Saturday, July 2, 2022

Episode 48: Your Silent Partner


"I am the most fortunate self-taught harpist 
and non-speaking actor who ever lived."
Harpo Marx

Official description: "With the imminent arrival of Susan Marx’s Speaking of Harpo, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the (not) mute, (not) red-haired, (not) second-born, (not) Adolph Marx.

"Noah leads an examination of both the man and character, including the invaluable Harpo Speaks. We look at the evolution of his stage and screen persona, speculate if Harpo could have succeeded on his own, and explore the passion for his namesake instrument. We then have some fun giving Harpo 'hot takes,' before naming our favorite performances and other oddities.

"You’ll be left speechless.

"Name dropped in this episode: Steve Carrell, Bernie Goldstein, Richard Kiel"

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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Saturday, June 4, 2022

Episode 47: Bert & Harry Go West (featuring Scott Alexander)



Official description: "Not a fan of the Marxes' Go West? Wish it had been done by the guys who wrote Duck Soup? Well, it almost was. Acclaimed screenwriter and friend of the Council Scott Alexander joins us to discuss the film’s early scripts, penned by the legendary team of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby.

"Groucho as a leering divorce lawyer, Chico as a phony fortune teller, Harpo acting like Harpo...who couldn’t love that? Apparently, MGM couldn’t, because they ended up changing everything, including the century the film takes place.

"Scott theorizes on why Kalmar, Ruby and their work were discarded…and portrays Margaret Dumont in a possible career-changing turn. Need we say more?"

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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Footnote: Read Scott's original "term paper" covering his Go West investigations at the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Episode 46: Deridin' the Range (Our Go West Deep Dive)


In 1851, Horace Greeley uttered a phrase that did much to change the history of these United States. He said: "NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR A PODCAST ABOUT GO WEST, YOUNG MAN!" This is a story of three men who made Horace Greeley wish he had said it louder.

Official description: "WARNING: The following podcast includes explicit descriptions of subpar screenwriting, overwrought direction, and all-around lousy decision-making.

"Admittedly not our favorite Marx Brothers film, but one we sure had fun talking about. We explore whether the problem is the material or just our expectations. We ask if the road tour actually helped, why they switched Dan Wilsons, and how come MGM didn’t spend $4000 to save $50,000.

"Along the way, we are joined by the late June MacCloy, who played the whore Lulubelle, with juicy excerpts from a 1999 interview.

"Like prospectors in the old west, we sift thru the dreck to find nuggets of gold…or in this case, smaller pieces of dreck. Expect our trademark misguided insight and lame sarcasm peppered with way too many references to the Three Stooges."

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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Friday, April 1, 2022

Bonus Episode: Meet the Manicurist



There is one mystery that has haunted humankind, left us forever grasping for a sense of order and resolution in the cruel and random chaos of existence. If we knew -- really knew -- the identity of the woman who plays the manicurist in A Night at the Opera, it wouldn't just satisfy our interest in Marx Brothers arcana. It would give purpose to the experiment of human life on Earth.

But, unfortunately, we still don't know. April Fools!


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Episode 45: That En-cy-clo-pidia! (featuring Glenn Mitchell)


It speaks well of the Marx Brothers and their fans that there's such a massive shelf of outstanding books about the team and their work. At or near the top of that list is Glenn Mitchell's ambitious work of reference, The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia. This month, the man himself joins us for a discussion of his work.

Official description: "If you prefer your film history told alphabetically, then this is the episode for you!

"Glenn Mitchell, author of The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia, as well as similar volumes on Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin, joins us to not only tell the story of his fact-based books, but also grace us with some actual opinions. We learn his favorite Marx films, his least favorites, and the one he likes but can’t sit all the way through. 

"Glenn details how his books came to be, why they stopped, and what the next one would have been. He reveals rare discoveries made in the days of pre-internet research, as well as his take on the current state of Marx fandom…including an encounter with a guy who couldn’t comprehend the team’s name. 

"Glenn also touches on the uncut version of Horse Feathers, answers questions from the Facebook group, and gives Bob a surprising answer to his predictable manicurist inquiry."

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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Sunday, March 6, 2022

Episode 44: Double Disappointment (featuring Anthony Strand)



Isn't it interesting that Groucho made some movies without his brothers? Back in Episode 20, we tackled this question with regard to Copacabana (1947), and concluded that yes, it is somewhat interesting. And now, joined by Anthony Strand (of toughpigs.com and the Muppet movie podcast Movin' Right Along) we apply the same thinking to Groucho's odd double feature of early-fifties RKO releases, Double Dynamite (1951) and A Girl in Every Port (1952). Are these films interesting? Is this episode interesting? These are interesting questions -- or are they?

Official description: "We are joined by self-proclaimed Muppet geek and co-host of the Movin’ Right Along podcast, Anthony Strand, for a look at two of Groucho’s solo efforts, Double Dynamite and A Girl in Every Port.

"Despite the episode’s title, we think these films are just fine…where else can you see the world’s greatest comedian and the world’s greatest singer do a duet on a treadmill, or watch the dad from Hazel cheat on the sister of Groucho’s future wife. Along the way, we dump on Jane Russell, exalt Marie Wilson, and somehow claim Frank Sinatra is miscast as a character who’s described as looking like Frank Sinatra.

"So, if you want to learn who 'Icy Knockers' is, or the only performer besides Groucho to appear in both films, join us…you’re as sick as we are."

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:

Monday, January 31, 2022

Episode 43: I Take it Out Once in a While (featuring Jay Hopkins)


It's our first episode of 2022, and here we are again with a thousand dollars for one of our couples. Say the secret word and divide an extra hundred dollars. It's a common word...

Official description: "A supersized deep dive into You Bet Your Life.

"First, Marx Brotherhood founder Jay Hopkins joins us to talk about the origins of the series, its unique and sometimes controversial way of production, and how Groucho wanted and needed to evolve from his screen persona. We also discuss the show’s most famous moment…which likely didn’t happen at all.

"Later, we are treated to a never-before-heard interview (and scrumptious meal) with Jay and You Bet Your Life head writer Bernie Smith from 1979. Bernie gives a frank firsthand account of working on the show, and isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers…including the duck’s."

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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Photos of Bernie Smith, Jay Hopkins, and The Duck, 1979:





Episode 48: Your Silent Partner

"I am the most fortunate self-taught harpist  and non-speaking actor who ever lived." Harpo Marx Official description: "With...