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.

Stream the episode via Cast.

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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.

Stream the episode via Cast.

Listen and subscribe via Google Podcasts.

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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.

Stream the episode via Cast.

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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:





Saturday, December 25, 2021

Episode 42: The Sanity Clauses



Official description: "Two Jews and a Brit celebrate Christmas and ring in the new year with our Marx Brothers hot takes!

"We like a film that most don’t, dis a famous artist, and suggest changes that will make you dance barefoot in our lemonade. And as a special treat, Noah tells how he risked his sanity and marriage to prepare for this episode.

"So, if you want to hear well-developed opinions combined with half-baked ideas, you’ve come to the right place!

"Name dropped in this episode: Richard Pryor, Rudolf Nureyev, Danny Kaye."

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:


Saturday, December 4, 2021

Episode 41: Waxing Wroth (Our Horse Feathers Deep Dive featuring Adam Gopnik)



Listeners to the podcast, podcast listeners, readers of the blog, and blog readers -- I guess that covers everything -- we have one of our epic deep-dives for you this month. The subject is the great masterpiece Horse Feathers, and the guest is the great essayist Adam Gopnik, whose most recent Marx-adjacent project is the new Library of America S.J. Perelman anthology. Where's the seal? Where's the seal? Where's the seal? Where's the seal?

Official description: "Adam Gopnik, New Yorker writer and editor of S.J. Perelman: Writings, joins us for an exhaustive look at the Marx Brothers’ 1932 classic, Horse Feathers.

"Adam discusses Perelman’s influence and tries to pinpoint his specific lines, Noah is skeptical that Horse Feathers owes anything to the brothers’ vaudeville school act, Matthew keeps track of the differences between the film and shooting script, while Bob constantly derails the conversation with trivial observations.

"Singing the film’s praises, we can’t help but lament the mangled version history has left us with…we talk about what’s missing and why. We also touch upon Chico’s limp, Thelma Todd’s traveling birthmark, and how Harpo isn’t a mime at all.

"Discussion more than twice the length of the movie with 1/10th the entertainment value!"

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:

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 P...