Saturday, February 28, 2015

Watch Arnold Palmer on 'What's My Line' in 1960

Here's a relic from another time: The game show What's My Line. And not just the show itself, but - as you'll understand from watching the clip - the way that golf was perceived and how much pop culture cred golf had was also a relic.

What I mean by the latter statement: Arnold Palmer, in 1960 when this episode of the game show aired, was by far the most famous golfer on the planet. Arnie's Army had been around for a couple years, he was already a Masters and U.S. Open champion. And yet, he appears in front of a panel of celebrity bon vivants whose job it is to guess his profession, and the only attempt at hiding Palmer's identity is to introduce him as "Mr. X." Golf was so little-seen on television, and so peripheral to mainstream media at that time. that the very famous Palmer could show himself to these four game show panelists without being immediately recognized.

Actually, that's not quite true. One of the panelists does admit later that had Palmer had on a golf cap he might have immediately guessed Palmer's identity.

The panelists, by the way, are Arlene Francis, Martin Gabel, Dorothy Kilgallen and Bennett Cerf, but only two of them get to make guesses before Palmer is identified. Stick around to the end of the clip to hear Palmer's responses to questions about golf from the host.

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