How to Play What's My Line

By Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor

"What's My Line?" is a classic TV game show that started in 1950. The show was produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman for CBS and ran in prime time for 18 years, making it the longest running evening game show in TV history. To play, panelists must ask questions to guess a contestant's occupation or hobby.

Try to play a standard round. Each show had at least two standard rounds and one mystery guest round. In the standard round, the panel tried to guess the occupation of the contestant.

Ask the contestant questions. Each panelist would have a chance to ask the contestant a yes or no question. If they got a yes they would ask another question, if they got a no play would pass to the next panelist. You can ask up to four consecutive "yes" questions before you had to guess the person's occupation or hobby. The contestant would earn $5 for each no he got with a $50 maximum for him to win.

Pass your turn to the next panelist. Each panelist could pass his turn if he couldn't think of a question. However, this rarely happened.

Play the mystery guest round. In the mystery guest round, the panelists were blindfolded and had to guess the identity of the mystery guest. They would ask questions, and the guest would disguise his voice to cloak his identity.

Buy and play the parlor version of "What's My Line?" Since you can't play along with the TV version--the moderator gives you the answer--you can play the parlor version (see Resources below).