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:

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Episode 10: The Marx Brothers in the 21½ Century


Here we are again, friends, hoping everyone had a Marxy Christmas and is ready for a Harpy New Year. Our tenth proper episode (but our twelfth if you count our two highly improper bonus episodes), and our final episode of 2018, looks to the future.

Here's Bob's official description: "Hmmm…what could this be? Chico leading a Mars expedition? Zeppo getting a talent transplant? No, actually we take a look at the Marx fandom, past, present and future. Where are the new fans coming from, where are the older fans going? Does their humor hold up, and is it becoming too politically incorrect? We promise you won’t be surprised by our answers. Later, we pepper each other with questions that we haven’t prepared for…and see how much of the show Bob can save in editing."

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Via YouTube:




Referenced in this episode:





Thursday, December 6, 2018

Bonus Episode: Holiday Minicast

Here's a stocking stuffer -- just a quick mini-episode to look backward and forward, wish you a happy everything, and tell you about the hottest holiday gifts of 2018. (Links galore at the bottom of this post.)

Episode Description: "After a recap of feedback to the Big Store episode, Matthew and Noah talk about the Marx Brothers books they have authored which, coincidentally, are available as holiday gifts. Later, Bob makes a bold proclamation for 2019."

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And here are the essentials for everyone on your holiday gift list:

The Annotated Marx Brothers:
A Filmgoer's Guide to In-Jokes,
Obscure References, and Sly Details

by Matthew Coniam

That's Me, Groucho!
The Solo Career of Groucho Marx

by Matthew Coniam

Gimme a Thrill:
The Story of I'll Say She Is,
The Lost Marx Brothers Musical,
and How it Was Found
by Noah Diamond

And, in the world beyond the Marx Brothers: Egyptomania Goes to the Movies and Jane Austen: Inside Her Novels by Matthew; and Love Marches On and 400 Years in Manhattan by Noah.

All of this and more can be found on the Store page at noahdiamond.com, as well as in that phantom location, "wherever books are sold!"

We'll be back soon with our final episode of 2018, and soon thereafter, with our first episode of 2019! That will be shortly followed by our second episode of 2019, then our third, and so on, forever and ever. Until then, best wishes to you and yours for the holidays, and a happy new year.

Visit us anytime in The Marx Brothers Council Facebook Group.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Episode 9: A Good Buy From MGM

Why, we didn't know you cared! But since you do, here's our ninth episode, in which friend-of-the-podcast and Council stalwart Nick Santa Maria drops by to discuss The Big Store, which we all agree was made by MGM in 1941 and stars the Marx Brothers and Tony Martin.

Episode Description: "Actor, writer, and singer Nick Santa Maria joins us to defend The Big Store…not the funniest of the latter-MGM films, but (in our opinion) the most likable. We speculate on the secret life of Hiram Phelps and love life of Mr. Grover, plus hear a rare audio clip of Tony Martin and his version of reality. We're also treated to the death stories of a couple of cast-members! Finally, everyone is rewarded by us not playing 'The Tenement Symphony.'  Note that your enjoyment of this episode will be greatly enhanced by watching the film first, as we get into detail that you might not remember..."

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This episode's end music is Nick Santa Maria's sweet rendition of "If It's You," by Ben Oakland, Artie Shaw, and Milton Drake, featured in The Big Store.

Get your copy of The Misadventures of Biffle and Shooster, featuring Nick, right here!

And here's MGM's original trailer for The Big Store, referenced in our episode title:



And there you have it, folks! As always, you can find us everywhere on the web, and join us in the Marx Brothers Council Facebook group to discuss this episode and all other Marxian matters.

See you next month!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Episode 8: Gentlemen, Question Mark

Well, we asked you to ask us questions, and you asked us questions, and now, we answer some of the questions we asked you to ask us. Thanks to all who asked, and please let us know if you have any questions.

Episode Description: "For this installment, we kill a couple of hours answering listener questions as well as attempting to pronounce names of various Council members…one of whom won’t be happy at all with our open-mindedness. Plus, Matthew looks for stuff."

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 And here is this:



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 di...