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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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:
An Early TV Game Show Classic See more (15 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 2 of 27)

Groucho Marx ... Himself - Host (202 episodes, 1950-1961)
George Fenneman ... Himself - Announcer (202 episodes, 1950-1961)

Series Directed by
Robert Dwan (194 episodes, 1950-1961)
Bernie Smith (194 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 (113 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 (107 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 (41 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 (157 episodes, 1951-1961)
Paul Schmutz .... assistant editor / technical assistant editor (4 episodes, 1954-1955)
Series Music Department
Jack Brunker Meakin .... musical director (152 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 (155 episodes, 1951-1961)
Howard Harris .... program staff (112 episodes, 1953-1961)
Willis Oborn .... production assistant (83 episodes, 1955-1961)
Ferenz H. Fodor .... technical supervisor (77 episodes, 1951-1958)
Paul Schmutz .... technical assistant (64 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?

Usually a prop duck came down on a cable with the prize money when the secret word was spoken. On one occasion however, Groucho Marx's brother, Harpo Marx, came down instead.See more »
Groucho:May I kiss your wife?
Contestant:That would have to be over my dead body.
Groucho:Have it your way. Fenneman, get the gun!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Hooray for Captain SpauldingSee more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
An Early TV Game Show Classic, 23 March 2010
Author: hfan77 from St. Louis Park, MN

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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