Sunday, May 30, 2021

Episode 35: This Magnificent Chest

The most significant release of previously-unreleased Marx Brothers material occurred in 2014, when Shout Factory issued this magnificent chest -- no, this magnificent chest -- packed with over ten hours of (mostly) television appearances featuring Groucho, Harpo, and Chico Marx. The Marx Brothers TV Collection, curated by Robert Bader, has earned its place on our shelves, alongside the Brothers' films. In this epic episode, we examine the set (including the much-coveted bonus disc) in exquisite detail.

Official description: "You want to see Groucho as an over-protective father, Harpo hiding in a Coke machine, or Chico trying to pass himself off as Harpo? Well, you’ve come to the right place as we dissect Shout Factory’s DVD set featuring Marx TV appearances from the ‘50s thru the ‘70s.

"We uncover the many treasures, failures, and sublime moments this collection offers to Marx fans, including Groucho’s rebooting of You Bet Your Life in 1960’s England, Harpo’s lead role in a Twilight Zone-like drama, and Chico’s two short-lived series…both of which were actually pretty good.

"We’ll also dive into the set’s gathering of Marx family home movies, as well as the super rare bonus disc…which may include the best (and worst) clips of all! 

"Don’t miss this show, unless you want to hear good things about Minnesota Fats…

"NOTE: North American fans can access many of these clips and shows for free on"

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  1. An excellent discussion. A few thoughts --

    -- The lady who played Benny's partner is sensational character actress Irene Tedrow. IMDB lists 203 appearances for the actress including two Emmy nominated roles. She also had a daughter who should be well known to MASH fans as she played Nurse Bigelow (actress Enid Kent)

    --- Westerns were huge in 50s TV. One year had more than 30 westerns being broadcast by the big three networks. That's why you see so many Western sketches.

    -- Buster Keaton said that it was a shame Red Skelton decided to talk in the movies and TV. He said that Skelton was an excellent silent comic. And if I recall, Skelton did quite a few silent sketches in his variety show.

    --- "The Hold Out" reminded me a lot of an SNL sketch. Groucho was always looking away from the other actors, obviously reading cue cards. His presentation was wooden and of course there was no humor. Just like SNL.

    -- I've always been upset that I did not acquire the set with Disc 4 but after your discussion I think I'm going to stop looking. Everything you discussed has been available in other sources. I didn't hear anything new. That's good. I can stop my seven year search.

  2. Thank you! Excellent podcast again! I love listening to these :)


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