Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Episode 4: Myths, More, and Les

In Episode 4 of The Marx Brothers Council Podcast, Noah, Bob, and Matthew deflate some accepted Marx myths that get under their skin, then examine the fan favorite 1969 LP The Marx Bros. - The Original Voice Tracks From Their Greatest Movies, narrated by Gary Owens. Later, Noah talks with Les Marsden, who has portrayed three of the four brothers onstage, and also wrote and starred in the one-man show A Night at Harpo’s.

End Music: “You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me” by Maurice Chevalier…eh.

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Referenced in this episode...

Here's the photograph of young Mr. Bob Gassel, in his room, circa 1972. Note the Marx Brothers "pop poster," as included with the Original Voice Tracks album, hanging on the wall, just above the exquisite bedspread:

Album artwork from the 1969 Decca release (click for a larger view):

The Marx Brothers Original Voice Tracks album:

The W.C. Fields Original Voice Tracks album:

Noah's "Fake History of the Marx Brothers":

And some Les Marsden magic:

As always, if you enjoy The Marx Brothers Council Podcast, we invite you to discuss this episode here on the blog, or in the Marx Brothers Council Facebook group; and if you feel the urge to write a positive review on iTunes, or anywhere else, we'd certainly appreciate it.

UPDATE: You can now listen to our bonus episode, featuring more Marsden!


  1. I know that I inject humor into my comments (or attempt to do so), but I will be dead serious here and say that I thoroughly enjoyed the fourth podcast. I've already commented on much of it via the FB page, as by that point I had listened to about half of it. The interview of Les Marsden was wonderful. I loved his tale of approaching Susan Marx and then finally getting her approval to put on the Harpo play, plus how he assembled it.

    Can't wait for #5! (See, I told you I'd be serious for a change).

    1. Thank you, Bruce, you have excellent taste! But I have to ask -- are you serious?

  2. I just finished listening to the latest podcast. Bravo! I loved the arrangement of it - a bit on debunking Marx Myths, a nostalgic section on the Gary Owen-narrated record, which I had as a kid and listened to often, along with the similar Fields album, several volumes of W. C. Fields on radio, alone and with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy (and of course, Don Ameche), and similar Laurel and Hardy albums... and a wonderful interview with Les Marsden, whom I had heard of and may have even seen in a production of The Cocoanuts, but never really knew how amazingly talented he was and is. Great job! Next time I am on iTunes, I promise to write a glowing review. - Jay Brennan

    1. Thanks, Jay! Regarding the interview with Les, there's a lot more where that came from...stay tuned!

  3. As an interesting aside - the cd "here's groucho" includes a anumber of bits from the albums. In addition, it includes groucho song recordings including go west, Dr. Hackenbush, and Shake Hands (with Danny Thomas).

    1. What Groucho song from Go West... "Ridin' the Range"? A pleasant air to be sure, but without a trace of humor as I recall.

  4. Regarding Harpo speaking - I have always really liked the Chico line from Monkey Business: "That'sa my partner, but he no speak; he's a dem anda doff."

  5. Matthew, I was interested to hear about how you and your sister wrecked your father's 'Sgt Pepper's' LP by cutting out and wearing the badge and moustache. I wonder how they could have been so destructive. What kind of adults must they have turned into?


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