IMDb > "You Bet Your Life" (1950)
"You Bet Your Life"
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"You Bet Your Life" (1950) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1950-1961

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8.5/10   423 votes »
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Release Date:
5 October 1950 (USA) See more »
Groucho Marx hosts a quiz show which features a series of competitive questions and a great deal of humourous conversation. Full summary »
Nominated for 7 Primetime Emmys. See more »
User Reviews:
Fun show, even for a kid See more (14 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 2 of 26)

Groucho Marx ... Himself - Host / ... (198 episodes, 1950-1961)
George Fenneman ... Himself - Announcer / ... (198 episodes, 1950-1961)

Series Directed by
Robert Dwan (193 episodes, 1950-1961)
Bernie Smith (193 episodes, 1950-1961)
Series Writing credits
Hy Freedman (4 episodes, 1954-1959)
Howard Harris (4 episodes, 1954-1959)

Series Produced by
John Guedel .... producer (194 episodes, 1950-1961)
Series Cinematography by
Virgil Miller (112 episodes, 1953-1959)
Alan Stensvold (13 episodes, 1959-1961)
James Van Trees (9 episodes, 1951-1953)
Series Film Editing by
Robert Ford (50 episodes, 1956-1961)
Robert Sparr (23 episodes, 1954-1956)
Norman Colbert (5 episodes, 1951-1952)

Robert Dwan (unknown episodes)
Series Makeup Department
Paul Stanhope .... makeup artist (11 episodes, 1959-1961)
Series Production Management
Edwin I. Mills .... programme manager / program production manager (106 episodes, 1953-1961)
I. Lindenbaum .... production manager (48 episodes, 1951-1956)
Jack Lacey .... production manager (42 episodes, 1957-1961)
Charles C. Irwin Jr. .... production supervisor (40 episodes, 1957-1959)
Dick Hall .... programme manager (32 episodes, 1957-1961)
Marion Pollock .... programme manager / production manager (13 episodes, 1959-1961)
Art Bruckman .... production supervisor (12 episodes, 1959-1961)
Series Sound Department
Art Brearley .... audio engineer (36 episodes, 1951-1956)
Series Editorial Department
Norman Colbert .... supervising editor (156 episodes, 1951-1961)
Paul Schmutz .... assistant editor / technical assistant editor (4 episodes, 1954-1955)
Series Music Department
Jack Brunker Meakin .... musical director (151 episodes, 1954-1961)
Jerry Fielding .... musical director (6 episodes, 1950-1954)

Buddy Collette .... orchestra leader (unknown episodes)
Harry Ruby .... composer: theme song "Hooray for Captain Spalding" (unknown episodes)
Series Other crew
Hy Freedman .... program staff (154 episodes, 1951-1961)
Howard Harris .... program staff (111 episodes, 1953-1961)
Willis Oborn .... production assistant (82 episodes, 1955-1961)
Ferenz H. Fodor .... technical supervisor (76 episodes, 1951-1958)
Paul Schmutz .... technical assistant (63 episodes, 1954-1958)
Edward T. Tyler .... program staff (18 episodes, 1951-1956)
Edwin I. Mills .... program staff (7 episodes, 1951-1953)

Bernie Smith .... production staff (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Groucho Show" - USA (last season title)
See more »
30 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Reportedly, the reason why this show was prerecorded for broadcast was because the network was afraid that Groucho Marx's ad-libs would run afoul of the censors. In reality, another reason was to condense the interviews to fit the allotted time with the most entertaining material Groucho was able to generate with them.See more »
Female Contestant:I met this gentleman in Laguna Beach...
Groucho:There *are* no gentlemen in Laguna Beach.
Female Contestant:Well, this gentleman is now abroad.
Groucho:[pause while the audience titters] Couldn't be Christine, could it?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Movie Orgy (1968)See more »
Hooray for Captain SpauldingSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Fun show, even for a kid, 14 July 2005
Author: ( from Renton, Washington, USA

Groucho sat behind a high desk or lectern, talking to his announcer, the contestants, and the audience, raising his eyebrows or grinning slyly to make or emphasize a joke. He often fiddled with his ever-present cigar. I can't remember if he actually smoked the cigar on the show, but it would not surprise me if he did, as smoking was pervasive in those days.

"You Bet Your Life" was probably shot on a theater stage, as I remember curtains behind the performers. The announcer/straight man George Fenneman, stood nearby (left side of TV screen), his dark hair lying tight against his scalp, perhaps slicked down with Brylcreem or something similar. (To see Fenneman in a dramatic role, watch the original version of the movie "The Thing.") When this show aired on TV in the 1950s, I was in grade school so the verbal humor, aimed at adults, usually went over my head. From a kid's perspective the best part of the show was the institution of the "secret word," announced to the audience (but not the contestants) before contestants appeared on the stage. If a contestant uttered the secret word during the show, he or she would win extra money. Groucho mentioned this concept when introducing the guests at the start of their appearance ("Say the secret word and win $100.") If a contestant said the secret word, it was acknowledged with the appearance of a puppet-type duck that was lowered from above on a string or wire. The duck's mouth held an envelope containing the money and its face was modeled after Groucho's: mustache, thick eyebrows, and (I think) a cigar in its mouth. Great fun!

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