Secret Word Bird -
Stuffed duck puppet featured on the quiz show YOU BET YOUR LIFE/NBC/1950-61.
Hosted by comedian Groucho Marx, the program used a stuffed duck wearing glasses, and mustache
that resembled the show's host. It dropped down between Groucho and
his contestants whenever one of the contestants uttered the secret
word during their conversations with Groucho.
The secret word was a
common, everyday word used all the time. Whenever a contestant did
say the secret word, the stuffed duck would fall from the ceiling
with the prize of $100 attached to its dilapidated body.
place of the duck, was "The Secret Word Girl" (often Marilyn Burtis)
dropping from the ceiling on a swing seat, or dancing across the
stage in a ballerina's costume to hand-deliver the $100 prize to the
lucky contestant who had spoken the secret word.
When Bill Cosby
revived YOU BET YOUR LIFE/SYN/1992, he upgraded Groucho's scruffy
stuffed duck with a more elegant cigar-chomping black goose that