By Xeni Jardin at 10:18 am Sat, Aug 4, 2012
My friend David Silverman tipped me off to these compilations of too-risqué-for-TV out-takes from Groucho Marx's television show, You Bet Your Life. Above, part 1, below, part 2, of one set. There's more where this came from on YouTube.
I adored Groucho as a kid (my mother thought he was mean and nasty) and wondered why there weren’t very many Marx Bros movies. Still do. Groucho could joke about anything including his problem with premature ejaculation. He once said that a doctor had given him a cream for that but he came just putting it on.
One reason there were relatively few Marx Brothers movies was that they were already jockeying around 40 years old when they made the first one. It was their second career, after the theater.
That reminds me of Mae West! It would be fun to run across more, curated, Mae West.
For example, today I read a M.W. quote in a Carol Tavris book, “Men are always trying to protect me. Can’t imagine what from.”
That’s not curated, of course.
There’s a Dick Cavett interview with Mae West on YouTube. She seems to be having a really difficult time trying to have an intelligent discussion while maintaining her wisecracking sex goddess persona. It’s like watching Patsy trying to swallow a potato chip on AbFab when she hasn’t eaten solid food in two decades.
You know, it just struck me… do you not see parallels between Groucho’s schtick and Jon Stewarts?
Er, they’re both Jewish? Or should that be Jews?? Quick! Get Jon on the line!!
Yes, its in the way he does the “slow burn”, facing the audience, its similar to Carson. He stays in the struggle, mirroring the audience, without giving in, without being nervous, and without apologizing, causing the humor to be as deeply saturated in to the interaction as possible.
I’m Andy Marx, the grandson of Groucho, and in the early ’70s, when I was just out of high school, I was hired by the original producer of “You Bet Your Life” to archive all of the episodes. What made it even better is that I spent all summer at my grandfather’s house watching every episode in his screening room. After lunch, he would always ask me to run a few episodes for him and he still enjoyed watching them. We even got to see several of these outtakes. Quite thrilling for me.
Now there’s a story that should earn you at least a few drinks at the right kind of bar, perhaps even dinner as well!
Awesome story. You are a very lucky guy to have had him in your life like that.
I was expecting a clip where a DeSoto bursts into flames and Groucho praises its heating system. Oh well.
Or he put out the flames with the water made just for that purpose…you know, DeSoto water. Oh, wait. DeSoto water goes in deradiator.
Wyoming? Why not Oming?
Oh, man. This is gold.
The man is simply a genius. Was there EVER a funnier guy than him? I don’t think so.
Am I the only person who was struck by the sadness of living in an age where the mere mention of these topics was scandalous and something to titter about? Younger people can’t understand how recently our country was governed by hypocritical, repressed, misogynists, no wait – we still are, despite the changes in media content since the ’50s.
It’s a good point; that whole era has a tinge of sadness to me.
Hey I’ve got a bow-tie almost exactly like that polka-dot one. Should bust that out more often.
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