I've finally gotten around to reading The Essential Groucho: Writings by, for, and about Groucho Marx
, Stefan Kanfer 1990 book of fine grouchovian material that contains at least five guaranteed laughs on every page.
The book opens with a series of classic sketches from the radio plays, plays and films, lightly introduced with context about each release, but focusing mainly on the transcendant moments of pure Groucho -- the Tootsie Frootsie Ice-a-Cream, the address to the college administrators, the war council of Freedonia.
Then into the best of Groucho's correspondence, including the notorious and outrageous letter to Warner Brothers about "A Night in Casablanca" (including the ensuing volleys with the increasingly puzzled studio lawyers) and the warm and collegial letters between Groucho and TS Eliot (who was willing to make an exception to his anti-Semitism in Groucho's case).
The next section, Freelancing, is filled with newspaper editorials and articles written by (and sometimes about) Groucho, and it's here that I found myself reading a lot of material that I'd never seen before, placed in context by Kanfer's snappy little intros.
The book closes with a selection of howlers from You Bet Your Life (To a meteorologist: "Any little squalls running around at home with their barometers dropping?") -- starting with one-liners, then short excerpts, then long, sustained comic bits where Groucho seemed to catch fire.
I'm a huge Groucho fan, and I've been collecting books, video and audio of his performances since I was a teenager. He was a true blade when it came to verbal swordfighting, and The Essential Groucho is a fantastic little anthology of some truly impressive material, whether you're a Groucho novice or an old hand.
The Essential Groucho: Writings by, for, and about Groucho Marx
Back in 2009, I found a rare, used copy of Shel Silverstein’s raunchy, hilarious not-kid’s book Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book: A Primer for Adults Only, after George RR Martin told me it was uproariously funny and a don’t-miss.
After a long hiatus, CineFix revived its “Homemade Shot for Shot” series with this entry for the Suicide Squad trailer.
YouTuber Die Struktur created the first rotating cat automaton that paints to musical accompaniment. Now, instead of “my kid could paint that,” idiots can say “my maneki-neko on a turntable could paint that.”
When you’ve had a long day and it’s time to unwind, there’s a lot you can do to relax: drink some tea, take a shower or even read a book. But there’s one thing that’s essential to a comfortable night’s rest—and that’s investing in some really good sheets. Enter Bamboo Bed Sheets. These quality sheets retail for $120, but […]
The Avantree Powerhouse 4 Port Fast USB Charging Station brings high quality, high power, and still keeps your work space or home looking neat and organized. The best part about this charger is its capacity. It comes packing 4 USB charging sockets and a powerful 4.5A/22.5W output.. Its smartport technology means you don’t have to worry about frying your battery, either—it […]
With this comprehensive course in App & Game Development for iOS and Android, you’ll be able to take full advantage of this career opportunity without committing to going back to school full time. You’ll learn how to build immersive, interactive games and apps from start to finish using Python, C#, Unity, and HTML—some of the most in-demand programming […]