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."

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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!


  1. Here's a cheaper copy of the Crichton book. Just one left!

  2. Great interview but the guy seemed a bit short when Stan and Ollie was mentioned. It's obviously kind of a sore spot for him as the film was such a financial and critical success.

  3. I know it’s slightly off-topic, but it seems that the great nostalgia craze of the late Sixties/early Seventies is an under-reported phenomena.

    Without that, so much of our “current” culture would not exist – everything from Star Wars to the obsession with comic book heroes stems, in one way or anther, with this great renaissance of interest in American inter-war culture.

    Perhaps a topic for an upcoming podcast?

    1. Thanks, Emery! In fact, we have already devoted an episode to the Great Marx Renaissance of the 1960s-70s:

      Is that service, or what?

      But as you note, it's an extremely rich topic, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we return to it in future episodes, too. Thanks for listening!

  4. I will give a listen!

    (What service....)


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