Monday, February 24, 2020

Episode 22: 1934


Official description: "No, it’s not a sequel to 1917, but something even better! This month we discuss the year that the Marx Brothers didn’t do anything besides lose Zeppo. After finishing Duck Soup in late 1933, the team was without a studio contract, and in no hurry to make another film…in fact, they weren’t certain they wanted to remain in Hollywood at all. We examine the internal and external forces which led them to MGM and Irving Thalberg.

"We’ll also talk about Groucho’s heretofore unknown solo project, A Night at the Brothel.

"Name-checked in this episode: Mickey Rooney, Katherine Hepburn, Hitler, Alec Baldwin."

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Footnotes:



  • MPAA Production Code records: A Night at the Opera

  • MPAA Production Code records: A Day at the Races

  • Publicity photos, November 15, 1934:


  • Monday, January 20, 2020

    Episode 21: No Snow and No Ice


    Oh, among the mangoes, where the monkey gang goes, you can hear them talking, and talking, and talking about the first Marx Brothers movie (except for Humor Risk), adapted from their first Broadway show (except for I'll Say She Is). It's the first time it's ever been mentioned down here, today. If you're too old to listen to this podcast, get yourself a monkey gland! And then let's go.

    Official description: "After avoiding its 90th anniversary, Matthew pushes Noah and Bob into the pool for a deep dive into The Cocoanuts. Why did contemporary critics consider it their best? Why does Margaret Dumont get more laughs than Zeppo? Who the hell is Penelope? Noah connects a Groucho line to Star Trek: The Next Generation, Bob brings up Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Matthew is certain one shot was cut for a 1984 British TV broadcast. It’s appointment podcasting!"

    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 Episode 20 is still the most recent one you see there, be patient! And above all, don't worry.

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    Footnotes:

    • You know me -- Prince of Wales:
    • Bob notes, "Harpo leans over, but his mouth doesn't really move":

    Thursday, November 28, 2019

    Episode 20: The Biggest Place in Town


    Official description: "A deep dive into Groucho’s first solo effort, 1947’s Copacabana, which can be considered both a success and a failure…as well as neither. Surprisingly, for one of your hosts, this was a first time viewing, so Bob comes up with observations that most of you had decades ago. We explore the fascinating teaming of Groucho with Carmen Miranda, and romances that are undefined and unresolved. The Barry Manilow jokes and song excerpts are kept to a minimum, so don’t be afraid."

    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 Episode 19 is still the most recent one you see there, be patient! And above all, don't worry.

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    Monday, October 21, 2019

    Episode 19: Two of the Four of the Three Musketeers


    The party of the first part shall be known in this episode as the party of the first part. How do you like that? Pretty neat, eh?

    Official description: "This month we take it easy and discuss only half of the team, Groucho and Chico. We listen to and deep dive into all their great scenes together...as well as the one from At the Circus. You'll learn why perhaps their most famous encounter isn’t really a Marx scene at all. We also introduce a new feature where we reveal our latest and greatest Marx Brothers revelations."

    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 Episode 18 is still the most recent one you see there, be patient! And above all, don't worry.

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    Monday, September 16, 2019

    Episode 18: Marx Brothers: Unsolved



    In our latest episode, we examine some unsolved Marx Brothers mysteries. Put on your deerstalker hat and join us on this journey into confusion.

    Official description: "Marx Brothers scholar Stewart Tryster returns as we try to explain curious moments in the Marxes' films and career. Who was that in the dark in Animal Crackers? Did pressure from Italians result in the pigeons being cut from A Day at the Races? What edible substance made up Harpo’s A Night in Casablanca hair? We speculate, jump to conclusions, and ignore facts that go against our theories…so you know you’re getting the most solid info anywhere."

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    Footnotes for this episode:

    Here's the photo Stewart mentions, taken on the set of Monkey Business, and featuring Frenchie, Harpo, Chico, and possibly Zeppo?


    And here's the photo Noah mentions, of the Six Mascots in 1910, featuring Groucho as Hans Pumpernickel, performing "Schnitzelbank":

    Thursday, August 22, 2019

    Bonuscast | The Jay Hopkins Interviews: Volume 2 - Erin Fleming



    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. Jay has generously agreed to allow some of those interviews to be released here as bonus episodes. These are the Jay Hopkins Interviews.

    [In case you missed it, we previously issued Volume One in this series, Jay's 1979 interview with You Bet Your Life creator John Guedel.]

    Official description: "The second in our exclusive series of vintage interviews from the archives of Marx Brotherhood founder, Jay Hopkins. From 1979, Jay talks with the infamous Erin Fleming, Groucho’s secretary, personal manager, and companion in his final years. Erin details day-to-day life with Groucho, as well as the celebrities and events she seemed to crave. She’s opinionated, charming and infuriating. It’s a unique and revealing look at the complex woman who became the center of a storm of controversy."

    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 this episode isn't there yet, try another, or try to be patient! And above all, don't worry.

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    Saturday, August 3, 2019

    Episode 17: Hail and Farewell



    Apologies in advance, friends, if we don't dislike Room Service quite as much as you do. Anyway, listen to us talk about it for two hours, and let us know if the experience causes you to: a) like Room Service more, b) like Room Service less, or c) hate the Marx Brothers Council Podcast and vow never to spend another minute listening to these three babbling wiseguys. We hope it's a) or b), and that this episode doesn't drive you to your death just as it drove Leo Davis.

    Official description: "This month we take a deep dive into the misunderstood Room Service, perhaps not the best Marx film, but the one with the most interesting backstory…as well as the most frustrating compromises. Matthew enlightens us on how it almost became more of an authentic Marx vehicle, and how it almost became less of one. Bob is surprised by his reaction to the film, while Noah leads post-graduate courses on New York theater, and the word frowsy.  Special guest stars: Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick."

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    Footnote for this episode:



    See you next month! Till then, godspeed and hail and farewell, but definitely not jumping butterballs.

    Episode 22: 1934

    Official description: "No, it’s not a sequel to 1917 , but something even better! This month we discuss the year that the Marx Br...