Talk:Chico Marx

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Dubious[edit]

"He used an Italian accent, developed off-stage to deal with neighbourhood toughs..." That sounds like a load of crap to me. I wouldn't advise anyone, when faced with a gang of young Italian thugs, to try to mollify them by talking like Chico. Anybody have a source for this? —Chowbok 17:21, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

From the Groucho Marx page: "Leonard Marx, the oldest Marx brother, developed the "Italian" accent he used as "Chico" to convince some roving bullies that he was Italian, not Jewish." Makes a bit more sense that way, but it also has no citation/source. —scawt 17:28, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

As far as I know, each of the brothers used ethnic accents in their stage act prior to their film career. That was a vaudeville staple. For example, Groucho effected a German accent. I think somebody made up that stuff about Chico's accent (probably someone who would pronounce his name "Cheek-o" instead of "Chick-o", which was the correct way). Unless one of the Marxes themselves said it in one of their books, it's likely bogus. Wahkeenah 17:35, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Those would have to be some dumb roving bullies to be fooled by Chico's accent. I took it out. —Chowbok 17:42, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
"Hey! ATTSAmatta fo' you??? Why a duck? Why a no chicken???" No, I can't see that soothing thuggish tempers... Rizzleboffin 17:45, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, it might work with the crips and the bloods, in that it might make them think that you're one crazy mother and to leave you alone. Wahkeenah 18:12, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
On the other hand, it does seem like I read this claim somewhere years ago, and thought "This must be B.S." at the time... Entertainers are notorious for making up such stories. Maybe Groucho or Chico said it. I'll keep my eyes open for a source, and if I find one, might put it back with, "so & so claimed, in such & such an interview..." as a colorful story. Though even then, it may not belong in the article. Rizzleboffin 18:29, 17 August 2006 (UTC)


Also highly dubious is the stated "origin" of his name. There is no documented proof listed in this article for this. On the contrary, Groucho, on his live Carnegie Hall performance states his brother's name came as a result of the fact that he worked as a chicken chaser. For a job. "In England they called them birds". During this whole segment of his bit Groucho is talking about the various jobs Chico had. Nothing women is mentioned, nor hinted at. True he chased women, a lot. But don't confuse that with the origin of his name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Darkwolfe 73 (talkcontribs) 18:43, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

"In England now, they call them birds." I have the "An Evening With Groucho" LP, and he says it in the present tense. From the LP (the segment "My Family, How We Got Our Names"): “Chico was what they used to call a chicken chaser. And, uh, in England now, they call them birds, which is the equivalent of a chicken chaser in America fifty years ago. He did very well with that, too.” No mention of it being a job. Chasing women was Chico’s avocation, and he was famous for his success with the fairer sex. Groucho is referring to the British custom of calling attractive women "birds." In America, we call them "chicks." In the segment "Chico At Klauber Horn & Co," Groucho tells a funny story about Chico working for a company that manufactured paper. Chico never brought home a salary, because he was always in the pool room. His father told him to bring home a salary the following week or "I'll kill you." Chico came home and said, "Dad, I got a great surprise for you." He had taken the three dollars he was supposed to bring home and bought toilet paper with it. There is no mention on the LP of Chico having a job involving actual chickens, or any other job, for that matter. Chico's name came from his womanizing ways. 66.191.43.60 (talk) 18:56, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

The origin of Chico (AKA Leo, Leonard) Marx’s accent is documented in several books including: http://books.google.com/books?id=UJb_tnBVcG8C&pg=PT197&lpg=PT197&dq=%22chico+prepared+for+life+by+becoming+a+master+of+dialects%22&source=bl&ots=BazbHE5uir&sig=o-jUZiliokq4nYWMg2I335ZBzmo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Erz6UtbDIYfyqQHQi4C4BA&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22chico%20prepared%20for%20life%20by%20becoming%20a%20master%20of%20dialects%22&f=false

It was at home and in the tough Yorkville streets that the boys received their real education. Harpo developed the resourcefulness to carry something of value, like a dead tennis ball or an empty thread spool to ransom his way to freedom if cornered by a rival street gang. Chico prepared for life by becoming a master of dialects to avoid being the wrong “streeter.”

Charlotte Chandler, Hello, I Must Be Going (P 136)


Growing up in a melting pot’s tenement district in the heat of the Migration to America Leo (Chico) avoided trouble by adopting an Irish or German or Italian or whatever accent was necessary to dodge hostility. Joe Adamson, Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Sometimes Zeppo (P 17) EddieFromRI (talk) 01:36, 12 February 2014 (UTC) EddieFromRI

Fair use rationale for Image:BabsAsGroucho.jpg[edit]

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Fair use rationale for Image:Chicomarx2.jpg[edit]

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Image:Chicomarx2.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 20:23, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

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Out of place digression on his Italian accent[edit]

What's this discussion of his accent doing at the very front of what you would expect to be a history of his acting career, as there would be for most actors? Wouldn't it make more sense for this piece of apparent original research to be further down, so that it has some context? --jpgordon::==( o ) 01:16, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

It's an essential feature of his persona. It's not as if he had a varied career! Rothorpe (talk) 02:38, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I think it belongs somewhere. But where? Most biographical articles start out with biographical stuff, rather than digging into one particular characteristic of his persona. --jpgordon::==( o ) 03:07, 23 December 2013 (UTC)