Friday, February 26, 2021

Episode 32: I Don't Think This Damn Thing is Safe



The last significant work by Groucho Marx as a performer was An Evening With Groucho -- which is the title of his 1972 concert, and the resulting LP. To the question "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" Groucho provided an irrefutable if unhelpful answer: You reach the age of 81 having been a vaudeville headliner, a Broadway star, a Hollywood icon, a hit on radio and television, a successful author, and a living legend. 

Official description: "Our deep dive into 1972’s An Evening With Groucho LP, and the historic performance at Carnegie Hall.

"To be frank, we’re as conflicted about this as you are…Groucho finally gets the late-in-life showcase he craved and obviously deserved, but perhaps a bit too late for him to take full advantage of. We point out the triumphs, tragedies, and missed opportunities that Groucho dealt with in 1972, culminating with this hit album.

"We detail favorite moments as well as our disparate experiences first hearing this LP, and whether it is a piece of entertainment, a piece of history, or both...

"Name-checked in this episode: Brent Spiner, The Beach Boys, Diane Keaton."

Note for early birds: When a new episode is released, it might not appear at all of the locations below right away. If you visit your favorite podcast provider and the previous episode is still the most recent one you see there, be patient! And above all, don't worry.

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Footnotes:

Friday, January 29, 2021

Episode 31: Our BRAIN DONORS Special


Our first episode of 2021 is our best episode of the year thus far! In addition to your faithful co-hosts, it features a couple of genuine comedy legends, and a discussion of the film the Marx Brothers would have made if they had made this film.

Official description: "Imagine a Marx Brothers-like film in 1992, now imagine a really good Marx Brothers-like film in 1992…well, imagine no more because such a film actually exists, Brain Donors. Created by the team behind Airplane! and The Naked Gun films, Brain Donors achieved everything it set out to do…except finding an audience. 

"To explain why, and a whole lot more, we are joined by producer David Zucker and screenwriter Pat Proft, both life-long Marx fans. They detail the making of the film, including the casting of John Turturro as the Groucho-inspired lead. David and Pat also discuss the positive feedback Brain Donors received from the studio, until Hollywood politics reared its head and derailed what could have been a series of faux-Marx films. 

"Surely, one of our most requested topics… 

"Name-checked in this episode: Jason Alexander, Bob Costas, Senator Joseph McCarthy."

Note for early birds: When a new episode is released, it might not appear at all of the locations below right away. If you visit your favorite podcast provider and the previous episode is still the most recent one you see there, be patient! And above all, don't worry.

Download an MP3 directly to your computer.

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Footnotes:

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Episode 30: K&R vs K&R



The thirtieth episode of The Marx Brothers Council Podcast is also our final episode of the year 2020. This has been a singular year, to say the least, but through it all we've stubbornly persisted in keeping the Marxian conversation going. Thanks to our guests, and especially our listeners, the podcast has been one of the life rafts keeping us going through tough times. We hope it's served the same purpose for you, in some small way, and while we all hope that 2021 is better, we promise that The Marx Brothers Council Podcast will be there no matter what. Now on with this month's show.

Official description: "A holiday extravaganza because we say it is!

"Actor/writer Nick Santa Maria returns for an examination of the Marxes’ two principal writing teams, George S. Kaufman & Morrie Ryskind, and Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby. We compare their styles and strengths, and go off on numerous unrelated tangents. But first, we detour to Kalmar & Ruby’s original vision for the finale of A Night at the Opera, featuring another performance by The Not Ready For Online Players...augmented by Kathy Biehl and Pete Lutz.

"Name-checked in this episode: Parkyakarkus, Carroll O’Connor (twice), Paul Harvey

"WARNING: Due to Matthew’s overly-festive mood, this episode contains a moment of adult language."

Note for early birds: When a new episode is released, it might not appear at all of the locations below right away. If you visit your favorite podcast provider and the previous episode is still the most recent one you see there, be patient! And above all, don't worry.

Download an MP3 directly to your computer.

Stream the episode via Cast.

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Footnotes:

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Episode 29: Make That Three Hard Boiled Eggs


Episode 29 is a big one, folks, in which we discuss one of the Marx Brothers' greatest films with a gifted photographer and designer, an accomplished novelist, a fine musician, Groucho's grandson for cryin' out loud, and Gus Kahn's grandson at the same time -- with only one guest!

Official description: "In our NEW longest episode yet, we welcome Groucho’s grandson, Andy Marx, for a deep dive into A Night at the Opera, and a whole lot more…

"Andy recalls growing up with Groucho during the time he went from being a game show host to a legend. We learn about his curious connection to rock stars and speculate on his politics. We also hear about Andy’s other famous grandfather.

"Finally (at 28:40), we turn our attention to what most Marx fans agree is their first film for MGM. We try and make sense out of why this reinvention of the team  works so well…all while doing the unbearable nitpicking we have become famous for!

Name-checked in this episode: Elton John, Richard Nixon, Scott Alexander."

Note for early birds: When a new episode is released, it might not appear at all of the locations below right away. If you visit your favorite podcast provider and the previous episode is still the most recent one you see there, be patient! And above all, don't worry.

Download an MP3 directly to your computer.

Stream the episode via Cast.

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Footnotes:

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Episode 28: Flywheel, Shyster, and Tefteller


It's always a treat to speak with someone who knew Groucho Marx in real life -- even more so if that person is a good storyteller. And if that person has also dedicated a lifetime to the preservation of rare Marx Brothers performances, then you must be speaking with John Tefteller.

Official description: "In our longest episode yet, we barely scratch the surface while talking to archivist John Tefteller. John has spent more than four decades accumulating rare Marx Brothers audio, and is producing a collection of the long-lost radio series Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel.

"John details how, as a high school sophomore, he was hired to be Groucho’s personal recording engineer and archivist. His stories of rare finds, heartbreaking misses, and colorful personalities will entertain you more than we ever did. You’ll even get to hear about John’s days as a teenage relationship counselor to Zeppo, and then Erin Fleming.

"Yes, your three hosts are on the show…but about as much as the Marxes are in The Story of Mankind.

"Name-checked in this episode: Bill Clinton, Perry Como, Ed Begley Jr."

Note for early birds: When a new episode is released, it might not appear at all of the locations below right away. If you visit your favorite podcast provider and the previous episode is still the most recent one you see there, be patient! And above all, don't worry.

Download an MP3 directly to your computer.

Stream the episode via Cast.

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

BONUSCAST | The Jay Hopkins Interviews: Volume 5 - Nat Perrin


Official description: "In our final trip into the vault, we are treated to Jay’s never-before-heard 1984 chat with writer Nat Perrin. Perrin talks about his 50-year association with the Marxes, from contributing gags to Monkey Business all the way to Erin Fleming’s legal challenge to Groucho’s estate.

"You’ll hear about Nat’s work on the Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel radio series, and his later contributions to Go West and The Big Store. Perrin also discusses some of his non-Marx films and later TV work.

Note for early birds: When a new episode is released, it might not appear at all of the locations below right away. If you visit your favorite podcast provider and the previous episode is still the most recent one you see there, be patient! And above all, don't worry.

Download an MP3 directly to your computer.

Stream the episode via Cast.

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Listen via YouTube:


Monday, September 7, 2020

Episode 27: A Compilation, a Sandwich, and You


The theory has often been advanced that the best Marx Brothers movie would actually be a Frankenstein's monster, consisting of the best parts of all their movies. (Well, most of them, anyway.) In our twenty-seventh episode, we take one approach to that challenge.

Official description: "In the spirit of the great comedy compilation films of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, we’ve decided to create our own 'Best of the Marx Brothers' money-grab.

"To be precise, the three of us have each compiled our own films…hamstrung by the constraints of our in-house Irving Thalberg. We’ll discuss our scene choices and come up with a final tracklist, all before realizing the whole exercise was pointless.

"Did your favorite scene make the cut? Listen and find out, unless you’re an Eve Arden fan, in which case don’t even bother….

"Name-checked in this episode: W.C. Fields, Kristen Schaal, Jay Hopkins."

Note for early birds: When a new episode is released, it might not appear at all of the locations below right away. If you visit your favorite podcast provider and the previous episode is still the most recent one you see there, be patient! And above all, don't worry.

Download an MP3 directly to your computer.

Stream the episode via Cast.

Listen and subscribe via Google Podcasts.

Listen and subscribe via Apple Podcasts.

Footnotes:

  • Information about Home Again: The Marx Brothers and New York City, live-streaming on October 2, 2020, can be found here and here.

  • Information about the forthcoming Blu-Ray release of A Night in Casablanca is here.

Episode 32: I Don't Think This Damn Thing is Safe

The last significant work by Groucho Marx as a performer was An Evening With Groucho -- which is the title of his 1972 concert, and the resu...