“Although it’s generally known, I think it’s about time to announce that I was born at a very early age.” – Groucho Marx, Groucho And Me
“I came down here for a party. What happens? Nothing. Not even ice cream. The gods looked down and laughed. This would be a better world for children if the parents had to eat the spinach.” – Groucho as Capt. Spaulding, in Animal Crackers.
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October 2nd marks the 130th anniversary of Groucho Marx’s birth and a host of expert Marxists shall be celebrating that day. In fact, yours truly will be hosting a Facebook Live event on the An Evening With Groucho fan page which can be located on the ‘Links’ section of this very site. The event begins at 4PM PDT/7PM EDT. My esteemed guests will be phoning in live, discussing all things Marx and answering your questions. I am thrilled to announce the following participants:
Bill Marx: Bill had the singular experience of touring with his father, Harpo – performing as his assistant as well as arranging music for multiple recordings and live shows for his legendary dad. A composer and arranger of jazz in his own right, Bill continues to play piano. In his Uncle Groucho’s later years in the mid-1970’s, Bill accompanied Groucho at Marx household soirees to the tunes of “Lydia, The Tattooed Lady” and “Show Me A Rose.” His memoir “Son of Harpo Speaks!” is available online.
Robert Weide: Bob is a producer/director/writer responsible for the first documentary on the Marx Brothers – The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell. Since then, Bob has made quite the mark in show business notably as the principal director and an executive producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Look for his upcoming documentary on Kurt Vonnegut.
Robert Bader: Robert is a writer/producer whose books include “Four of the Three Musketeers” – the story of the Marx Brothers on stage and “Groucho Marx & Other Short Stories and Tall Tales: The Selected Writings of Groucho Marx.” He produced two DVD sets of Groucho’s TV series You Bet Your Life as well as the Marx Brothers on Television DVD.
Robert Marx: Bob is not only the son of vaudevillian turned agent, Gummo Marx, but a former TV executive and current business tycoon married to Gilda Marx of Body by Gilda fame. Bob rarely discusses his famous family and I look forward to our chat.
Paul Wesolowski: Paul and I have been friends since 1982 when we first crossed paths in his capacity as publisher of The Freedonia Gazette – his homespun periodical dedicated to the Marx Brothers. Paul is considered the first and foremost researcher on all things Marx providing valuable information to scholars, writers and Groucho himself.
John Tefteller: As a teenager in the 1970’s, John was hired by Groucho Marx to record and archive Marx’s appearances…and that he did. John is currently restoring and continuing to discover lost Groucho radio work including broadcasts from Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel and Pabst Blue Ribbon Hour.
Leonard Maltin: When I was a teenager I first became aware of the great film critic and historian, Leonard Maltin, through his books Movie Comedy Teams and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide. He is the host of the podcast Maltin on Movies and has a significant social media presence. It will be a treat to hear him discuss Groucho’s legacy.
Drew Friedman: Drew is the lauded cartoonist and illustrator who has depicted ‘the one, the only Groucho’ from the 1930’s film years to the 1950’s You Bet Your Life years through Groucho’s elder statesman era. Drew had the good fortune of meeting Groucho when Drew was a kid and he’ll be sharing that epic tale. I own a Friedman original and two signed prints so every where I gaze in my home, Drew is present. If you haven’t already, get Old Jewish Comedians (in which the Marx Brothers are featured) and it’s sequels.
October 2nd shall soon be upon us. In the interim, dear readers, listen to the updated Groucho Internet Radio playing 24/7 programs including The Jack Benny Program, Command Performance, The Bing Crosby Show, Birdseye Open House (Dinah Shore), NBC’s Silver Jubilee and You Bet Your Life.
Tune in folks…and…hello, I must be going.
Happy birthday, Groucho!
Your fan and friend,
Frank Ferrante, Groucho Marx Productions, Inc.