8.6/10
1,158
24 user 1 critic

What's My Line? 

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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Popularity
3,536 ( 130)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



18   17   16   15   14   13   … See all »
1967   1966   1965   1964   1963   1962   … See all »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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More Like This 

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"I've Got a Secret" debuted on the heels of the successful "What's My Line?" Though "Secret" had somewhat similar rules, there were other elements that gave the show its own distinctive ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
John Daly ...  Himself - Moderator / ... 873 episodes, 1950-1967
Arlene Francis ...  Herself - Panelist / ... 832 episodes, 1950-1967
Bennett Cerf Bennett Cerf ...  Himself - Panelist / ... 759 episodes, 1950-1967
Dorothy Kilgallen Dorothy Kilgallen ...  Herself - Panelist / ... 735 episodes, 1950-1965
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Storyline

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 <jack-mckillop@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Family | Game-Show

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 February 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Occupation Unknown See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(876 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (1950-1966)| Color (1966-1967)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Paley Center for Media, with locations in midtown Manhattan and Beverly Hills, California, has a long interview with Franklin Heller, director of the CBS version of What's My Line, that was videotaped in 1987 and never telecast. Among his many revelations is the precise reason why regular panelist Hal Block disappeared from the series in 1953 and never again appeared on a quiz show or game show. Although Block's vulgar sense of humor caused his two-week suspension in January 1953, mail from viewers proved he still had thousands of admirers, and he had a substantial future with Goodson-Todman Productions, possibly on another of their shows, if only he had behaved himself during the What's My Line episode that aired live on February 8, 1953. According to Heller's videotaped statement, Block cheated while playing the game during the segment with female jazz drummer Mildred Landwehr from Trenton, New Jersey. One of the producers, Gil Fates, was standing very close to the soundstage and could see not only the panelists but also the studio audience members in the front row. He witnessed Block's sister, seated in the front row, pantomiming playing the drums. Heller said Hal Block obviously had conspired with his sister, arranging for her to sit in the front row for deceitful purposes. By this time, the less dignified I've Got A Secret was popular, and Block could have had a future on it or some other Goodson-Todman quiz show, but according to Franklin Heller, if anyone cheated, that was grounds for a permanent separation from the company. A 1978 book by Gil Fates reveals that Mark Goodson and Bill Todman instructed him to fire Hal Block. Fates makes no mention of the cheating or of Block's sister, but his explanation of why Block had to disappear is vague and does not contradict Heller's videotaped statement. Fates avoids mentioning the fact that his company never booked Block on I've Got A Secret or interacted with him again, not even twenty years later when he was unknown to baby-boom viewers of network television. See more »

Quotes

Steve Allen: Is it bigger than a bread box?
See more »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Search for One-eye Jimmy (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Sounds
(Open Theme 2)
Composed by Sascha Granville Burland (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

Thank Goodness For GSN B/W Overnite!
13 April 2003 | by BennettManorSee all my reviews

The best "What My Lines" to me are the ones from the 1950's I tape 7 days a week from the Game Show Network.

There is so much history. I have seen many notable people/celebrities from the 50's--Conrad Hilton (Hilton Hotels), Rodgers & Hammerstein, Jo Stafford, Walt Disney, Jane Powell, Lucy & Desi, just to name a few.

Also, as stated here, there's a class and sophistication that is evident from the very beginning of the shows.

Arlene and Dorothy would be introduced and would gracefully appear in the most glamourous/classy dresses and evening gowns.

I loved Bennett Ceif. He was so intelligent and funny. He was publisher and was well versed on so many subjects.

I am taping every one I can because I know in another 10 to 20 years these may never be available again. I also enjoy watching them every evening--it's just as fresh as when they first aired.


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