On this date in 1950, “You Bet Your Life” premiered on NBC. It had been a radio show for 3 years before its TV debut, and was hosted by Groucho. This tune, “Hooray For Captain Spaulding” served as his intro. It first appeared in the Marx Brothers stage show “Animal Crackers” in 1928, which made it to the silver screen in 1930.
The show featured two contestants who answered questions in different categories, and served as a vehicle for Marx’s ad libbing. Want to see a clip? You bet your life we’ve got it…click here.
“You Bet Your Life” featured many stars of tv, film and other walks of life. William Peter Blatty portrayed an Arabian Prince on the show, a disguise Groucho saw through. He’d use his winnings to take time off and write a little script he called “The Exorcist”. Phyllis Diller was “merely” a housewife before getting her big break on the show.