You Bet Your Life (1950-61)-1949 Episode

TV’s funniest quiz show thanks to Groucho Marx. George Fenneman made the perfect foil as the show’s announcer. Most everyone knows the phrase, “Say the secret word and the duck will come down and pay you a hundred dollars.” The music was from the Jerry Fielding Orchestra.

One piece of TV history is the episode broadcast December 28,1949. It was originally an hour that was filmed on December 5,1949 and edited to thirty minutes. There are several times duing the show where Groucho had to do some retakes. At the time he was also doing the radio version of the show.

In this version of the game contestants were asked four questions. They started with twenty dollars and could bet any portion of what they had won or had left. At the end of the show the winning couple got a chance at a thousand dollars. The secret word was “Name.” Say it and you’ll get a movie projector worth $129.50.

Couple number one are newlyweds.: He’s 6’6″ and she’s 6′. He was a tackle for Green Bay and is out due to a foot injury.  They met at a club for tall people. As a gift she gets a compact and he gets a cigarette case. Their catagory, “Songs With Baby In The Title.” They win $85.00.

Groucho does a retake and it’s on to couple number two. This was hilarious. He’s introduced as a married man and she’s a car hop. Groucho had a lot of fun with both of them. The man told a story about his days as a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman. He decided not to take the new cleaner into the house. As he was pretend demonstrating it to the housewife her husband came home. He wasn’t amused. The guy was a real character. The catagory: “Dice Expressions.” They win $228.00. He gets a cigarette case made out of bronze that looks like gold and she gets a string of simulated pearls.

Third contestants. One’s a college football player at USC and the other is a Chiropractor from Iran who used to be a pro wrestler. He says he prefers Iran instead of calling it Persia. The football player gets some pearls and the Doc gets a compact. The catagory they selected: “Famous Rivers.” They win fifty bucks.

The car hop and the married man come back for the thousand dollar question:” Who commanded the troops at Little Big Horn?” They get it and walk off with a total of $1228.00

Groucho closes the show thanking Elgin for their three years of sponsorship. Back next week with a new sponsor. It was Desoto and a catch phrase was born, “Tell ’em Groucho sent you.”

In 1951 George Feneman appeared as Dr.Redding in “The Thing From Another World.”

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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