You Bet Your Life

NBC (ended 1961)


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You Bet Your Life

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You Bet Your Life was the television version of Groucho Marx's popular radio series of the same name, which grew out of improvisational scenes Groucho had performed on radio with Bob Hope. Guests were invited to the show and asked to answer a few question for prize money. There was always a secret word, which was told to the audience at the start of each episode but not known to the participants, and if the contestants happened to mention the secret word during their interview with Groucho or during the contest, a dilapidated stuffed duck (bearing a strong resemblance to Groucho himself) would descend into their midst with the secret word around his neck and extra prize money would be granted. The duck was a reference to two popular Marx Brothers movies: Duck Soup and Cocoanuts, in which the famous "Why a Duck/viaduct" exchange took place between Chico and Groucho. Groucho was the master of the quip, and the brunt of his onstage verbiage was often borne by the show's tireless and good natured emcee, George Fenniman. You Bet Your Life aired for 11 seasons, the last season being re-titled The Groucho Show.moreless
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