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Groucho Marx hosts a quiz show which features a series of competitive questions and a great deal of humourous conversation.
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11   10   9   8   7   6   … 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:
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George Fenneman ...
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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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5 October 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Betcha Life  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It is part of Hollywood legend that one of the source recordings for the "laugh track" sounds heard on sitcoms since the 1960s originated from a particularly long bit of laughter that erupted during an episode of this series. See more »

Quotes

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?
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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Sinister Urge (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Hooray for Captain Spaulding
Music and Lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby
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User Reviews

 
An Early TV Game Show Classic
23 March 2010 | by 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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