What’s My Line?

Who wants to see Salvador Dali appearing on a game show?

Here it is.

As well as being an all-American looney and Franco-apologist, Dali thought of himself as something of a renaissance man.

If you’ve not seen What’s My Line before, if works like this. A panel of celebrities, one of whom is famous to some extent, and the others are famous for being panellists on What’s My Line, ask a series of “yes or no” questions to try and guess what job a guest does. For a the first two rounds, the guest is regular a zookeeper or weasel groomer, but in the final round, the panel are blindfolded and made to guess the name of a celebrity guest.

So when a blindfolded panellist asked Salvador Dali, “do you write humourously?” It wasn’t that helpful of him to say “Yes.”

He gave the same answer to the question: “Do you have anything to do with any kind of sports or athletic endeavour?”

No shrinking violet, Dali. He reckoned himself a king of infinite space and a lunchbox of legendary potential.

Unlike game shows these days, which get celebrities of the calibre of  “Dame Judi Dench’s disgraced priest of a cousin” or “some guy who used to press the trousers of a celebrated horse,” What’s My Line pulled in some three hundred per cent proof, solid mahogany stars.

Witness Groucho Marx, one of my favourite people ever to have slathered greasepaint on his upper lip.

Groucho appeared as a panellist, with a pair of wandering hands, a intellectual contempt for the captain of publishing that joined him on the panel, and the stock question, “Can your product be found in the kitchen?”

He asked it to a prison warden who looked like Kruschev, a female wrestler with a grin like a combine harvester, and Franco-American pouty poutstrel Claudette Colbert herself.

He also, psychically tricked Dorothy Kilgallon into saying “sex.”

If you’re as puerile as me, it’s nearly as funny as this.

If you’re not, why are you still reading?

~ by David Thorley on November 23, 2010.

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