Time for another Day-Brightening Distraction: The What’s My Line? channel on Youtube features every episode of the 17-year network run of this delightful show known to be extant. You can start at the beginning and watch all the way to the end.
All your favorites are there: Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf, Dorothy Kilgallen, Steve Allen, Fred Allen and a rotating cast of familiar (or, perhaps, not so familiar) faces trying ascertain what average folks (and one mystery celebrity guest per show) do for a living. John Charles Daly is the able host of the festivities, and one is treated to a lineup of elegantly dressed personalities who are urbane, witty and sophisticated but also down to earth and accessible.
There’s a reason this panel game show, so seemingly simple on its surface, garnered loyal viewers for 17 years, and from our vantage point, more than 50 years down the road, it’s a magic carpet ride back to an era that is, of course, bygone, but still within reach. If you’re of a certain age, streaming these shows will feel like reuniting with old friends; if you’re a younger viewer with even the tiniest interest in life as it was once lived, then this will be right up your alley.
Watch an episode or two per day of WML?, and we can almost guarantee that you’ll find the difficult times we’re living in just a little bit easier to deal with. No miracle cures here, just a few laughs, a little nostalgia, and some fun, intelligent celebrities of days gone by.
We’ve linked to a playlist of the first two seasons–137 episodes in all, starting with show’s debut episode, which first aired on February 2, 1950. If it strikes you as a little rough and a bit ragged, don’t worry, it quickly gets better. These were the very early days of television, after all, and it shows. But keep watching and before long, you’ll feel quite at home. All 17 seasons are there for you to enjoy. Watch now; thank us later.