Sunday, April 17, 2016

Things fall apart

The What's My Line channel on YouTube has posted a 25-minute blooper reel. When a show lasts seventeen years, bloopers and goofy moments accumulate, despite (or because of) John Daly's best efforts to keep everything under control. In fact, one part of the blooper reel shows various mistakes that Mr. Daly made over the years, including the moment when he gave away the identity of mystery guest Steve Allen. At least Steve got a gag line out of the blunder.

The video also shows Groucho Marx and Victor Borge destroying the format in various ways. There are several fashion miscues, like Arlene Francis' unfathomable hat (see the screenshot). Speaking of Arlene, we get a lot of the 1963 ep when she was not completely coherent and having the time of her life. "I'm speaking of a four-footed animal that Miss Levishon could either ride upon or alongside of without diminishing the appearance of the other animal." Got that?

Then there was the time when guest panelist Paulette Goddard had a little trouble getting onto the set. She finally made her way through the wrong curtain, but she got to her chair. Milton Berle shows up a lot on the video. Weird things seemed to happen when Uncle Miltie put in an appearance, like the intruder who shook hands with him and then vanished into TV history.

The video ends with Bennett Cerf asking if a contestant "plucks" sheep. He finally corrects himself to "shear" sheep, but not before much hilarity ensues. He was a New York publisher, after all, so he didn't work a lot with farm animals.


  1. Thank you so much for this write up, Casey! The "bloopers" video was very much a product of the entire WML fan community (specifically the folks in the Facebook group). Without their help, I'd never have remembered even half of the moments that were included, let alone been able to locate them on my own within 758 episodes.

    I can't thank you enough for highlighting the video here. Great write up-- very much appreciated!

  2. Thanks for your kind remarks. Keep up the good work!