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Groucho Marx's classic "Idiot" line



Groucho marx quotes marriage

The turn-of-the-century building that his brother Harpo called "the first real home they ever knew" in his memoir Harpo Speaks was populated with European immigrants, mostly artisans. Just across the street were the oldest brownstones in the area, owned by people such as the well-connected Loew Brothers and William Orth. The Marx family lived at this location "for about 14 years", Groucho also told Cavett. The only known photo of all five Marx brothers with their parents in New York City, ; from left: His father was Simon "Sam" Marx , who changed his name from Marrix, and was called "Frenchie" by his sons throughout his life because he and his family came from Alsace in France. According to Groucho, when Shean visited he would throw the local waifs a few coins so that when he knocked at the door he would be surrounded by adoring fans. Marx and his brothers respected his opinions and asked him on several occasions to write some material for them. Minnie Marx did not have an entertainment industry career but had intense ambition for her sons to go on the stage like their uncle. While pushing her eldest son Leonard Chico Marx in piano lessons she found that Julius had a pleasant soprano voice and the ability to remain on key. Julius's early career goal was to become a doctor, but the family's need for income forced him out of school at the age of twelve. By that time young Julius had become a voracious reader, particularly fond of Horatio Alger. Marx would continue to overcome his lack of formal education by becoming very well-read. After a few stabs at entry-level office work and jobs suitable for adolescents, Julius took to the stage as a boy singer with the Gene Leroy Trio, debuting at the Ramona Theatre in Grand Rapids, MI on July 16, By Minnie Marx had assembled her sons into an undistinguished vaudeville singing group billed as "The Four Nightingales". After exhausting their prospects in the East the family moved to La Grange, Illinois , to play the Midwest. After a particularly dispiriting performance in Nacogdoches, Texas , Julius, Milton, and Arthur began cracking jokes onstage for their own amusement. Much to their surprise, the audience liked them better as comedians than as singers. The Marx Brothers would perform variations on this routine for the next seven years. For a time in vaudeville all the brothers performed using ethnic accents. Leonard, the oldest, developed the Italian accent he used as Chico Marx to convince some roving bullies that he was Italian, not Jewish. Arthur, the next oldest, donned a curly red wig and became "Patsy Brannigan", a stereotypical Irish character. His discomfort when speaking on stage led to his Uncle Al Shean's suggestion that he stop speaking altogether and play the role in mime. Brother Chico's deal-making skills resulted in three hit plays on Broadway. No other comedy routine had ever so infected the Broadway circuit. All of this stage work predated their Hollywood career. By the time the Marxes made their first movie, they were already major stars with sharply honed skills; and by the time Groucho was relaunched to stardom on You Bet Your Life , he had been performing successfully for half a century. As the Marx Brothers, he and his brothers starred in a series of popular stage shows and movies. Their first movie was a silent film made in that was never released, [10] and is believed to have been destroyed at the time. A decade later, the team made two of their Broadway hits— The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers [10] —into movies. Furious with the Marx Brothers' ad-libs and antics on the set, Wood yelled in disgust: One of his earliest stints was a short-lived series in , Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel , costarring Chico. Though most of the scripts and discs were thought to have been destroyed, all but one of the scripts were found in in the Library of Congress. It moved from radio to television on October 5, and ran for eleven years. Filmed before a live audience, the show consisted of Marx bantering with the contestants and ad-libbing jokes before briefly quizzing them. The show was responsible for popularizing the phrases "Say the secret word and the duck will come down and give you fifty dollars," "Who's buried in Grant's Tomb? Frank Sinatra , who once quipped that the only thing he could do better than Marx was sing, made a film with Marx and Jane Russell in entitled Double Dynamite. Mustache, eyebrows, and walk[ edit ] See also: Groucho glasses In public and off-camera, Harpo and Chico were hard to recognize, without their wigs and costumes, and it was almost impossible for fans to recognize Groucho without his trademark eyeglasses, fake eyebrows, and mustache. Groucho and Eve Arden in a scene from At the Circus The greasepaint mustache and eyebrows originated spontaneously prior to a vaudeville performance in the early s when he did not have time to apply the pasted-on mustache he had been using or, according to his autobiography, simply did not enjoy the removal of the mustache every night because of the effects of tearing an adhesive bandage off the same patch of skin every night. After applying the greasepaint mustache, a quick glance in the mirror revealed his natural hair eyebrows were too undertoned and did not match the rest of his face, so Marx added the greasepaint to his eyebrows and headed for the stage. The absurdity of the greasepaint was never discussed on-screen, but in a famous scene in Duck Soup , where both Chicolini Chico and Pinky Harpo disguise themselves as Groucho, they are briefly seen applying the greasepaint, implicitly answering any question a viewer might have had about where he got his mustache and eyebrows. Marx was asked to apply the greasepaint mustache once more for You Bet Your Life when it came to television, but he refused, opting instead to grow a real one, which he wore for the rest of his life. By this time, his eyesight had weakened enough for him actually to need corrective lenses; before then, his eyeglasses had merely been a stage prop. He debuted this new, and now much-older, appearance in Love Happy , the Marx Brothers's last film as a comedy team. He did paint the old character mustache over his real one on a few rare performing occasions, including a TV sketch with Jackie Gleason on the latter's variety show in the s in which they performed a variation on the song " Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean ," co-written by Marx's uncle Al Shean and the Otto Preminger film Skidoo. In his late 70s at the time, Marx remarked on his appearance: Edmund Morris, in his biography The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt , describes a young Roosevelt, newly elected to the State Assembly, walking into the House Chamber for the first time in this trendy, affected gait, somewhat to the amusement of the older and more rural members. Personal life[ edit ] The Marx Brothers clockwise from bottom: His first wife was chorus girl Ruth Johnson. He was 29 and she 19 at the time of their wedding. The couple had two children, Arthur Marx and Miriam Marx. His second wife was Kay Marvis m. Groucho was 54 and Kay 21 at the time of their marriage. They had a daughter, Melinda Marx. His third wife was actress Eden Hartford. During the early s, Groucho described his perfect woman: When the group began its first rehearsal at Hecht's home, Groucho rushed in and demanded silence from the "lousy amateurs". Groucho was allowed to join the symphonietta. On the set of You Bet Your Life with daughter Melinda, Despite his lack of formal education, he wrote many books, including his autobiography, Groucho and Me and Memoirs of a Mangy Lover He was a friend of such literary figures as Booth Tarkington , T. Eliot and Carl Sandburg. Much of his personal correspondence with those and other figures is featured in the book The Groucho Letters with an introduction and commentary on the letters written by Groucho, who donated [16] his letters to the Library of Congress. His daughter Miriam published a collection of his letters to her in titled Love, Groucho. Groucho made serious efforts to learn to play the guitar. I'll continue to believe that Democrats have a greater regard for the common man than Republicans do". Later years[ edit ] You Bet Your Life[ edit ] Groucho's radio career was not as successful as his work on stage and in film, though historians such as Gerald Nachman and Michael Barson suggest that, in the case of the single-season Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel , the failure may have been a combination of a poor time slot and the Marx Brothers' returning to Hollywood to make another film. Groucho as host of You Bet Your Life, In the mids, during a depressing lull in his career his radio show Blue Ribbon Town had failed, he failed to sell his proposed sitcom The Flotsam Family only to see it become a huge hit as The Life of Riley with William Bendix in the title role, and the Marx Brothers as film performers were well past their prime , Groucho was scheduled to appear on a radio show with Bob Hope. Annoyed that he was made to wait in the green room for 40 minutes, Groucho went on the air in a foul mood. Hope started by saying "Why, Groucho Marx! Listening in on the show was producer John Guedel , who had a brainstorm. He approached Groucho about doing a quiz show, to which Groucho derisively retorted, "A quiz show? Only actors who are completely washed up resort to a quiz show! Groucho replied, "Well, I've had no success in radio, and I can't hold on to a sponsor. At this point, I'll try anything! The show was on radio only from to ; on both radio and television from to ; and on television only, from to The show proved a huge hit, being one of the most popular on television by the mids. With George Fenneman as his announcer and straight man, Groucho entertained his audiences with improvised conversation with his guests. Since You Bet Your Life was mostly ad-libbed and unscripted—although writers did pre-interview the guests and feed Groucho ready-made lines in advance—the producers insisted that the network prerecord it instead of it being broadcast live. There were two reasons for this: The television show ran for 11 successful seasons until it was canceled in Automobile marque DeSoto was a longtime major sponsor. For the DeSoto ads Marx would sometimes say: The program's theme music was an instrumental version of " Hooray for Captain Spaulding ", which became increasingly identified as Groucho's personal theme song. A recording of the song with Groucho and the Ken Lane singers with an orchestra directed by Victor Young was released in It was a series of five original children's songs with a connecting narrative about a monkey and his fellow zoo creatures. The show's most famous remark supposedly occurred as Groucho was interviewing Charlotte Story, who had borne 20 children. When Marx asked why she had chosen to raise such a large family, Mrs. Story is said to have replied, "I love my husband"; to which Marx responded, "I love my cigar, but I take it out of my mouth once in awhile. Marx and Fenneman both denied that the incident took place. The guy says he has seventeen kids and I say, 'I smoke a cigar, but I take it out of my mouth occasionally'? I never said that. During a tour of Germany in , accompanied by then-wife Eden, daughter Melinda, Robert Dwan and Dwan's daughter Judith, he climbed a pile of rubble that marked the site of Adolf Hitler 's bunker , the site of Hitler's death, and performed a two-minute Charleston. A clip of this is in rotation on Classic Arts Showcase. On October 1, , Groucho, after acting as occasional guest host of The Tonight Show during the six-month interval between Jack Paar and Johnny Carson , introduced Carson as the new host. However, it was poorly received and lasted only 11 weeks. It was released by the studio where the Marx Brothers began their film career, Paramount Pictures. The film received almost universally negative reviews. As a side note, writer Paul Krassner published a story in the February issue of High Times , relating how Groucho prepared for the LSD-themed movie by taking a dose of the drug in Krassner's company, and had a moving, largely pleasant experience. Groucho developed friendships with rock star Alice Cooper —the two were photographed together for Rolling Stone magazine—and television host Dick Cavett , becoming a frequent guest on Cavett's late-night talk show, even appearing in a one-man, minute interview. Groucho marx quotes marriage

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5 Comments

  1. Are we all gonna get married? And all this will cost you is Why, you can get a phonograph record of 'Minnie The Moocher' for seventy-five cents

  2. Since You Bet Your Life was mostly ad-libbed and unscripted—although writers did pre-interview the guests and feed Groucho ready-made lines in advance—the producers insisted that the network prerecord it instead of it being broadcast live. I no wanna the fish!

  3. You've got to expect that once in a while. If you've got six can I lend you four? A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing.

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