Contestants with unusual occupations were interviewed by the panelists. Only questions that could be answered with a "yes" or "no" were allowed. At the conclusion of the questioning, the ... See full summary »
Contestants with unusual occupations were interviewed by the panelists. Only questions that could be answered with a "yes" or "no" were allowed. At the conclusion of the questioning, the panelists attempted to guess the contestants occupation. There was also a "mystery guest", usually a famous person; the panelists had to wear masks when questioning this person and the guest usually disguised his/her voice. Written by
J.E. McKillop <email@example.com>
In Arlene Francis's 1978 autobiography, she explains that the was hired as a panelist for the show from the very beginning. She said that she was supposed to appear on the first show, but was unable to attend that night, for some reason that she couldn't remember at the time she wrote her book. She makes her first appearance on the second show. See more »
(End Credits Theme/Main Theme)
Composed by Louis F. Busch (aka: Joe "Fingers" Carr) (ASCAP) and Milton Delugg (ASCAP)
Original Publishers: Burning Bush Music (ASCAP) and Amy Dee Music (ASCAP)
Current Publishers: Burning Bush Music (ASCAP) and Amy Dee Music (ASCAP) See more »
I agree with all previous comments about "What's My Line?" (urbane, witty, erudite, sophisticated and intelligent), and I would add this thought: All these appellations are true because this show respected its audience. It did not pander. The panelists were never afraid to use a multisyllabic word. No doubt, some "creative consultant" would stop such behavior today.
Additionally, the show is a time capsule of New York in the '50s. You always knew who was "in town," and often why. Sure, maybe the appearance promoted a Broadway show or a book, but it always seemed more "newsy" than "promotional," unlike today when a talk show host holds up the book or shows an outtake from a movie.
A trivia note: Actress Jayne Meadows appeared as the Mystery Guest on 1 August 1954, the day after her marriage to Steve Allen,who was regular panelist that night. She disguised her voice (as the Mystery Guest often did), prompting Allen to comment that he thought the Mystery Guest might be Minnie Mouse. Panelist Arlene Francis correctly identified Meadows.
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