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
McMansion Hell is a hilarious blog where Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute graduate student Kate Wagner posts scorching critiques of the architecture of McMansions — but this week, Wagner announced that she had shut down her blog after spurious legal threats from Zillow, which admits that it doesn’t even hold the copyrights to the images it […]
The Flux chair is a $130, 12lb “origami-style” polypropylene lounge chair designed by Douwe Jacobs; it sets up in minutes and is stable and lovely (there’s also a $65 kids’ version and a whole range of furnishings including a bar, coffee table, countertop, end-table, etc). (via Yanko Design)
The first time Merle Rasmussen played Dungeons & Dragons, he thought it was a Halloween game.
“It was October 1975, and I was an 18-year-old freshman at Iowa State University. My roommate got this game filled with skeletons and undead monsters. I had no idea.” The role-playing bug had bitten him, but fantasy wasn’t his genre. So that same year, he started writing a game set in a modern world, the spy game that would become Top Secret.
Despite the upfront cost, electric toothbrushes are much better at removing plaque than those freebies from the dentist’s office. For those who struggle to fill the American Dental Association’s recommended two minutes of brushing time, or anyone with limited dexterity, a sonic toothbrush can give your oral care routine a boost.To keep your chops healthy […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]