Monday, August 30, 2010

Apparently it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

From 1947 to 1961, comedian Groucho Marx had a radio and television program called You Bet Your Life. The program was revived in 1992 with comedian Bill Cosby as host. (Actually, the program was also revived in 1980 with comedian Buddy Hackett as host, and a pilot was produced in 1988 for a revival with comedian Richard Dawson as host that never made it, but I don’t want to bore you with details.)

I can’t think of a good reason to show you these clips, except that I find them insanely funny. Contestant Marcia Brody is more hilarious than all of those professional comedians put together.

Part 1 (7:41)

Part 2 (7:01)

You are now free to return to your otherwise drab and uninteresting lives.


  1. That first part is hilarious and Bill Cosby's expressions are amazing.X

  2. An excellent post from a first class blogger.

  3. Weeell, I was uncomfortable with the lady being teased... And I usually enjoy Cosby very much. I guess we all have different things we find funny.

  4. Elizabeth, I gather that either you didn't enjoy the second part as much or you didn't watch it (fourteen minutes is a long time).

    Lord Pudding, I don't know whether to say "thank you" or "you really know how to hurt a guy." I must learn more about Yorkshire sensibilities so that I will understand when you mean what you say and when you are pulling my leg. 8)

    Katherine, I do see what you mean. Perhaps I was being politically incorrect. I was born in the north but have lived most of my life in the south, so I get the good-naturedness of it all. But you are right; perhaps in some quarters such laughter is not so good-natured. We should laugh with one another, not at one another.

    The part that bothered me was Bill's remark about the taxicab to the Jamaican man. Now there's a stereotype. But the man's outfit didn't help.

    Perhaps the whole show was contrived and not spontaneous at all. Stranger things have happened.

    I considered removing the post after receiving your comment, but I think I will leave it up and hope that other readers come to these comments for a second opinion.

  5. I loved all the accents.

    My guess is the Jamaican guy from the audience didn't quite understand what the book was about either. Cause I thought it was about a boy who went to bed and 'fell through the bed into his dream'. There wasn't a hole in the bed at all. Was there?

  6. Oh, I noticed the wordverification for this comment is 'ingliz'. How sort of appropriate ;-)

  7. I'm glad you didn't remove the post, else I would have missed these. You're correct: Marcia Brody is a natural comedian, but is she as clueless as she seemed to be? I have never been one to watch "game shows" but I think I might regret not having watched this series with Bill Cosby. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I did listen to it all, but didn't find the second piece as funny. I just assumed it was scripted...there are lines in it that don't sit in real life and the whole thing was too contrived and false. Communication is part of my business and I know natural tenets of speech, intonation, pause and hesitation, plus the use of natural mannerisms when I see them; this piece does not display them - they are rehearsed 'mockumentary' speech styles.

    I'm not in the habit of laughing AT people and if, in the unlikely event, that this is proved real, then I apologise, wholeheartedly, to all concerned, including the lady who, willingly, with her eyes fully open, signed the contract allowing this to be aired and therefore for audiences to react to it in whatever way they wanted.

    I have worked with television companies, albeit in this country, and know how seriously the producers of these things take their contracts with participants - the cost of legal writs is too high to do otherwise - and EVERY person mentioned or participating in that piece, if they exist, will have had to give their permission for that; no producer would ever risk including that level of personal identification of family members.