Groucho Marx

A. Joseph Ross
Sat Aug 21 00:34:58 EDT 2004

On 20 Aug 2004 at 7:31, Sid Schweiger wrote:

> And just to keep this thread on topic, Groucho had a long career in
> broadcasting.  The radio show he did with his brother Chico, "Flywheel,
> Shyster and Flywheel" ran on NBC-Blue during the 1940's, and of course
> "You Bet Your Life" for a few seasons on CBS Radio and 11 years on NBC-TV.

Actually, it had several seasons on ABC, then CBS, and then NBC radio and television.

Groucho was on a number of other radio shows, none of which lasted very long.  According 
to the story, Walgreen Drugs was doing an all-star special, with a storyline that had Bob 
Hope running a radio station in the middle of the Sahara Desert.  About midway through, 
Groucho was supposed to show up as a salesman.  The show was running late, and 
Groucho sat around cooling his heels and feeling sorry for himself.  

Finally, when it was time for him to go on, Bob Hope delivered the scripted line, "Groucho 
Marx, what are you doing in the Sahara Desert?"
Groucho ad-libbed, "Desert hell, I've been standing in a drafty corridor for a half hour!"  Then 
Bob Hope threw away the script, and the two of them kept up with hillarious ad-libs for the 
next ten minutes.

This prompted producer John Guidel, who was in the audience, to conclude that the reason 
Groucho hadn't done well in radio was because he needed a vehicle that would allow him to 
ad-lib.  The result was "You Bet Your Life."

A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                           617.367.0468
 15 Court Square, Suite 210       
Boston, MA 02108-2503           

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