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WC's Frank Hazard Was Guest on TV's 'What's My Line?' 61 Years Ago

He Tried to Stump Panel as One That 'Raises Bugs for Research'

December 5, 2013

Frank Hazard (left) and

Frank Hazard (left) and "What's My Line?" host John Daly.

Here’s one for Wilmington College trivia buffs? What celebrated faculty member was featured trying to stump a panel trying to guess his occupation on the 1950s television game show What’s My Line?

He was a professor of biology that had a sideline of raising bugs — lice, cockroaches, bedbugs, houseflies and mosquitos — to use in testing insecticides on his Wilmington farm.

Frank O. Hazard, namesake of WC’s Hazard Arboretum, was a guest on CBS television’s panel game show What’s My Line? On Dec. 7, 1952. While it was revealed to the studio and TV audience that Hazard “raised bugs for research,” it was the celebrity panel’s charge to guess his occupation.

The panel featured columnist Dorothy Kilgallon, author/publisher Bennett Cerf, actress and radio talk show host Arlene Francis and comedian Hal Block. John Daly hosted the show, which, like all television programs then was shown only in black-and-white.

Hazard, known in Wilmington as an especially elegant man and fashionable dresser, first walked up to the panel so the group could get a good look at him. Based solely on that, the panelists guessed his occupation.

Kilgallon and Cerf concurred thinking he might be president of a “big loan company” or president of a bank’s board of directors. Francis suggested he may be a professor of philosophy and Block thought Hazard maybe was a model that “poses for the ‘most distinguished man’ ad.”

Subsequent questions narrowed it down to Hazard raising something a bit objectionable that he did not attempt to get rid of. Ultimately, the panel was close enough that they called the competition.
Hazard stood to win a minimum of $20 had he stumped the panel, but ended up with Daly dismissing him with the line, “We hope that you had an interesting time and had fun.”

Hazard was a 1927 graduate of Wilmington College that joined the faculty in 1928 and served on the faculty into the 1960s. He died at 57 years of age in June 1963, after which the arboretum was dedicated in his memory.

That episode of What’s My Line? is available on YouTube. The mystery guest in the show's last segment was CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow.