LIFE

10 Surprising Secrets Behind The Classic Game Show ‘What’s My Line?’

by Grace Eire
Grace plays in a band and is the mother to a black cat named Fitzhugh.

Gathering around the television with the family and watching an innocent game show used to be a beloved family ritual.

Back when there were only a few channels to choose from, and Netflix wasn’t around with tons of titles to watch at the touch of a button, primetime TV was the way to go. And game shows were an easy way for a family to unwind together at the end of a long day.

What’s My Line? is one of the longest-running game shows of all time, beginning in 1950 on network television, and reaching all the way to 1975 in syndication.

So many celebrity guests graced the show, leaving viewers and the cast alike in stitches.

Groucho Marx was one of the silliest, along with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

These 10 facts about the show and how it was made might even surprise the very biggest What’s My Line? fan out there.

Do you remember your favorite episode of the show from when you were younger? Let us know in the comments and please SHARE with friends on Facebook to see if they know more than you!

1. It Wasn't Always Called 'What's My Line?'

1. It Wasn't Always Called 'What's My Line?'

The original title of the show was Occupation Unknown until producers decided to change it.

2. The First 4 Episodes Were Filmed In Grand Central Station

2. The First 4 Episodes Were Filmed In Grand Central Station

Before moving to a Wednesday time slot, the show was filmed at a converted loft at the former CBS Studio 41 at Grand Central Station in New York City.

3. Moderator John Daly Was A Trickster

3. Moderator John Daly Was A Trickster

He was known for explanations of questions that were much more complicated than they needed to be. Despite the formality of the show, the host was a pretty big goof, even more so offscreen.

4. Mystery Guests Were Always Paid, Win Or Lose

4. Mystery Guests Were Always Paid, Win Or Lose

Celebrity mystery guests were paid $500 for their appearance on the show in addition to whatever money they might win. They often donated their winnings to charity.

5. The Show Wasn't Just For TV

5. The Show Wasn't Just For TV

It was broadcast on the radio for a short time from 1952 to 1953 with the same cast as the television version. However, the radio version was able to get Marlon Brando as a mystery guest when the TV counterpart could not.

6. Arlene Frances Was In It For The Long Haul

6. Arlene Frances Was In It For The Long Haul

Frances was a part of the panel from the original primetime version all the way through the syndicated episodes, which ended in 1975.

7. Regular Panelists Made A Ton Of Cash

7. Regular Panelists Made A Ton Of Cash

Regular panelist Bennett Cerf once said in an interview that he and his fellow stars were paid in scandalous amounts.

8. Cast Members Dressed Down After Deaths Of Cast Members

8. Cast Members Dressed Down After Deaths Of Cast Members

Usually, the original broadcast show was known for its formality, with the men in bow ties and sometimes tuxedoes, and the women in gowns and gloves. They did dress down, however, after the deaths of Fred Allen and Dorothy Kilgallen.

9. The Show Raised Confusion About Cerf's Death

9. The Show Raised Confusion About Cerf's Death

After Bennett Cerf passed away, the syndicated version of the show continued to air episodes with Cerf on the panel. Viewers wrote in either confused or angry, claiming it was in poor taste.

10. There Is Now A Live Stage Version

10. There Is Now A Live Stage Version

The live show began in 2004 at the ACME Comedy Theatre. It later made its New York premiere at the Barrow Street Theatre on March 24, 2008.

Did you watch this show with your family when it was on TV? Please SHARE with your family and friends on Facebook.