You Bet Your Life—The Best of Groucho Marx
Price: One dollar, found at Wal-Mart
It’s hard to believe people thought this stuff was entertaining. Don’t misunderstand; I’m a huge fan of the Marx Brothers, Groucho in particular. But this show is nothing but awkward silences, slow moving conversations and missed one-liners. If you don’t know or remember, You Bet Your Life didn’t actually involve betting one’s life, but it was in fact just a trivia show.
The banter between Groucho and the contestants was the primary source of entertainment value of the show. Unfortunately, this isn’t the slick, fast talking Groucho from the movies. The pace is slow; a sleepy and aged Groucho Marx sits and chats with people who aren’t especially entertaining.
The highlight of the DVD is when a professional pickpocket appears on the show and proceeds to pick the pocket of another guest, then Groucho’s pocket, next he removes Groucho’s suspenders from his suit and while helping Groucho back into the suspenders he picks his pocket again. The guy said he was a legal pickpocket, someone who helped local police departments in stopping pickpocket rings. Well, maybe that’s how he ended up.
What I find funny is the fact contestants who were good at the game could win almost 3000 dollars. A generation later, contestants on “Win Ben Stein’s Money” (A personal favorite of mine) could earn a whopping five thousand dollars. So, the money wasn’t bad on the show.
This forces me to consider what people will think of reruns of “Deal or No Deal” (presently the only game show I watch) in 40 years. They’ll probably think the same thing I think, “Man are these people stupid.”
And just like that, two episodes and an appearance by Groucho’s daughter and it’s over. Well, that’s what I get for spending a buck for a DVD.