George Fenneman was best known as Groucho Marx's announcer and straight man on "You Bet Your Life" when he became host of this CBS daytime game show in 1961. He still is. Produced by Allan Sherman, who created "I've Got A Secret," it has contestants questioning Fenneman about the contents of a box which contains a "surprise package," and given the restrictions CBS was placing on prize winnings in the immediate wake of the scandals, I doubt if the prizes were worth more than $1000.
The format seemed repetitious, and Fenneman, who seemed the epitome of the nice guy on Groucho's show (and which I think he was off camera), comes off here as the strict schoolteacher he started out to be.
What's most interesting is the later success of the people who worked with Fenneman: Allan Sherman recorded "My Son the Folksinger" in 1962 and it seemed that in the summer of 1963 every kid in America was singing "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah"; model Carol Merrill went on to do the same thing for more than a decade on "Let's Make A Deal"; announcer Bern Bennett is best remembered as announcer on "The Young And The Restless" and "The Bold And The Beautiful." As for Fenneman, he got to indulge his love of photography on two shows, "Your Funny Funny Films" (a forerunner of "America's Funniest Home Videos") and "Talk About Pictures" (where he interviewed other celebrities whose hobby was photography); he also made a great deal of money from the reruns of Groucho's show, for which he will always be remembered, while "Your Surprise Package" makes for a trivia question Groucho probably wouldn't ask unless the couple was going for $10,000.
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