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 »
Each week, an unsuspecting celebrity would be lured by some ruse to a location near the studio. The celebrity would then be surprised with the news that they are to be the featured guest. ... See full summary »
Five-day-a-week syndicated revival of one of Goodson-Todman's most durable and longest-lived formats: A celebrity panel determines which of three contestants is the actual person associated with a given story.
Guests who have the same name as famous persons, fictional characters, or things, are quizzed by celebrity panelists who try to determine their name. Each panelist has ten questions; if ... See full summary »
Robert Q. Lewis,
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>
After the death of Dorothy Kilgallen, Goodson Todman Productions conducted an intensive search to find a suitable replacement. Ordinary women from across the United States flooded Goodson's New York office and CBS with letters offering their services. Barbara Feldon sent a telegram to Goodson immediately after she heard the news of Kilgallen's death. After several months of using a variety of actresses and female journalists, the Goodson company decided to continue in that direction. Phyllis Newman, Aileen Mehle and Susan Oakland were used far more often than other female entertainers and newspaper reporters. Why none of them signed on as a regular is unknown. Newman was a panelist on the series next to last broadcast. 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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