However, it still is remembered for the wide range of guests that it presented. In fact, Dick would not only have Hollywood stars on his show (Bette Davis, Groucho Marx and Jack Lemmon, for example), the show also was one of the first to feature rock and roll performers (Jefferson Airplane, Joni Mitchell and Jimi Hendrix, among others). Also, Dick would often have many famous newsmakers on his show. In one famous incident, Lester Maddox, the segregationist governor of Georgia, was a guest. During Maddox's appearance, Dick began challenging Maddox on his views and Maddox got so frustrated that he walked off the show. Unfortunately, the show never garnered much of a viewing audience and it was cancelled in December 1972. - Sargebri (2008)

    • FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the first regular contestant of the night at four down. Phyllis, however, had correctly identified both the product and line. John flipped them all for the final contestant at six down after allowing some wild guesses. The panel wasn't really close on this one. - agent_0042 (2008)

    • (1) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight's opening sponsor is Phillips' Milk of Magnesia antacid/laxative.
      (2) "MEMOREX" WATCH: This is the ninth prerecorded program this year (in 1966) on which announcer Johnny Olson's intro started off with, "And now, let's meet our 'What's My Line?' panel...", once more leaving out the reference to its New York base. It is also the first known instance of an episode being pre-taped (for future airing) on a Monday, rather than on a Sunday prior to a live transmission.
      (3) "WML?" PANEL WATCH: Phyllis Newman is introduced first tonight for the sixth time since Dorothy Kilgallen's passing, and the eighth time since first appearing on the program in 1963. She mentions having once worked with Dick Cavett late at night. This was probably a reference to one of her first stints as guest host on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," on which Mr. Cavett was a writer early in its run.
      (4) DICK CAVETT: The late-night 1969-1972 talk show Dick Cavett hosted was actually his third for ABC. All of his shows for the network bore the same title of "The Dick Cavett Show." Mr. Cavett had previously hosted a five-day-a-week, 90-minute daytime talk show (which early in its run had been called "This Morning") that ran from March 4, 1968 to January 24, 1969, and a three-night-a-week, hour-long prime-time version that lasted from May 26, 1969 to September 19, 1969. The announcer for his late night talk show was Fred Foy, a former announcer for the old-time radio series "The Lone Ranger" who, by the time of "The Dick Cavett Show," was one of the New York-based staff announcers for ABC, as well as a booth announcer for its local owned-and-operated outlet WABC-TV (Channel 7). The August 18, 1969 edition mentioned below was actually from his prime-time run and preceded his late-night effort by more than four months. It was during his 1969-1972 show that a piece from Leonard Bernstein's "Candide," titled "Glitter and Be Gay," was first used, to signal the halfway (45-minute) mark of each show. In later years, the piece would become Dick's theme music. In addition, there was "DC: The Dick Cavett Show," a half-hour effort which aired on PBS from 1977 to 1982, as well as other shows for such entities as the USA cable network (1985-1986), ABC again (September-December 1986), and CNBC (1989-1996). Since 2006, Mr. Cavett has hosted a program on TCM (Turner Classic Movies). As well, there was a kind of a symbolism to his appearing tonight, coupled with onetime frequent "WML?" guest panelist Joey Bishop never appearing on the show again after EPISODE #829 of September 4, 1966 - as it was Joey whom Dick replaced on ABC to compete against yet another former "WML?" guest panelist, Johnny Carson, in the late-night wars starting on December 29, 1969.
      (5) MORE ON DICK CAVETT'S APPEARANCE TONIGHT: For this show, Mr. Cavett's hair was parted on his right side. By the time the most famous and well-remembered of his talk shows took to the air, he would have his hair parted on his left side.
      (6) MYSTERY GUEST WATCH: Tonight's show was the only time Suzy Knickerbocker (the mid-1960's nom de plume for journalist Aileen Mehle) appeared on "WML?" as a mystery guest. All her other appearances - including the prior episode - were as a guest panelist. In addition, it was interesting to see Ed Sullivan as the other mystery guest tonight, insofar as now he didn't have to go around the block to appear on "WML?", being that both this show and Mr. Sullivan's long-running variety hour now emanated from the exact same studio. Tonight's show also marked Ed's third and final "WML?" appearance.
      (7) CREDITS CRUNCH WATCH: GSN continued the absolutely abominable practice of "crunching" the end credit sequence on its January 21, 2008 airing of tonight's show.
      (8) A DOUBLE DOSE OF ARLENE FRANCIS: GSN's January 21, 2008 airing of tonight's "WML?" episode was followed by a repeat of the May 21, 1962 edition of "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Garry Moore, with the "classic '60's" panel of Bill Cullen, Betsy Palmer, Henry Morgan and Bess Myerson (aka "Mrs. Arnold Grant" as Garry called her during the introductions) back in business. "WML?'s" resident "grande dame," Arlene Francis, was the celebrity guest on this episode which fared better, in terms of archival preservation, than the September 27, 1961 "IGAS" edition on which she, Dorothy Kilgallen and Bennett Cerf appeared - and which is today lost to history. - W-B (2008)

    • During the end credits, Johnny Olson announced that this episode was prerecorded. From Gil Fates' logs, we know this episode was taped on October 17, 1966, along with the next episode, which comes after 2 preempted weeks. - Suzanne (2004)

      Ed Sullivan slipped a disguised pun in when he said he was going up to Yonkers because he and Sylvia "have a good thing running." He must have been speaking of a racehorse! The audience understood and laughed. Mr. Daly said that Ed Sullivan's show was soon to be in its 19th year in television. - Suzanne (2004)

    • Oops, John Daly made a mistake in game 2 and nobody caught him. Dick Cavett asked the mask maker, "Would it be unusual to give one of these as a wedding present?" Mr. Daly laughed and said "yes" but flipped the card and said, "That's 2 down and 8 to go. Miss Francis." - cpdelta (2004)

    • This was an interesting episode due to the fact that it had the two women who many saw as the top two contenders for Dolly Mae's seat on the panel, Phyllis Newman and Suzy Knickerbocker. Also, this show marked Dick Cavett's first of only two appearances on the panel. He had an acceptable debut by asking several intelligent questions, but never had a chance to really get into the flow of the game. Suzy was pretty cute using a cat's voice to answer the panel's questions. Arlene wound up guessing her with two questions to go. Phyllis gave her usual solid performance by asking several intelligent questions and successfully guessing the mask maker's occupation. Ed Sullivan showed his sense of humor by answering in a high pitched voice. Bennett successfully identified Sullivan, who had just started the 19th year of his classic variety hour. Many celebrities appeared on his show, including Phyllis, who made several appearances. Possibly his most famous guest celebrity of all was The Beatles, or maybe Elvis. Ed Sullivan was an American institution. Sullivan's show would continue for about four more years before it was cancelled as part of the infamous CBS "Rural Purge" of 1971. For an explanation of the "Rural Purge," see the notes to EPISODE #804. - Sargebri (2004)

      DICK CAVETT - Three years after his appearance on the panel, Dick Cavett would get his own late night talk show on ABC. "The Dick Cavett Show" would run from 1969-1972. His show would be seen as the hip alternative to "The Tonight Show" starring Johnny Carson. Nothing pointed this out more than his willingness to book harder rock acts like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. In fact, one episode provided one of the most memorable moments in the history of rock. The Monday night after Woodstock, August 18, 1969. Joni Mitchell made her national television debut on Cavett's show. Mitchell had been invited to play at Woodstock, but her manager felt that due to the increased traffic caused by Woodstock, Mitchell could never make it to Cavett's studio in time for her appearance. Her then-boyfriend Graham Nash, however, would be appearing at Woodstock with his group, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, in what was their second-ever performance. The night of Mitchell's Cavett appearance, both Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and Jefferson Airplane (featuring Grace Slick) showed up while Mitchell was being interviewed! They gave their first-hand accounts of the events which took place at Woodstock. The acts then performed. Joni sang four songs, and CSN&Y and Jefferson Airplane had a spontaneous jam session that will be forever classic. Mitchell would later write the song "Woodstock" which was a hit for CSN&Y. She would record it as well. - Sargebri (2004)

    • "Suzy Knickerbocker" and "Suzy" were the pen names for Aileen Mehle. She wrote a daily "society column" for the Journal-American. Later, she would write for "Women's Wear Daily" and "W" magazines. She has been a frequent guest panelist and now becomes a mystery guest. John pronounced her surname as "MAY-Lee" and she said that was correct. - Suzanne (2004)

    • Tidbits: Bennett said that both he, Dick Rodgers and Ed Sullivan's wife, Sylvia, attended PS10 (Public School #10) in Manhattan. Dick Rodgers is Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame. - Suzanne (2004)

    • Dick Cavett (b. 11/19/1936)

      Panel: Phyllis Newman, Dick Cavett, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.

  • Allusions

    • Click "All Episode Notes" to see all the notes, as they don't all show up on the summary overview page.