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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3,750 ( 98)

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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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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

Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan each appeared on the show before becoming president, but there never was a president who went on the show while in office. Lyndon Johnson used the show shortly after the JFK assassination to advertise his liberal stand on the civil rights movement. When Johnson took over the White House, he requested a new slate of secretaries. He saw Geraldine Whittington working in another U.S. government agency and requested that his special assistant Jack Valenti get her home phone number. Johnson called her unannounced one evening and requested that she come in that night for an interview. According to audiotapes of Johnson's phone calls, Whittington at first thought the call was a joke but came to believe that it really was the president on the line. She applied for the position and got it. Having a black woman in the White House was very unusual in 1964. Johnson wanted to advertise the fact that he'd hired a black woman but chose not to call a news conference. Instead, he arranged for Whittington to appear on "What's My Line," where Bennett Cerf and Dorothy Kilgallen figured out her line of work. This may have seemed less overt but probably exposed her to more viewers than if a standard press conference had been held. The LBJ Library in Austin, Texas has a White House telephone log from January 19, 1964, the night Whittington was in New York doing the show, but the log says erroneously that the president made a long distance call to the "I've Got A Secret" studio to check on his secretary. Whittington died of cancer in 1993 without knowing that her live TV appearance would be revived on the Game Show Network. See more »

Quotes

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 »


Soundtracks

Melody In Moccasins
(Open Theme 1)
Composed by Wilfred Burns
Original Publisher: Charles Broude, Ltd. (ASCAP)
Original U.S. Publisher: Emil Ascher, Inc. (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

An urbane, witty, and entertaining program
3 January 2005 | by Art La CuesSee all my reviews

"What's My Line" is one of my favorite programs. The host, John Daly, was an excellent host. He was erudite, respectful, and professional, unlike succeeding game show hosts, who, for the most part, try to be comedians. The panel was also insightful, witty, and humorous without being crude and trying to be funny. They were truly classy people. Even more important to me is to see the civility that existed on that program compared to current programming. It certainly was a different time in terms of respect, manners, and sophistication. As an earlier reviewer, game show formats now appeal to the lowest denominator. Noteworthy is the conduct of the audience. No loud cheering, yelling, and other obnoxious behavior on " What's My line".

How I miss the golden age of television...It was certainly heads and shoulders above most of today's programs which try to pass for entertainment. As we have progressed in so many areas in the past forty years. we have certainly declined in the quality, civility, and humaneness of that earlier era.


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