Archive for March 6th, 2009

What's My Line? PanelI always find old television shows , particularly old game shows, fascinating to watch if only for the snapshot they provide of the time in which they were produced. The language, the clothing, the personas, all create a sense of how the world was and how it has changed.

One of my favorites is What’s My Line? which still airs on the Game Show Network in the middle of the night. Normal people and celebrities would come out and sign in then the panel would try to guess their occupation. For celebs, the panel would be blindfolded.

The panel was famed columnist and tragic Kennedy conspiracy-theorist Dorothy Kilgallen, actress Arlene Francis, humorist/publisher Bennett Cerf and a male guest panelist, usually a famous personality. The host was the affable John Charles Daly who was also a well-respected news anchor/ journalist. Their banter was witty and urbane, their clothing dapper and when they would often question guests after their identities were uncovered, their conversation was serious with sometimes probing questions. But often it was just intelligent fun with legendary performers and people with odd ball jobs. They make you want to be in NYC in the ’50’s.

The range of the celebrities that appeared was amazing. From the biggest names in sports, movies, theatre, TV to military leaders and icons such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Salvador Dali, whose entertaining clip I’m showing here.

It was a different time and it’s always a pleasure to see a bit of it in the form of these short time capsules…

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