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Showing posts with the label you bet your life

October 2: Happy Birthday, Groucho Marx

His childhood ambition was to be a doctor.  And while it would be a pleasure to be treated by a sawbones with a greasepaint mustache and an ever-present cigar, we can all be grateful that Marx Groucho became one of the greatest American comedians of all-time. Along with his brothers, Marx was--of course--a film star first and foremost, with television success coming later.  But success was a three-legged stool in those days, composed of making it on the silver screen, the tube, and the airwaves. Marx struggled to keep sponsors on his first few attempts, but succeeded spectacularly with You Bet Your Life .  This was a showcase of Groucho's quick-witted ad-libbing, disguised as a quiz show.  Groucho would exchange banter with folks pulled from the studio audience, a technique that would go on to become commonplace, practiced by countless talk show hosts. Thanks for the memories, Groucho.  And a happy birthday.

May 9: Happy Birthday, Mike Wallace

While Massachusetts was Mike Wallace 's 1918 birthplace, Michigan was the birthplace of his broadcasting career. Wallace was a writer and newscaster at WOOD in Grand Rapids, and then an announcer at Detroit's WXYZ. After his tour of duty in the Navy during the WWII , Wallace returned stateside and found employ as radio announcer in Chicago, doing the emcee duties for such shows as Sky King and Curtain Time . He got a higher-profile gig announcing for Groucho Marx 's You Bet Your Life. It was then on to broadcast journalism with an interview show called Night Beat.  Mike Wallace  radio life was concluding as he would go on to television super-stardom, with his claim to fame being 60 Minutes . Wallace died in 2012.

Phyllis Diller in Old Time Radio: You Bet Your Life

Phyllis Diller passed away at the age of 95 this week.  Here is an old time radio episode starring Phyllis Diller (1917-2012) as a guest star contestant in the Jan 27, 1958 broadcast of Groucho Marx 's  You Bet Your Life .   Diller was just starting in show business at the Blue Angel. Here is the full old time radio episode: (Phyllis Diller appears in the broadcast half way at around the 11 minute mark)