You Bet Your Life

Watch You Bet Your Life

  • 1950
  • 7 Seasons
  • 8.5  (740)

You Bet Your Life was an American game show that was broadcast on both television and radio from 1950 to 1961. Hosted by the iconic Groucho Marx, the show was a unique blend of comedy and quiz show that quickly became a fan favorite. Each episode would begin with Groucho making his entrance in his trademark cigar and mustache. He would then proceed to engage the studio audience and the contestants in witty banter and humorous commentary before the game began. The show's announcer, George Fenneman, would introduce the contestants and provide the rules for the game.

In each episode, two teams of two contestants would participate in a quiz show. The contestants were chosen from the studio audience and had to answer a series of general knowledge questions in various categories, such as history, sports, literature, and science. The first round would consist of multiple-choice questions, and the second round would be true or false.

Throughout the game, Groucho would add his own brand of humor to the proceedings, often poking fun at the contestants' answers or predicting their chances of success. He would also engage in witty banter with Fenneman, often teasing him about his lack of hair or his mild-mannered nature.

In addition to the quiz show, You Bet Your Life also included a famous "secret word" feature. At the beginning of each episode, Groucho would reveal a secret word to the audience that the contestants would then have to try to guess during the game. If they said the word, a duck would drop down from the ceiling, and the contestants would win a cash prize.

As the game progressed, the questions would become more challenging, and the prizes would increase. The final round, known as the "DeSoto Challenge," involved a more complex and difficult question that the winning team had to answer. If they answered correctly, they would win a new DeSoto car.

Marilyn Burtis was the show's assistant producer and researcher. She was responsible for finding interesting contestants and topics for the show's sketches and comedy bits. Burtis's contributions to the show were not widely known at the time, but she played a significant role behind the scenes.

You Bet Your Life was known for its innovative format, hilarious comedy, and witty banter. The show's popularity led to numerous spin-off versions and a lasting legacy in American pop culture.

You Bet Your Life
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Pilot Episode
32. Pilot Episode
April 13, 2016
Groucho interviews his guests and then conducts a quiz show. If any of the guests can guess the secret word, they win extra prizes!
Secret word is picture
17. Secret word is picture
April 13, 2016
In this episode of You Bet Your Life, the secret word was "picture."
Secret word is hand-4
2. Secret word is hand-4
April 13, 2016
In this episode of You Bet Your Life, the secret word was again, "hand."
  • Premiere Date
    October 5, 1950
  • IMDB Rating
    8.5  (740)