Four panelists must determine guests' occupations - and, in the case of famous guests, while blindfolded, their identity - by asking only "yes" or "no" questions.
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17   10   4   1   Unknown  
1967   1966   1965   1964   1963   1962   … See all »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
John Daly ...
 Himself - Moderator / ... (862 episodes, 1950-1967)
 Herself - Panelist (818 episodes, 1950-1967)
Bennett Cerf ...
 Himself - Panelist / ... (746 episodes, 1950-1967)
Dorothy Kilgallen ...
 Herself - Panelist / ... (724 episodes, 1950-1965)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

2 February 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Occupation Unknown  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(876 episodes)

Sound Mix:


(1950-1966)| (1966-1967)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The show was broadcast outside of New York only twice in its 17 1/2-year history. The first time was on August 12, 1956 when it emanated from Chicago where John Daly was covering the Democratic National Convention for ABC News and Dorothy Kilgallen was reporting on it for the Hearst newspaper chain. The second was on January 12, 1958 which originated from CBS Television City in Hollywood, for which a special panel of Laraine Day, Mickey Rooney, Esther Williams and Jack Lemmon was assembled in place of the regulars. See more »


Steve Allen: Is it bigger than a bread box?
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Crazy Credits

The uncredited announcer introduced the first panelist, sometimes the left-most, sometimes the right-most. Beginning with the first panelist, each panelist then introduced the person to his/her left or right, depending upon the first panelist's position. The fourth panelist then introduced moderator John Daly. See more »


Roller Coaster
(End Credits Theme/Main Theme)
Composed by Lou 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 »

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User Reviews

"And now, let's meet our What's My Line? panel!"
9 January 2004 | by (North Carolina) – See all my reviews

I don't think there are words in the English vocabulary that can fully capture the deep love I have for this game show and the admiration I feel for its panel. A highly sophisticated and glamorous show, "What's My Line?" keeps you on the edge of your seat for an hour and a half as you watch the celebrity panel try to guess the occupation of a guest or the identity of the mystery guest. Truly, this show fully encompasses what the fifties and sixties were all about. First on the panel, you have tart-tongued syndicated columnist Dorothy Kilgallen. Quick and smart, Dorothy always took the game seriously but never failed to through in a joke or two each telecast. Then there was Random House's very own Bennett Cerf, a remarkable publisher whose calm, cool demeanor and relaxed sense of humor perfectly complimented the show. My favorite regular panelist, however, was the beautiful actress of stage and screen, Miss Arlene Francis. Glamorous, warm, erudite, and fantastically witty, she was such an asset to the show. There was always a fourth panelist -- usually someone along the lines of Steve Allen, Fred Allen, Tony Randall, Martin Gabel (Arlene's husband), etc.

And then, there was the man who was head of it all: journalist John Charles Daly. One of the most fabulously linguistic and learned men I have ever seen in action, he was the perfect host as he brought laughter and sophistication to every episode. I prefer "What's My Line?" in its first incarnation, when John Daly was host and Dorothy Kilgallen still alive. It's a marvelous show, and I cannot thank Game Show Network enough for showing it in reruns, even if they do only air at 4:30 in the morning. Many thanks to the wonderful panel and host -- I've always felt they were like old friends in my home.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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