Thursday, August 02, 2007

The One, The Only...

Last week, my TiVo picked up a 1991 HBO special on Groucho Marx entitled, HERE HE IS... THE ONE, THE ONLY... GROUCHO!

It's a great, little biography of Groucho's life. George Fenneman, Groucho's foil on the comedy quiz show YOU BET YOUR LIFE...

... or as Groucho used to call him, "the male Margaret Dumont"...

...
tells my favorite Groucho Marx ad lib from that show...



Groucho: "So, you got any kids?"

Mrs. Story (Contestant): "Yes, Groucho, I have nineteen children."

Groucho: "Nineteen?! Why do you have so many children? That's a big responsibility and a big burden."

Mrs. Story: "Well, I love my husband."

Groucho: "I love my cigar, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while."



As funny as that is, that's not why this little Groucho biography is resonating with me today.

You see, today is Peter O'Toole's birthday and on the Groucho special, Dick Cavett said that Groucho would write long, fascinating letters about whatever specific topic you had asked him about, but he couldn't close the letter without a nonsensical post script.

Mr. Cavett remembers one post script extremely well...


"P.S. Have you ever noticed that Peter O'Toole has a double phallic name?"

8 comments:

Aaron said...

Margaret Dumont didn't think he was funny...that's how she could keep a straight face during all those films!

I loved them--I still think "Rufus T. Firefly" is my favorite character name.

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - I love them, too! Especially Groucho's work.

One of my favorite lines (I forget which film) is when he picks up the bill for the meal at the restaurant, looks at the woman he's with and says something like "Nine dollars and twenty cents! Why, that's ridiculous! If I were you, I wouldn't pay it!" and then he throws the bill to her and walks out.

A classic!

Michael said...

Lines from DUCK SOUP (all Groucho as Rufus T. Firefly

- "Married. I can see you right now in the kitchen, bending over a hot stove. But I can't see the stove."

- "Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honour, which is probably more than she ever did."

- "I'll see you at the opera tonight. I'll hold your seat till you get there. After you get there you're on your own."

Stephen Rader said...

Michael - "But I can't see the stove." Genius. Absolutely genius.

We should have a Marx Brothers movie night some night. Us single girls. :)

Lance's friend said...

heh heh, he said Peter O'Toole, heh heh.

Stephen Rader said...

Lance's Friend - That's like that Bond Girl from DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER whose names is "Plenty O'Toole."

James hears that and says, "Named after your father, of course."

Michael said...

YES YES YES!!!!
Marx Brothers, a shitload a wine, and something to eat.....(insert joke here)

Stephen Rader said...

Michael - "something to eat."

Hmmm.... You think Matt will be able to join our little movie party? :)