Frank Lloyd Wright on What’s My Line?

Our countdown to the Friday opening of the fiftieth anniversary Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition at New York’s Solomon G. Guggenheim Museum rolls on! Today we present a real treat for fans of the original caped crusader: video of Wright’s June 1956 appearance on the long-running CBS game show What’s My Line? His line? “World Famous ARCHITECT.”

Is Wright familiar with the show’s scoring system, asks host John Charles Daly after Wright, toting his trusty cane, “signs in” on a blackboard topped with an ad for sponsor Helene Curtis? “Somewhat,” says Wright, a smirk playing perpetually on his lips. “I’ve watched one of the shows, with interest.” Adding to the fun is that the all-star panel (peopled by the likes of Arlene Francis and Peter Lawford) is blindfolded, lest they recognize Wright. Suboptimal acoustics—rather than the 89-year-old Wright’s fading hearing—are blamed when Daly has to repeat the panelists’ questions. “It goes out and comes right back,” observes Wright of the bouncing sound in the high-ceilinged studio. “Never mind. We’ll overcome it,” he reassures Daly, eliciting a big laugh from the audience. It’s almost as entertaining as when panelist Dorothy Kilgallen, her eyes covered by what appears to be a sleep mask rimmed in pearls, asks Wright, “Does your voice play any part in the work you do?” Click “continued…” to view the full video.