What's My Line?

Season 18 Episode 53


Aired Daily 12:00 AM Sep 03, 1967 on CBS



  • Notes

    • THIS IS THE END!!! Tonight was the night that many people were waiting for when the cancellation announcement was made back in February of 1967. But even though it was a sad occasion, it probably came as a big relief of sorts, and it was also a night of celebration. As usual, the panel was introduced and took their seats. Interestingly, the alignment was the same as it was on the first telecast in 1950, with three male panelists and only one female panelist. It was also fitting that Martin was on the show, since he held the record for the most appearances by a guest panelist. Martin, too, was "family." It was a very nice touch for them to bring out the first contestants to ever have appeared on WML. Pat Finch seemed to have been the busiest during the past 17 years. Besides starting her acting career, she also made a second appearance on the show when it was celebrating its 5th anniversary, and she also became a mother. When they played the old kinescopes for the panel, it was funny to see how the panel looked in some of their earliest appearances on the show. It was a shock to see how much heavier Martin looked before his 1964 weight loss, and it was amusing to see Bennett and John with full heads of hair. However, as John pointed out, Arlene was the one who really aged gracefully. It also was amusing to see the unemployment counselor come out as part of the jokes for the evening. Of course, Bennett, Arlene and John all had careers outside of WML. The most touching moment, as well as the most amusing moment, came when John went behind the curtain and came back out and signed in as the mystery guest. That really helped make the evening fun. The saddest moment came when the producers, Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, as well as the show's announcer, Johnny Olson, stepped out to bring down the curtain on 17 glorious years of quality television. As it turned out, this would not quite be the end for the show. After a year off the air, WML would return, but not on network television. It would be seen five days a week in syndication, from 1968 to 1975, with a new set and host. The only links to the original show would be Arlene Francis and announcer Johnny Olson. The new host would be Wally Bruner, who would host the show from 1968 to 1972. The announcer, Johnny Olson, also left with Wally Bruner in 1972. After Bruner's 1972 departure to start his own series, "Wally's Workshop," his place would be taken by former guest panelist Larry Blyden, who would host the show until his untimely death in 1975. Bennett would pop in as a guest panelist from time to time until his death in 1971. Another frequent guest panelist as well as mystery guest, Soupy Sales, would join Arlene on the syndicated panel where he would stay until the show went off the air. Other former WML guest panelists who would appear on the syndicated version would include Phyllis Newman, Gene Rayburn and Anita Gillette. Also, the show would have its share of famous guests as well. In fact, two guests that appeared on the syndicated version would later become presidents of the United States, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. However, this version will always come in second to the one that helped make Sunday nights one of the best nights for television viewing. - Sargebri (2004)

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