Talk:Groucho Marx

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Origin of stage name "Groucho"[edit]

Did he get his stage name from "grouchy"? This should be mentioned in the article, thanks. Maikel 12:58, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree. The article should tells us when and how he got the stage name. In a play about him written by his son, Groucho tells a story of a friend who had a talent for giving people nicknames that would stick. I don't know if the story is true, who the friend was, or when it happened, nor do I have a reference. (I can't even remember the name of the play, but it wasn't "Minnie's Boys.") —MiguelMunoz (talk) 05:30, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
You're right that this would be good information for the page, but unfortunately nobody really knows. There is a classic Groucho line where he explains how Harpo and Chico got their names, and then quips that nobody would tell him where 'Groucho' came from. 170.170.59.139 (talk) 23:37, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
According to the documentary "On Your Marx, Get Set, Go", there were at least three theories about Groucho's name. Groucho himself claimed it was taken from a popular comic strip character of that day. Chico's daughter Maxine said she always assumed it was because of his disposition (She said, "He wasn't grouchy all the time, but he was grouchy a lot!"). Chico himself said it was because Groucho carried the "grouch bag", which was slang for a money pouch. Groucho denied this in his memoirs, however.71.48.145.252 (talk) 18:40, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Urban Legend About "Cigar"[edit]

Your article said that the exhange between the guest with many children and Groucho saying "I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth every once and a while" was "urban legend" and that it took place on radio. In fact, I clearly remember seeing the exchange on a television rerun many years ago and also remember recounting the exchange to my father, who died in 2007. I wondered at the time how it got past the censors of the 50s or early 60s. Perhaps the radio story is true and Groucho used another man with a large family to repeat the line on television. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.169.41.18 (talk) 22:25, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

It certainly sounds like something Groucho might say, but it is highly unlikely he would have got away with it in 1940s-50s-early 60s broadcast or telecast. Until someone can find a definitive reference that pins down all the details (there have been several versions of the story and the exact quote), it will have to remain in the realm of "Urban Legend". I wonder if Snopes has ever looked into this? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:53, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Snopes has looked into it and declared it false. Groucho himself in a 1972 interview with Roger Ebert for Esquire magazine discounts the story. He says that he happily accepted the $25 royalty check from Reader's Digest for printing the quote, but that he never actually said it. 170.170.59.139 (talk) 23:56, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
I saw a documentary about this - I think it was on A&E. It said Groucho actually uttered the line during a rehearsal for his radio show and wanted to use it on the air, but the censors wouldn't let him. That version makes a lot of sense, but others have cited contradictory versions, so your guess is as good as mine as to which one is true.71.48.145.252 (talk) 18:43, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually, the cigar story has been convincingly refuted by a number of researchers. The problem with documentaries/biopics/etc. is that they are not held to any factual standards whatsoever. Many people desperately want that story to be true, and swear they saw it on TV with their own eyes, despite the fact that the alleged exchange took place on radio, not TV. Add the following: it was denied by Groucho himself; no one who worked on the show remembered it; no has ever found a clip or recording of it; and the circumstances vary widely depending on who tells the story (a sure sign of an urban legend). The specific problem with the version in the documentary you watched is that the show was never rehearsed. Groucho was given some salient information about the guests in advance, so he would know where to steer the questioning in the limited time he had, but the whole reason for the show's success was its spontaneity -- Groucho was allowed to do what he did best: ad lib. More on this, if you're interested, in the You Bet Your Life article. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 15:37, 4 February 2015 (UTC)