||[Jun. 11th, 2011|09:33 pm]
Continuing the captured glimpses of the past...|
Groucho Marx will be immortal for his comedy films, this much is undisputed. What's fading in the public memory is that after his movie career, for 16 years the man hosted the great "quiz show" You Bet Your Life, which originated as a thinly veiled attempt to get the great comedian to host a talk show, by wedging a short quiz and prize segment at the end of every interview. Groucho occasionally hosted celebrities but almost exclusively dealt with ordinary folks, albeit ones who were interesting, charming or distinctive in some way.
The show persisted for so long for one reason: Groucho, working off-script, was a master wit and a brilliant ad-libber, and almost unflappable. But the occasions where even he was taken aback were notable on their own.
As an aside, had YouTube existed 56 years ago, this fellow would surely be an online notable almost overnight, with cameos and interviews elsewhere. But, sadly it was a different world then.