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You Bet Your Life

 

NOTE: In many cases, the exact spelling of contestant names was not given or shown on-air. Instead of using "?" more times than should be proper in any circumstance, most of the names listed are my reasonable guesses based on how they are spoken by Fenneman, Groucho, and the contestants themselves.
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YOU BET YOUR LIFE (Groucho Marx/NBC Primetime, 1950-61) [13 episodes]
Great show with an inimitable host.
Original quiz format: couples start at $20 and can bet all or part on questions, with a maximum of $320; Jackpot starts at $1,000 and goes up $500 each week until won (1950-53)
* February 22, 1951 (#50-21): Nina Kramer & Clarence Allen, Major Crossley & Sylvia Sparks, Norma Welts & Yuka Salamunich. Secret Word: "Door"; Jackpot: $2,500. [D-7.5/KIN]
Second quiz format: couples start with $0 and select questions ranging from $10-$100 (1953-54)
* February 18, 1954 (#53-23): Ann Reardon & Bill Eddie, Shirley Lestelle & Charles Sandoval, Ethel Smerdan (a guy) & Mary Sackett (GREAT contestant who makes Groucho put out his cigar!). Secret Word: "Clock"; Jackpot: $3,000. Original commercials. [D-7.6/KIN]
Second quiz format altered: couples start at $100, with a miss halving their bankroll (1954-56)
* May 13, 1954 (#53-35): Ula Anderson & Charles Osbourne, Henry Aaron & Laura Asher, Cyril Bennett & Jackie Rayners. Secret Word: "House"; Jackpot: $2,500. Original commercials. [D-7.7/KIN]
* November 4, 1954 (#54-08): Burt Stewart & Mrs. Edgar Hill, Bill Early & Joan Rosenthal, Carol Hall (a guy) & Kendra Davies. Secret Word: "Chair"; Jackpot: $3,000. Original commercials. [D-7.8/KIN]
* November 11, 1954 (#54-09): Hal Keane & Joanne Keane, Martha Parsons & Dr. Richard Haiti, Beverly Putman & Lt. Richard Chamber. Secret Word: "Voice". Original commercials, including a plug for Groucho Cocktail Napkins! [D-7.9/KIN]
* December 16, 1954 (#54-14): Morey Simon & DEAN CROMWELL, Norma Ireland & Thomas Craddock (funny conversation regarding the town of Mystic!), Rev. Carl Domas & Helen Domas. Secret Word: "Wall"; Jackpot: $1,000. A judging error causes a couple to be invited back next week to try for $1,000. Original commercials. [D-7.1/KIN]
* January 6, 1955 (#54-17): Sargent Sylvester Nelson & Collette Nelson, Marilyn Pierce & JIM FERRIER, Evelyn Sorrows & Floyd Humiston. Secret Word: "Water"; Jackpot: $1,000. [D-7.10/KIN]
* January 27, 1955 (#54-20): Wandra Crumpel & Roger Sharky, Lynn Armstrong & Tom Blutina, Corrine Clark & Gordon Honn. Secret Word: "Clock"; Jackpot: $2,500. "Best of Groucho" syndicated repeat (with blurred-out NBC microphone, no mention of sponsors, and brief "COMMERCIAL HERE" slides), answer to third question missing. [D-7.12/KIN-RPT-SM]
* April 7, 1955 (#54-30, taped 2/8/55): Beverly Rubins & CHARLES DRESSEN, Lester Henthorne & Janet Wang, Kaye Barker & ROBERT BOOTZIN (quite weird!). Secret Word: "Voice"; Jackpot: $1,500. Original commercials, highly-recommended! [D-7.2/KIN]
* May 12, 1955 (#54-35): Barbara Schmidt & Mario DaRae, Vernon Cameron & Mariana Errlick, June French & ALBERT HALL (GREAT contestant!). Secret Word: "Food"; Jackpot: $2,000. AMAZING episode! Original commercials, first second or two missing. [D-7.4/KIN]
* June 21, 1956 (#55-39/Season Finale): Ann Rowell & Henry Jacobs, Alice Handwill & Albert Eisen, Edna Hill & Wade Ruby. Secret Word: "Hand"; Jackpot: $1,500. Next week's repeat will feature athlete Billy Pierce, who later won $64,000 "on some other show". [D-7.11/KIN]
Third quiz format: two couples play per show and answer questions until getting four right consecutively or two wrong consecutively; top prize is now $10,000 (1957-59)
* January 31, 1957 (#56-19): Jan Dietrich & John Roese, then Nina Morgan & Nicky Stewart (who insults Groucho!). Secret Word: "Head". Original commercials, including one for Prom with Chico and Harpo! [D-7.3/KIN]
Fourth and final quiz format: couples pick questions from a tray with $100-$200-$300 slots, with $500 needed to have an opportunity at the $10,000 or $5,000 (1959-61)
* 1960?: Steve Wayne & Audrey Kofman, then Lily Nyton & Judy Kroten. Secret Word: "Skin". "Best of Groucho" syndicated repeat, with brief "COMMERCIAL HERE" slides. [D-7.13/KIN-RPT-SM]

Now where to?
A-C
D-H
Family Feud
I-L
Jeopardy!
M-O
P-R
Password
The Price Is Right
S-U
V-Z
Wheel of Fortune

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