Monday, March 24, 2008

What's My Line?

Photo/Genevieve Rafter Keddy

More cool than kitschy, more memorable than simply memorabilia, the live stage version of What's My Line? is both irresistibly honest and hokey at the same time. Men are gentle again, wearing tuxedos and pulling out chairs, and women aren't just women -- they're dames: gowns, gloves and all. It's a throwback to another time, but the comically "risque" questions are just as funny now as when this ran on late-night TV for 25 years, and with new panelists and guests "competing" (for fun) each week, it's simple commercial fun. I admit I don't know Betsy Palmer (one of four rotating panelists), but watching her ask questions like "Can I put this piece of wood in my mouth?" was great fun, even more so considering that the line in question ("line" is an old-fashioned way of saying "job") was that of Liang Wong, the youngest oboist ever for the New York Philharmonic. I certainly wouldn't go back on a regular basis, but it's a trip down memory lane, even for those of us too young to remember how things were way back when.

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