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

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



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

People who liked this also liked... 

What's My Line? (1950–1967)
Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Four panelists must determine guests' occupations - and, in the case of famous guests, while blindfolded, their identity - by asking only "yes" or "no" questions.

Stars: John Daly, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf
To Tell the Truth (1956–1968)
Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Classic game show in which a person of some notoriety and two impostors try to match wits with a panel of four celebrities. The object of the game is to try to fool the celebrities into ... See full summary »

Stars: Bud Collyer, Kitty Carlisle, Tom Poston
To Tell the Truth (1969–1978)
Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Five-day-a-week syndicated revival of one of Goodson-Todman's most durable and longest-lived formats: A celebrity panel determines which of three contestants is the actual person associated with a given story.

Stars: Kitty Carlisle, Peggy Cass, Bill Cullen
I've Got a Secret (1952–1967)
Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

"I've Got a Secret" debuted on the heels of the successful "What's My Line?" Though "Secret" had somewhat similar rules, there were other elements that gave the show its own distinctive ... See full summary »

Stars: Garry Moore, Henry Morgan, Bill Cullen
My Three Sons (1960–1972)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Widower Steve Douglas raises three sons with the help of his father-in-law, and is later aided by the boys' great-uncle. An adopted son, a stepdaughter, wives, and another generation of sons join the loving family in later seasons.

Stars: Fred MacMurray, Stanley Livingston, Don Grady
Mister Ed (1958–1966)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The misadventures of a wisecracking talking horse and his human owner.

Stars: Allan Lane, Alan Young, Connie Hines
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

As the sons age, we go through their teenage dating problems, marriage and careers.

Stars: Ozzie Nelson, Harriet Nelson, David Nelson
Make Room for Daddy (1953–1965)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Danny Williams, a successful nightclub singer, encounters a variety of difficult or amusing situations in trying to balance his career with his family: his outspoken wife Kathy, teenage ... See full summary »

Stars: Danny Thomas, Rusty Hamer, Marjorie Lord
The Honeymooners (1955–1956)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A bus driver and his sewer worker friend struggle to strike it rich while their wives look on with weary patience.

Stars: Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows
Get Smart (1965–1970)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Bumbling Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 for CONTROL, battles the evil forces of KAOS with the help of his competent partner Agent 99.

Stars: Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, Edward Platt
Let's Make a Deal (1963–1977)
Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Monty Hall hosts this hilarious half-hour gameshow in which audience contestants picked at random, dressed in ridiculous costumes, try to win cash or prizes by choosing curtain number 1, 2 ... See full summary »

Stars: Monty Hall, Jay Stewart, Carol Merrill
Father Knows Best (1954–1960)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The popular radio show comes to life in this hit sitcom about a wise family man, Jim Anderson, his common-sense wife Margaret and their children Betty, Bud and Kathy. Whenever the kids need... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Billy Gray
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Himself - Host / ... (198 episodes, 1950-1961)
George Fenneman ...
 Himself - Announcer / ... (198 episodes, 1950-1961)
Edit

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Betcha Life  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the popular impression is that Groucho Marx entirely improvised his jokes, in reality the show also had gag writers who interviewed the contestants beforehand and prepared questions and comments for Groucho to use in addition to his own improvisations. To feed them to him subtly, a Tele-Score bowling alley projector located stage left and out of camera range was used. See more »

Quotes

Groucho: If we got together as an act, what would it be called?
Contestant: It would be Gonzales-Gonzales and Marx.
Groucho: [to audience] Do you believe that? Two men in the act, and I get third billing!
See more »

Connections

Followed by Richard Dawson and You Bet Your Life (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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!


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page