You Bet Your Life (1950–1961)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy, Family, Game-Show
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 361 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 4 critic

Groucho Marx hosts a quiz show which features a series of competitive questions and a great deal of humourous conversation.

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Title: You Bet Your Life (1950–1961)

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



11   10   9   8   7   6   5   4   3   … See all »
1961   1960   1959   1958   1957   1956   … See all »
Nominated for 7 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Himself - Host (183 episodes, 1950-1961)
George Fenneman ...
 Himself - Announcer (183 episodes, 1950-1961)
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Storyline

You Bet Your Life was taken from Groucho's radio series of the same name. It was inspired after Groucho had done an improvisational scene with Bob Hope on radio. The idea was the same as it later was with Bill Cosby: to invite people on and have an unrehearsed conversation with them. Groucho could always be counted on to enliven the banter with his unique blend of comedy and wit. After talking with Groucho for several minutes, the contestants chose quiz questions from a category they had preselected and, if they answered them correctly, won money. Written by <A.Briggs@RHBNC.AC.UK>

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Details

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Release Date:

5 October 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Betcha Life  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the game show came to television, Groucho Marx was asked to wear his traditional greasepaint mustache. He declined and decided to grow a real one instead, which he wore for the rest of his life. See more »

Quotes

Announcer: Our next contestants are Marika Aba...
Groucho: And a happy new year.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Four Friends (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Hooray for Captain Spaulding
Music and Lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Early TV Game Show Classic
23 March 2010 | by (St. Louis Park, MN) – See all my reviews

I remember watching You Bet Your Life aka The Best of Groucho in the mid 70s and I thought it was an early TV game show classic. Before it's long TV run, it began in the late 40s on radio. The show was also very funny, thanks to the quips and one-liners from host Groucho Marx. The quiz portion was incidental to the interviews from Groucho. Not only could contestants win money on the quiz they can also win if someone says the secret word, enable a stuffed duck to come down from the ceiling. The duck was used because Groucho didn't want sirens blaring in his ear when someone said the word. The secret word was later used on the hit kids show Pee Wee's Playhouse.

Also sharing in the fun was George Fenneman, announcer, straight man and scorekeeper. In an episode where Groucho, Edgar Bergen, and their daughters Melinda and Candice teamed up to win money for the Girl Scouts, Fenneman became the quiz master for that segment.

The most memorable contestant on the show was Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, a poor, illiterate Hispanic father who brought the house down since he was very funny. He later when on to roles in several movies. Phyllis Diller made her national TV debut on You Bet Your Life and in a later episode, Groucho's brother Harpo made a cameo appearance.

Fortunately, contestants never left the show broke. If they didn't do well in the quiz, Groucho would ask a question such as "Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?" or one I remember "In what city is the London Times published?"

Despite the several format changes to the quiz segment, You Bet Your life was a very funny show, thanks to the one, the only GROUCHO!


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