Picks and Pans Review: You Bet Your Life
Having packed in his monumental eponymous sitcom, Bill Cosby jumps right back in the saddle with this faithful remake of the old Groucho Marx game show.
It's the same format: Pairs of contestants wager on a series of simple questions. If a player mentions a predetermined secret word, a black goose drops down from the rafters wearing a Temple University T-shirt (Temple being Cosby's alma mater) and carrying a $500 bonus. Obviously, Cosby didn't become a zillionaire by throwing money around. The cash prizes haven't changed since the Marx show first ran on NBC from 1950 to 1961.
The game, of course, is only a pretext for the host to wax witty with the contestants. While Groucho liked to operate off the cuff, Cosby is a good deal more staff-prepared for what his guests will say. This remake may be more scripted, but it's no less entertaining. Nobody mixes and mugs like the Cos. He refers to his quiet sidekick only as Renfield, which, you may recall, was the name of Dracula's helper. In fact, she's Robbi Chong, daughter of '70s doper-comic Tommy Chong.
A pleasant enough time killer, this show unfolds as smoothly as Cosby's pudding commercials.
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