It's been a while since we had a Mystery Guest segment from What's My Line -- but this one we're goiing to do a little differently.
Back in the 1950s, Irving Berlin wrote a musical called Call Me, Madam, which starred Ethel Merman. She played 'Sally Adams," a good-natured socialite who's made ambassador to a tiny country, Lichtenstein, often seen boisterously talking on the phone with her good pal, Harry, who appointed her. The story was very loosely based on the life of Perle Mesta, a popular Washington party-giver, nick-named "The Hostess with the Mostes'", who was eventually appointed ambassador to tiny Luxemburg by President Harry Truman, where she served for four years. Basically a fund-raiser for Democrats, she had a good relationship wirh Republicans, as well. (One of the later songs in the musical is titled, "I Like Ike.")
You may know the movie version, which has a fun score with one big hit -- "You're Just in Love" (a counterpoint song that begins, "I hear singing, but there's no one there..."). But if not, here's the trailer --
I mention all of that for one particular reason --
The guest on What's My Line? here is the real Perle Mesta. As you can see from the graphic below, this episode is from August, 1952, and I believe that she served as ambassador from 1949-1953, which means she still was likely ambassador at the time.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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