Talk:Groucho Marx

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Biography / Actors and Filmmakers (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers.
WikiProject Comedy (Rated B-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Comedy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of comedy on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Radio (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Radio, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Radio-related subjects on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.

The "Fokker" episode[edit]

I saw an early YBYL with a woman having a heavy accent of some kind, who mentioned she had been followed by some 'dirty fockers'. Groucho smoothed things over by saying 'Well, you all know what a Fokker is...' then ad libbing some nonsense about WWI German fighters. The woman then interrupted, saying, ' No, these fockers wanted to rap me...' , then some one came in with something else. I got the impression that it was live TV from the early '50's, when you could not bleep( this was a film I saw decades later). What episode was this? It seems to have dropped out of sight, and I would think some YouTube fan would have posted it, but no Internet search shows anything. And we need a reference to put it in the article. Anyone know which show this was? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Photo Berlin trip[edit]

I am trying to locate a photo of Groucho's trip to Berlin after WWII. he went to the park built on the site of Hitler's bunker because he wanted to "dance on Hitler's grave" it's a great shot of Groucho clicking his heels in the air does anyone know where I can source a copy? thanks.

Never seen the picture, but apparently ([1]) it's a real event. Sounds like the edgy sort of thing Groucho would do. If you do find the picture, drop a note here. grendel|khan 22:06, 2005 Jan 23 (UTC)

Last words?[edit]

I seem to remember hearing somewhere that Groucho Marx's last words were "Either these curtains go or I do!", can anyone confirm this?

In his book Raised Eyebrows, Steve Stoliar, Groucho's secretary, has this to say about Groucho's last words:
"According to Andy [Marx, Groucho’s grandson], Groucho opened his eyes and said, 'What do you want?' The nurse smiled and said, 'We have to see if you have a temperature.' In a voice barely above a whisper, Groucho muttered, 'Don’t be silly. Everybody has a temperature.'."Shsilver 14:44, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I've also heard the "curtains" quote attributed to Oscar Wilde -- back when Groucho was still alive. -- Infrogmation 15:29, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
I've only heard the "curtains" remark attributed to Wilde. Though having just read Melmoth, which was closely based on Oscar Wilde's death, I suppose the story is apocryphal---it's the sort of thing he would have said. grendel|khan 19:47, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

I´ve heard that the epitaph in Groucho´s grave reads: "Excuse me, madame, but I cannot get up." Is that true?

No. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:23, 10 January 2007 (UTC).
Obviously, his last words had to be, "Hello, I must be going..." Wahkeenah 01:21, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

"Member" joke[edit]

There is no mention in this article of the most famous of all of Groucho's quips, the one about "I wouldn't belong to any club that would have me as a member." This joke is surprisingly hard to pin down and has been worded in a seemingly infinite number of ways, but one might suspect it originally appeared in a written letter. Richard K. Carson 02:05, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Groucho recalls the story of this joke in one of his books. I believe it is in _Groucho and Me_.

Yes, this quote is all over the internet, just search for "Groucho belong member". But the wording varies (club vs. organization, etc), and most such quote listings give no source details, so there is no way to cross-check or verify. If there are any good quote listings that do give source/attribution details for Groucho, please add this information here and in the main article.- 11:35, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Agree totally. It is a major omission. Along with this, is a similar quote, almost as good, though rather dated in context: "I would only take out a subscription to this magazine in order to cancel it." ( (talk) 23:57, 29 March 2009 (UTC) ) (talk) 23:54, 29 March 2009 (UTC) )

"Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel"[edit]

Why is there no mention of Groucho and Chico in their lawyer radio show? Pete 06:39, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

"Most of the scripts and discs were subsequently destroyed (except the last shows) only turning up in 1988 in the Library of Congress." What do you mean by this? were thw scripts and discs destroyed, or did they show up in the LoC? Is it only the scripts of the last shows that were found? -Eric

Groucho and Bugs[edit]

It seems that someone has missed the forest for the trees. Bugs Bunny was loosely based off of Groucho Marx. For instance, carrot = cigar, and one of Bugs' most famous lines was "Of course you know this means war!" which was taken from one of the Marx Bros. films (I believe it was from "A Night At the Opera," not "Duck Soup" as one might expect.)

It was Duck Soup! -
No, it was not Duck Soup, actually. I believe it was Night at the Opera. He never uses those words in Duck Soup, though I remember him doing it at a later one. It could also be At The Circus, A Day At the Races, etc. J. M. 07:20, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

It was not Duck Soup. It was A Night At The Opera. Harpo, Chico, and the straight man (I can't remember his name) had been caught and locked in the brig for being stowaways. They climed down a rope swinging past the porthole and climed into the room of three foreign brother aviators who were sleeping. The three brothers had just flown across the Atlantic or someting like that. The guys took the brothers clothes and cut off their beards in order to sneek off the ship but there is press confrince wating for the aviators. They are asked to say a few words. Chico goes first and says the first time they got half way and ran out of gas so they to turn around and go back. On the second try they were almost ready to land and they reaized they forgot the airplane and had to go back. On the third try they decided to take a boat. Harpo went next. As we know he doesn't speak so he drinks a glass of water. And he just keeps drinking water. Finaly he turns the pitcher of water up. The water causes his beard to come loose. A cop looking for the guys says someting about it and they get upset. They start talking to Groucho in their nativ toung (witch is the audio track being played backwards.) They stom off and Groucho turns the to cop and says "Of course you know this means war."

In a Day at the Races a horn blows (From the racetrack I believe) and Groucho yells "It's war!" He does not yell the exact phrase "This means war!" in Duck soup but there are many similar statements. (Mschonert 02:15, 31 May 2006 (UTC))
In Duck Soup, as I recall, the one who actually utters the words "This means war!" is Ambassador Trentino, just before he storms out in a huff (or a minute 'n a huff). After he has left, Groucho reiterates, "Then it's war!" and several other players echo Groucho. Bugsy's frequently used comment, spoken directly to the audience, "Of course you realize this means war!" was taken from that phraseology in the Marx films, it's just not an exact quote. Kind of like "Play it again, Sam" is connected with Casablanca, although those precise words are not used. Wahkeenah 19:17, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Look a like[edit]

Is it true that Marx came in third once in a Groucho Marx look a like contest? 10/20/2006

you're thinking of another famous comedian with a mustache: charlie chaplin.

  • Although that sounds like a Groucho-type joke. Wahkeenah 19:09, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Though I, myself, am not up to the task, I suggest that this page undergo some heavy re-writing. Many portions read like nothing but "fan-gush." If asked to, I'll gladly quote a few examples.


Some quibbles with the personal life section[edit]

I have to admit that I have some quibbles with the personal life section. The author of this section makes some assertions then seeks to support them with evidence that contradicts the assertions.

The first one: the assertion that Groucho was "always on", always playing Groucho is supposedly supported by an example where he declined to give his real name and pull rank in a restuarant. Sounds lke he wanted to go incognito to me, rahter than alwasy be Groucho.

The second assertion: that he often played mayhem at his friends' expense in restaurants is supposedly supported by an anecdote where a stranger, not a friend, approaches Groucho and asks him to insult his wife. Groucho obliges humorously.

Maybe Groucho was "on" for much of the time and maybe he did often make fun of his friends in restaurants. I don't know. I do know that the evidence offerred doesn't support the facts. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:54, 26 February 2007 (UTC).

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. (talk) 23:37, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Legacy Section[edit]

The legacy section is getting so it is almost as long as the rest of the article. All that is really necessary here should be a note about some of the more famous and influential mimickings of Groucho and an indication of the continuing imitation. Shsilver 02:18, 8 April 2007 (UTC) It should be noted that "You Bet Your Life" was one of the first TV shows that was filmed before it was aired.Most of Groucho's jokes were ad libbed.They would film about 45 min.and edit it down to about 25 min. This way Groucho would not have to watch what he said.--StivCa 17:17, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

I believe in an episode on Futurama, Groucho is parodied (unintentionally) by a noseless Fry. GoodDay (talk) 19:42, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Karl and Groucho Marx[edit]

I'd come to this page expecting to find out whether there is any link between the Marx brothers and Karl Marx, but couldn't find an answer nor enough information to figure it out myself. Could anyone add some information about the Marx family, or at least Groucho's father name? An answer to the actual question might not even be out of place--I'm sure I'm not the only one to have ever wondered about this. Cheers!

Well, I'm pretty sure the two weren't related in any way. I'm also certain that many Russians would have been Marxists of the Groucho variety rather than the Karl variety. (And remember to sign your comments.) — Cinemaniac (talk) 04:46, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Some of us are both. And I am pretty sure that Richard Marx fits in there somehow. (talk) 11:15, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

According to Stefan Kanfer's book Groucho the life and times of Julius Henry Marx, Groucho's father was born "Simon Marrix" changing it to "Marx" after immigrating to the U. S. in 1881. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

FBI Investigation[edit]

I feel that the FBI's investigation of Groucho in the 50's as a suspected Communist sympathizer should get some sort of mention on this page, or at least a link to their recently unearthed file on him— <>

Given the climate of the times, I would think that not being investigated would be a bigger story. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 10:53, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

What is the name of the 104 year old man?[edit]

I am publishing a book of aphorisms by a friend who died recently at age 97. She spoke of a 104 year old man who studied with Sri Auribindo and had an 88 year old "bride." He was a contestant on the Groucho Marx show and must have been quite interesting. As an FYI she met him at a Klu Klux Klan rally where they were both observers in the late 1940's or early 1950's. Thank you, Welbywelby (talk) 21:03, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I saw an episode of YBYL with a man who was supposed to have the panel guess what he saw as a boy. There was an audible gasp when the audience was informed by a message hidden from the panel "I saw Lincoln shot". He must have been over a hundred as well; who was he? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Groucho in The Candidate?[edit]

If so, where? Never seen him in it in all the times I have watched it. Mmm commentaries (talk) 07:16, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

He's not in the film's entry IMDB, and that site typically has every crew member they can identify, including the coffee-and-donuts guy, so I'm assuming that either (1) it's a hoax or (2) it's a mistake, i.e. somebody thought they saw him in it (if so, they should speak up here). In any case, I removed it as being unsourced. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 10:51, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

For what it's worth, the IMDb still lists this as fact in its Trivia section for the movie. Silky Slim (talk) 07:01, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Also FWIW, it happens to be accurate; he's in it. Yes, it's easy to miss -- it's very brief, and Groucho doesn't look much like Groucho - you have to remember that at age 78, he was an old, bald guy. I understand that "I've seen it" is not a reliable source -- but that's one of my pet peeves about WP: an ineluctable *fact* that you have witnessed with your own eyes cannot be added unless another eyewitness happens to have written it down, or talked to a reporter who wrote it down, in an acceptable sort of printed medium. I understand the reason for that rule too -- but it's still very frustrating. And by the way, "I have NOT seen it" is not grounds for striking an entry either. Also, for the record, the fact that it's not credited in IMDb means nothing -- first, because it is, after all, UNCREDITED (hello?); and second, because as a general rule IMDb is not a particularly reliable source. But he's there, I promise you. Look again. Cheers, DoctorJoeE (talk) 19:00, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Ok, tell us where he is, exactly. Someone can write an article or post for slate or wired about how several people have looked at yr reference and think its him, and we can use that as an article source. (talk) 20:12, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Who Lived longer?[edit]

Here is an excerpt from the section on Groucho's Death:

" Aged 86 at death, Groucho lived the longest out of all the Marx Brothers and was survived only by younger brother Zeppo, who outlived him by two years."

I've read this 10 times and it still doesn't make any sense. The only possible coherence would be if Zeppo didn't count as one of the Marx Brothers, but he's certainly listed as one at the beginning of the couple films I've seen!

I'd edit it myself, but I don't know which is the truth. Could someone who knows fix this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:15, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Groucho had the longest lifespan of the brothers, age 86. Zeppo was the youngest brother and hence was the last one to die. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 02:02, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Or, to put it another way, Groucho died in 1977 at age 86. Zeppo died in 1979 at age 78. (Gummo died in 1977 before Groucho, at age 84). Shsilver (talk) 04:32, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

OH! OK, I'm with you now. Thanks a lot guys, sorry for wasting your time. :) (talk) 04:54, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

More Liberal?[edit]

"Groucho Marx's political views were more liberal." More liberal than what? This needs some comparative. GeneCallahan (talk) 04:48, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

It made sense until a deletionist chopped it down: [2] Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 05:51, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

The term "liberal" doesn't make any sense in the context of the argument that he had anything in common, politically, with Karl Marx. Liberalism espouses free markets, which Karl Marx certainly did not. The fact that "liberal" became synonymous with "socialist" in contemporary main-stream US politics is pure ideological conceit, and utterly nonsensical.

Also, that stuff about John Lennon... what? How does this support anything in common with Karl Marx? Did whoever write this confuse John Lennon with Vladimir Ilyich Lenin? -- (talk) 14:34, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Are you talking about the Firesign Theater thing? Keep in mind they were a comedy team. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 17:22, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

(Yeah, Lennon read a book by Marx, the quartet practised in the park and we sang dirges in the dark the day the music died) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:54, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Did he have a daughter named Judith?[edit]

In the section on children, there is no mention of a daughter named Judith. Then, later, it says he went with his wife Eden and daughter Judith to visit Hitler's bunker. Please clarify! Thanks. (talk) 22:20, 24 October 2008 (UTC)Rebecca

Judith in the sentence refers to Judith Dwan, not Groucho's daughter, who would have been Melinda.Shsilver (talk) 16:07, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Ybylife.jpg[edit]

The image Image:Ybylife.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --10:00, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

What Musical Instrameants He Played.[edit]

I has been seen in [At least] two his films ("Monkey Business" and "Horse Feathers") That he played guitar, and snug songs. Thus it should be added that: "He played guitar and sung songs"--Morahman7vn (talk) 07:26, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Groucho briefly played the guitar in MONKEY BUSINESS and HORSE FEATHERS; however, he was filmed playing the guitar extensively in GO WEST. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Markplage (talkcontribs) 13:37, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Groucho in legacy[edit]

I'm taking out the bit about Groucho's voice in Vlasic Pickle commercials. The reference provided talks about a 1974 commercial being revived in 1999. The text it is supposed to support says a stork talks like Groucho. I believe the reference and text must match each other.

I'm also taking out Groucho as Lord Julius, Alan Alda vamping as Groucho in M.A.S.H. and Rob Zombie using character names from Marx movies. All of these comparisons, as obvious as they may be, are unsourced and constitute synthesis. If brought back in, each one will need to have a reliable, verifiable third-party source acknowledging the Groucho influence. Binksternet (talk) 20:29, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

You obviously know nothing about this subject, and would be well advised to find something else to edit. Obvious Groucho imitations are not "synthesis". Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 20:34, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Your unexamined reversion of my edit took out other useful tweaks of mine such as capitalization correction and formatting an IMDb inline link to become a reference. Let's focus on the Vlasic section you feel is sourced.
Try reading WP:SYNTH and you'll see how somebody pretending to wave a cigar and speaking like Groucho doesn't qualify as a Groucho imitation here on Wikipedia. The connection needs to be recognized by a reporter or writer. It's simple, really, to find such references. I feel they're required. Binksternet (talk) 20:41, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for being snippy. What you should do, rather than taking a machete to something that's obviously valid, is to add a citation-needed tag to it. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 01:19, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Just because somthing doesn't have a source doesn't mean it needs to go away. The Rob Zombie thing should go back in there (seeing as how its fairly significant if I do say so myself),,, but I don't really know how to make it go back myself, so if someone could do that it'd be great. And I don't beleive that something like that really needs a source; they even bring it up in the freaking movie. Just source IMDb or something if need be.Thakmere (talk) 02:03, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Significant in what way? Using character names from Marx Brothers movies does not belong in this particular article—it doesn't help in understanding Groucho. Binksternet (talk) 14:03, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Umm,, maybe you should watch the movie, there's like a 5 minute segment focusing around Groucho,, it ends up meaning nothing, but its still a neat thing. And what does knowing that Groucho is the name of a character in Dylan Dog help understand Groucho? Maybe you should rename it "Legacy (and other trivia)" if you're going to be so touchy about it. If someone like Rob Zombie is going to include someone in his movie and make it a main point, it should be noted. Besides, who really cares, just put it in there, its COOL information--it certainly helped me watch the movie being the avid Marx Bros. fan that I are. I don't see why you're being so persistent about making sure it doesn't go in there... If someone dies from reading that lick of info I'll take full responsibility.Thakmere (talk) 19:02, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Looks like we're lined up on either side of the classic debate, Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia. No sweat, man. Binksternet (talk) 21:09, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Strike through text?[edit]

Why is everything on the article page struck through? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:46, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Vandalism, now fixed. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:14, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

His visit to the New York Stock Exchange[edit]

"In the 1950s Groucho was invited to take a tour of the New York Stock Exchange. While in the observation booth, he grabbed the public address system handset and began singing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady". Upon hearing silence coming from the trading floor, he walked into view, was given a loud cheer by the traders, and shouted, "Gentlemen, in 1929 I lost eight hundred thousand dollars on this floor, and I intend to get my money's worth!" For fifteen minutes, he sang, danced, told jokes, and all this time, the Wall Street stock ticker was running blank."

I first came across this story in a comment on a video he was in on YouTube, and I Googled "Groucho Marx New York Stock Exchange" to find more information on it. I found this story on four websites (one of which was IMDb), which would normally suggest that it's probably true, but all four websites used exactly the same wording, and none of them cite sources, making me wonder whether it's just an urban legend that's caught on. As such, I didn't want to add the information to the article, but I think it should be looked into, because, if it's true and he really did stop the Stock Exchange, that's one hell of an accomplishment. (talk) 16:37, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Brief appearance on "I Dream of Jeannie"[edit]

Groucho appears for a quick gag in the last scene of "I Dream of Jeannie:The Greatest Invention In The World" (season 2 ep. 47) at 24:00. You can check it out on YouTube: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:11, 18 September 2010 (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 (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. (talk) 23:56, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

File:Marx Brothers 1948.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

Image-x-generic.svg An image used in this article, File:Marx Brothers 1948.jpg, has been nominated for deletion at Wikimedia Commons in the following category: Deletion requests January 2012
What should I do?

Don't panic; a discussion will now take place over on Commons about whether to remove the file. This gives you an opportunity to contest the deletion, although please review Commons guidelines before doing so.

  • If the image is non-free then you may need to upload it to Wikipedia (Commons does not allow fair use)
  • If the image isn't freely licensed and there is no fair use rationale then it cannot be uploaded or used.

This notification is provided by a Bot --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 17:35, 9 February 2012 (UTC)