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Picture Credit: Why a Duck?


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> Description 
Groucho would be introduced to the music of "Hooray for Captain Spaulding", his signature song introduced in the 1930 film Animal Crackers. Much of the tension of the show revolved around whether any of the contestants, in pre-contest conversation with Groucho, would say the "secret word", a common word seemingly selected at random and revealed to the audience at the show's outset. If a contestant uttered the word, a mustachioed toy duck (wearing eyeglasses and with a cigar in its bill, resembling Groucho) would descend from the ceiling to bring the contestant $50; Marx would sometimes slyly direct their conversation in such a way as to encourage the word to come up. The contestants were paired individuals of the opposite sex who were not married or involved in a relationship with each other; most frequently, both were married to other people. Sometimes celebrities would be paired with "ordinary" people, and it was not uncommon for the contestants to have some sort of newsworthiness about them. For example, one episode aired soon after the end of the Korean War featured a Korean-American who had been a prisoner of war.

In the contest itself, contestants would choose among available categories and then try to answer a series of questions dealing with the chosen category. One popular category involved attempting to name a United States state after being given a number of cities and towns within the state.

Over the years, the format of the game was modified slightly, as were the prize amounts. By the early 1950s, the secret word prize had been increased to $100 and the grand prize for the winning couple was $1,000. By the late 1950s the prize had increased to $10,000. The famous "secret word duck" was also replaced from time to time with a wooden indian figure.

The play of the game, however, was secondary to the interplay between Groucho, the contestants, and occasionally Fenneman. The program was hugely successful and was rerun into the 1960s, and later in syndication, under the title The Best of Groucho. As such, it was the first game show to have its reruns syndicated.

Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
 
> Airing History & Information 
Last Airing Sep 21, 1961
Premiere October 5, 1950
Episodes
Network NBC
Format/Time Black & White / 30 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
 
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Best Episodes (Shout! Factory)
(July 27, 2004)
 


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