What's My Line? Forums

CBS (ended 1967)

The Big Stray HAND & other GOOFS!

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    astorino

    [21]Sep 15, 2005
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    If anybody missed this episode, I placed 5 screenshots of the "stray hand" sequence in the Yahoo WML photo album.
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    jimarnone

    [22]Sep 15, 2005
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    astorino wrote:
    If anybody missed this episode, I placed 5 screenshots of the "stray hand" sequence in the Yahoo WML photo album.


    Where is the Yahoo WML Photo album? Is there a URL to this site?
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    astorino

    [23]Sep 16, 2005
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    The Yahoo WML group is here:

    http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/whatsmylineoncbs/

    but you have to join the group to see the hundreds of photos in the archives.
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    astorino

    [24]Sep 16, 2005
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    The hand photos are in the "Goofs on WML" directory, along with screenshots I also made of the sign-in board being wheeled in.
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    jimarnone

    [25]Sep 16, 2005
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    astorino wrote:
    The hand photos are in the "Goofs on WML" directory, along with screenshots I also made of the sign-in board being wheeled in.


    Thank you. I had no idea how much extra information was available on yahoo.

    In regard to the Big Stray Hand, the wristwatch almost looks like a woman's watch. Do we know for certain who's hand this might be?
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    astorino

    [26]Sep 19, 2005
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    During this time period, 1958, women's watches were much smaller with thin bands. The watch, plus the plain gold wedding band, point to the "hand owner" being a male. And possibly a left-handed one at that.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [27]Sep 20, 2005
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    I'd say that big paw was a man's. Or maybe a female body builder.
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    astorino

    [28]Oct 15, 2005
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    The1Factotum1i1 wrote:
    I'd say that big paw was a man's.


    And seemingly that of an executive. You wouldn't think that a stage hand would wear a long-sleeved white shirt to work.
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    TheNooz

    [29]Oct 26, 2005
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    Back in those days stagehands and camera operators dressed more formally than they do now. A white long-sleeved shirt and tie was the standard even for technicians. My husband started working as a TV engineer in 1962, and he remembers stage managers wearing white shirts even then.

    Also, the stage manager's job was under union jurisdiction, so Gil Fates would not have been allowed to handle the cards.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [30]Oct 26, 2005
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    THENOOZ:
    That's interesting that you and your husband have a link to TV back to when it was worth watching. What programmes did he work on?
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    TheNooz

    [31]Oct 26, 2005
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    My husband worked for a local San Francisco TV station, so that you would not have seen any of the shows he worked on unless you lived in the Bay Area.

    Oh, wait -- there was one exception, sort of. Right after the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, NBC broadcast their coverage live from my station's master control room, where my husband was on duty. He was sitting with his back to the camera, so the entire nation could see the back of his head. This was rather embarrassing for him at the time as he's quite bald.

    My husband's retired now, but I'm still working at the station. Most of what I do is local news. I've been there 30 years, and yes, I've been a camera operator just like the recent WML contestant Ann Faulkner. It was a lot tougher to do that job in the 1950's than now because the cameras were bigger, heavier and hard to maneuver, like elephants on wheels. No wonder she looked like a lady wrestler!

    I still remember those art cards on easels. When I first started working in TV, we still used them to create those graphics you see next to the anchor's head on news shows (the ones that say "Fire," "Murder," "President Bush" or whatever). The card was placed on an easel, and the camera framed it so that the graphic was on the top right or left quadrant. The anchor was then superimposed over the art card so that the two images were combined. A stage manager stood alongside to pull the cards.

    This technique went the way of the dinosaur when electronic graphics were invented. Now all the graphics are created and displayed using computers.

    Camera operators (the preferred term rather than "cameramen") are an endangered species as well. Studios now use robotic cameras. This allows one person to control four to six cameras at once from the control room using a touchscreen. Stage managers are still needed, though, to run the TelePrompter, give cues and point the talent to the appropriate camera.

    One of the things I enjoy about "What's My Line?" is being able to see the old TV production techniques again.

    Midge
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    astorino

    [32]Oct 28, 2005
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    W-B wrote:
    For me, it proved one thing: The graphics of that particular card were on boards, rather than slides.


    A few nights ago, a big hairball of lint came down during the opening credits. Primitive TV at its best!
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [33]Oct 28, 2005
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    TheNooz wrote:
    One of the things I enjoy about "What's My Line?" is being able to see the old TV production techniques again. Midge


    Welcome to the forum, Midge, and thanks again for being the person to identify "The Toy Trumpet" as the substitute closing theme.
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    TheNooz

    [34]Oct 29, 2005
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    My pleasure! It's so nice to be here.

    Midge
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    astorino

    [35]Nov 26, 2005
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    I changed the subject title of this thread to add other goofs, also!
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [36]Nov 26, 2005
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    Did everybody hear the aural goof at the end of EPISODE #519? At the tail end of the closing credits, a voice says something that sounds like, "Scott, do you see a monitor?"
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    ClassicTV

    [37]Nov 26, 2005
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    The Stray Hand

    There would be at least another occasion when a stray hand would appear on "What's My Line?", albeit on the syndicated version. I saw some of the episodes from that version in the summer of 1972.

    In the syndicated "WML?", the panel would do their walk-ons at the beginning of the show with the sign-in board behind them in the center of the stage. The sign-in board was contained in a three-sided booth-like structure that was perhaps 6 feet high. During the panelist walk-ons, there was a yellow card with the show's name in cartoon-like typeface that filled the space where the blackboard would normally be.

    When Wally Bruner asked the first challenger to "enter and sign in, please", the contestant walked in and raised his arm with chalk in hand, only to stop quickly as he and the rest of the on-lookers realized that the yellow title card was still there. Then the yellow card tilted back at its top, and a hand could be seen pulling the card upwards and back. As this yellow card was removed back into the booth, you could see the "blackboard card" underneath. The blackboard card was then pushed forward from its tilted position until it was flush with the booth.

    After this happened, Wally Bruner ad-libbed something like, "That hand is going to cost the show extra!", a joking reference to television union rules that required crew members to be paid actors' scale if they appeared before the cameras.

    Although this show was pre-recorded, this flub was left in. It revealed a behind-the-scenes secret: a stagehand stood behind the sign-in booth to change the title card to the chalkboard card (when he remembered!).
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [38]Dec 23, 2005
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    As W-B has so kindly chronicled for us in the guide, there have recently been several goofs with the end credit cards.
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  • Avatar of astorino

    astorino

    [39]Jan 24, 2006
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    One big goof I'm looking forward to seeing again is the "microphone fire" episode. Maybe it's not a goof as much as an unexpected mishap. It was on EPISODE #762 of 5/2/65.

    http://www.tv.com/whats-my-line/episode-762/episode/97978/summary.html
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    sgtkaren

    [40]Jan 25, 2006
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    I'm sorry, but I have no idea if I'll ever find this spot and have no clue how to submit an error, so I'm going to try here. On episode #577 that aired technically again on 1/25/06, I read in the synopsis, that when the 1st guest, Jacques Picard came on, that the panel was blindfolded. I JUST watched the show I taped last night and the panel was NOT blindfolded. He signed it with 2 fancy "c"'s (forward and backwards) and they called it an X, but they had no blindfolds!
    Thank you, Karen
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