Saturday, June 29, 2019

Episode 16: (After) The End of the Marx Brothers


The picaresque career of the Marx Brothers had many beginnings and many endings. Just as the three decades beginning in 1905 were filled with various "this is our big break!" breakthroughs, there was a repetitive, meandering quality to their final efforts as a team. Their "farewell picture," The Big Store (1941), was followed not just by two more Marx Brothers movies, but by a ragtag series of film and television projects which occasionally succeeded in putting more than one Marx Brother in the same place at the same time.

In this sixteenth episode of the Marx Brothers Council Podcast, we examine the Brothers' joint efforts following the release of what was technically the last Marx Brothers movie.

Official description: "Though the Marx Brothers stopped performing together after 1949’s Love Happy, that didn’t stop the constant stories, rumors, and plans of future projects. This month we take a look at the Marxes' 1950s post-career, which included a few moments when they did reunite. Bob comes up with a unique (and probably stupid) theory about The Incredible Jewel Robbery, while Matthew admits to a Marx appearance that he can’t be bothered to watch. Later, we are joined by Marx and Re-Marx author Andrew T. Smith for a closer look at the aborted Deputy Seraph project."

Note for early birds: When a new episode is released, it might not be immediately available at all the locations below. If you click a link and Episode 16 isn't there yet, try another, or try to be patient! And above all, don't worry.

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Footnotes for this episode:


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Bonuscast | The Jay Hopkins Interviews: Volume 1 - John Guedel


Before Jay Hopkins became internationally famous as the special guest on Episode 15 of the Marx Brothers Council Podcast, he was already beloved as social media gadfly and leader of the Marx Brotherhood. During the Brotherhood's golden age, Jay conducted numerous exclusive interviews with noteworthy figures from the Marx Brothers universe. As hinted in Episode 15 of the podcast, Jay has generously agreed to allow some of those interviews to be released here as bonus episodes. And so, we now inaugurate a series within our series: Welcome to The Jay Hopkins Interviews.

The official description: "The first in our exclusive series of vintage interviews from the archives of Marx Brotherhood founder, Jay Hopkins. From 1979, Jay talks to You Bet Your Life creator and producer John Guedel about the genesis of the show, how it was put together each week, and how the show library was on the verge of being discarded in the early ’70s before John and Groucho came to the rescue...which in turn, led to its huge revival."

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Episode 15: This Magnificent Display of Effusion


The Great Marx Brothers Renaissance of the 1970s is the subject of our fifteenth episode, which includes our conversation with Marx Brotherhood leader and Marx Brothers Council stalwart Jay Hopkins, as well as an excerpt from one of Jay's fabled interviews (in this case, with You Bet Your Life producer John Guedel).

Here's the official description: "Founder of the legendary Marx Brotherhood fan club, Jay Hopkins, joins us for a look at the 1970s Marx renaissance. What caused it? Could it happen again? What was Nat Perrin’s apartment number? We examine Groucho’s part in the movement, as well as his curious relationship with Erin Fleming. Jay tells of his experiences with the Brotherhood, as well as his firsthand interviews with important Marx figures…at least the ones he didn’t scare off."

Note for early birds: When a new episode is released, it might not be immediately available at all the locations below. If you click a link and Episode 14 is still the most recent one on the list, try another, or try to be patient! And above all, don't worry.

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Footnotes for this episode:



That brings us down to the end of another one -- see you next month!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Episode 14: Look at Chicolini


In our fourteenth episode, we focus for the first time on one Brother in particular. He may look like an idiot, and talk like an idiot, but don't let that fool you -- he really is the most mysterious and elusive of the three, four, or five Marx Brothers. Trav S.D. (No Applause - Just Throw Money, Chain of Fools, Travalanche) joins the panel to shoot the breeze about shooting the keys.

Official description: "We are joined by writer/performer/bon vivant Trav S.D. for an in-depth analysis of the world of Chico. We examine his strengths, weaknesses, contradictions and roller skating. Is he the most underrated of the three, or the most overrated of the four? And where does he fit alphabetically…you’re going to be surprised. Along the way we’ll enjoy some classic piano and misquote our favorite lines."

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Footnotes for this episode:

- Ed Liu on "The Chico Marx Effect"

Les débuts de Chico Marx au Roller Catch:

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Episode 13: You'll Duck Soup the Rest of Your Life


"Once upon a time," writes Matthew in The Annotated, "there was a Marx Brothers film called Duck Soup." Nobody disagrees with that, but we do find some points of contrast in this full-episode discussion about the Marx Brothers' greatest film, which is not their best work. Of course you know this means war!

Official description: "This month we take a deep dive into Duck Soup, which Matthew acknowledges as one of his thirteen favorite Marx Brothers films. Bob fixates way too much on trivial moments, while Noah savors the early scripts way more than Leo McCarey did. By the end, we all reluctantly agree that the film is over…and so is Zeppo. Oh, and be on the lookout for a Ramones shout-out, a tie-in to Hogan’s Heroes, and a clip from a 1986 film."

Note for early birds: When first released, new episodes may not appear at all of the below locations right away. If you click a link and see that Episode 12 is still the most recent one listed, try another, or be patient and it will appear everywhere -- and above all, don't worry.

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Footnotes for this episode --


Many thanks to Mikael Uhlin for these materials! Visit Mikael's Duck Soup page here.

Hail, hail Freedonia -- see you next month!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Episode 12: We Get Mad Because We Can't Read

In Episode 12 of The Marx Brothers Council Podcast, we're joined by celebrated screenwriter Scott Alexander for a discussion of two tellings of the Marx Brothers' biography.

Official description: "Screenwriter and lifelong Marx fanatic Scott Alexander (Ed Wood, Man on the Moon, The People vs. Larry Flynt) joins us to discuss Kyle Crichton’s 1950 biography of the Marxes, which established many of the myths that hold to this day. Later, Scott details the creation of his Marx Brothers biopic script, and how Tony Clifton might be responsible for it not being produced. Finally, Scott tells of his search and ultimate discovery of an important lost Harpo film. Warning: This episode contains adult language."

Notice for early birds: After a new episode is released, it may take a little time before it appears at all of the links below. If you click something and Episode 11 is still the most recent one available, please be patient, and above all, don't worry.

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Footnotes for this episode --

  • The Marx Brothers by Kyle Crichton is out of print, but it's an essential volume, and used copies can be found for sale. Start here.
  • Here's a photo of Harpo in Got it Made, the lost industrial film recently discovered by Scott Alexander, and discussed in this episode (photo from Western Connecticut State University):

As always, you can find us and talk to us in the Marx Brothers Council Facebook Group. See you next month!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Episode 11: Art is Art and Water is Water

Happy New Year, ladies, gentlemen, and others! It's 2019 and we're back, ever on the cutting edge of tomorrow, discussing a comedy team who made their last film seventy years ago this year.

This year, like the last several years, promises many thrills for those of us who love the Marx Brothers. To the pile of recent excellent Marx books, we can add Giraffes on Horseback Salad, a graphic novel from Josh Frank, Manuela Pertega, and Tim Heidecker, which explores the Salvador Dali Marx Brothers project that never was. For this episode of the podcast, Mr. Frank joins us for a wide-ranging conversation about the book, Dali's interest in the Marxes (especially Harpo), and the relationship between the Marxes and the surrealist art movement.

Official description: "Author Josh Frank joins us to discuss his upcoming graphic novel, Giraffes on Horseback Salad, an adaptation of Salvador Dali’s 1937 proposed screenplay for the Marxes. Later, we delve into surrealism and its relation to Marx Brothers humor, along with their appeal to the intellectuals of the day. Unfortunately, Roscoe W. Chandler was not able to join us, but is there in spirit."

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[Bob sez: "Note for those who listen on YouTube, they have blocked the episode's end song for copyright reasons, so if you want to enjoy this classic, you'll have to listen thru one of our other portals...."]


Footnotes:

Episode 16: (After) The End of the Marx Brothers

The picaresque career of the Marx Brothers had many beginnings and many endings. Just as the three decades beginning in 1905 were filled ...