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.
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 has just asked a question
Well, I believe in doing it the old-fashioned way.
[Groucho looks down and smiles. The audience begins to giggle. Groucho then looks up
You know I must have some reputation. There isn't anything anyone can say on this stage that won't evoke some kind of a dirty laugh from the audience...
[trying to keep from laughing
What do you mean, 'the old fashioned-way'?
[loses all seriousness, doubles over laughing
Referenced in Oz: You Bet Your Life
Hooray for Captain Spaulding
Music and Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
and Harry Ruby See more