Many of you remember WHAT’S MY LINE? as one
of the most beloved game shows in TV history.What you may not know, WHAT’S MY LINE? was also a radio
program.Its stint on the air was
short (about a year), but it was on radio, nonetheless.Like its TV counterpart, WHAT’S MY LINE? was hosted by
John Daly, and the panelists were Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf, Arlene
Francis, and Hal Block.
The WHAT’S MY LINE? radio show was a
completely different broadcast from its TV counterpart.Instead of the familiar Sunday evening at 10:30 PM time slot (CBS TV),
radio’s WHAT’S MY LINE? began its run on Tuesday evening at
10:00 PM---on anothernetwork.
WHAT’S MY LINE? aired its first broadcast
on NBC Radio as a summer replacement program for Philip Morris
Cigarettes.Since it was a
summer replacement program, WHAT’S MY LINE? had a brief stint
both in this particular time slot--- and for NBC Radio.After it finished its summer run, the program moved to the CBS Radio
lineup on Wednesday evening at 9:30 PM, still for Philip Morris.This particular setup lasted until Wednesday, November 26, 1952.The following week, Philip Morris was replaced with a new
sponsor--- at least new to the radio program.It was the same sponsor its TV counterpart had at the time, Stopette
was the modern product of its time.Before
the days of the modern deodorant products we are familiar today, deodorant was
made in either cream or liquid.Stopette
was a liquid deodorant, but it was known as “The Original Spray
Deodorant.”Why it was called
a spray and not a liquid was due to the packaging the deodorant came in.It was packaging no one had ever seen before--- the
flexi-plastic squeeze bottle.
For people with butterfingers, they could drop the Stopette
bottle to their heart’s content, and it will never break, leak, or spill---
but it was a pain in the neck to pick up the bottle off of the floor.It was also wonderful for grumpy people in the middle of a temper
tantrum.If something just had the
thrown against the wall, the Stopette bottle was perfect for
throwing.There was no mess on the
wall--- except a small hole shaped like a Stopette bottle!Hanging a small picture should cover the hole with no problem.
Since Stopette was sprayed on, the only part
of the human body that came in contact with the deodorant was the underarms.All it took was a gentle squeeze of the bottle under each arm, and a fine
mist eliminated perspiration and stink on contact.Stopette’s quick work was known in advertising lingo as “Poof!
There Goes Perspiration.”The
word “Poof!” was important to Stopette, and it was
closely associated with the product in its advertising.
“Poof!” was associated with Stopette,
but it would go one step further than other words associated with products.Dr. Jules Montenier, the originator of Stopette, created a
second product that was the perfect companion for Stopette.The name of that product, you ask?Poof!
DeodorantBody Powder.(Personally, I’m relieved Lifebuoy Health Soap didn’t
go that extra step as Stopette did.I doubt there would be anyone buying a product called “B.O.”)
Like Stopette, Poof! was also packaged in a
flexi-plastic bottle.It was the
only bath powder that was sprayed on instead of applied.After finishing a bath or shower, the person sprayed Poof!’s
fine powder directly onto the areas of the human body.On contact, Poof! eliminated any and all odors.With the unbeatable combination of Stopette and Poof!,
its users were free from unpleasant odors.
Montenier didn’t sit on Poof! and Stopette’s success
.He created yet a third product.This
product was Finesse, a new golden colored cream shampoo.Known as the “Flowing Cream Shampoo,” Finessewashed
away the dirt and gunk from the hair without touching the natural oils that made
the hair bright and beautiful.Since
Jules Montenier,Inc. made Finesse,
I’ll bet you already know how it was packaged--- and you would be right!Finesse was packaged in an unusual flexi-plastic bottle
known as the “Accordion Squeeze Bottle.”It was specially designed this way, so when the bottle was squeezed, the
right amount of shampoo was poured out--- no more, no less.
The Accordion Squeeze Bottle was an impressive creation,
but there was another handy item--- its cap.Instead of removing it completely, the cap stayed on the Finesse
bottle.Just a flip of the cap, and
the shampoo was ready to come out.When
finished, the cap was placed back on the top.There was no losing the cap--- unless its user misplaced the whole Finesse
was the ideal shampoo to use in the shower.The main objective of taking a shower was to clean the entire human
body--- and that included the hair on top of the head.During the early 1950’s, shampoo bottles and jars were made of glass
that could easily fall out of wet, slippery hands.When this happened, the shower was interrupted, and the man or woman was
busy picking up the large chunks of broken glass.Of course, there was still a problem of the small pieces of glass.Since the man or woman was attired in his/her birthday suit-- and the
broom and dustpan were usually in another part of the house, he/she had to put a
bathrobe on; go to the location where the broom and dustpan were kept; take them
back to the bathroom; sweep up the remaining glass pieces; put the broom and
dustpan aside; take off the bathrobe; and resume the shower.It was a hassle.With Finesse, all that stuff was unnecessary.The typical Finesse bottle could be dropped time and again
without breaking.It was a little inconvenient to pick up the bottle, but it
was also a definite improvement from picking up broken glass and worrying if the
unprotected bare feet came in contact with any stray glass slivers and particles
Since their introductions, Stopette, Poof!,
and Finesse were all very successful and popular products.Their popularity also meant copying from the competition.Before you can say “Jack Robinson,” there were several other
brands of spray deodorant, talcum powder, and shampoo on the market--- all in
unbreakable plastic bottles.
Dr. Montenier was a pioneer with his creation of Stopette,
Poof!, and Finesse--- and for the use of plastic to
package the 3 products.Although WHAT’S MY LINE? wasn’t on radio
very long, the radio listeners had a chance to hear about 3 unique products that
fitted in nicely with the modern 1950’s.