Thursday, October 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Groucho Marx

Today would have been comedy legend Groucho Marx's 118th birthday and to celebrate the career and life of this amazing man here are 5 things you may or may not have known about the man


1. There are at least two versions of how Julius Henry Marx got his more famous nickname. One is that it came from his general disposition. The other, that, during the Marx Brothers' early days in vaudeville, he was the keeper of the act's "grouch bag" or money purse. Groucho, himself, said, on one occasion, "my own name, I never did understand."

2. He suffered from insomnia, which he claimed was due to a financial loss in the stock market. When he suffered from insomnia, he used to call people up in the middle of the night and insult them.

3. Was good friends with rock star Alice Cooper, often inviting him over at 11:00 pm to watch TV. A drawing of Groucho can also be seen on the cover of "Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits" album. In 1978, when the original giant white letters of the famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign were auctioned off in order to raise money for new replacement letters, Alice bought an "O" in memory of Groucho.

4. Carried on extensive correspondence with such literary giants as T.S. Eliot and Carl Sandburg. He also was well-known for attaching a hilarious P.S. to his most serious letters. According to Dick Cavett, Groucho added this P.S. to a lengthy account of his memories of Charles Chaplin from vaudeville days: "Did you ever notice that Peter O'Toole has a double-phallic name?"

5. Shortly after his death, his children found a gag letter written by Groucho that stated that he wanted to be buried on top of Marilyn Monroe.

5 comments:

Wyldth1ng said...

Nifty.
I perused through cafe press stuff I was hoping for some more of your "racier" drawings.

Scurvy said...

I LOVE the Marx Bros. I watched them all growing up and never realized till I was around 13 or so that his moustache was painted on. (at least until later in his life)

Spin the Moon said...

Thanks for posting this and the for the 5 facts. I'm a big fan of the brothers.

PBS replayed a documentary about Groucho not long ago. I've seen it before, but I couldn't help but watch again. I just find him so fascinating.

Becca said...

Wlydth1ng-
I've actually been meaning to change up some of the designs lately so I'll keep that in mind when I do :)

Scurvy-
I didn't realize it was painted on either! In the black and white it's hard to tell...that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

By the way thanks for turning me on to the Jeff Lynne's Garden YouTube guys! I've spent hours watching the rest of the stuff! It's spot on and funny and spot on exact! I love the cover of Chelsea Walls by by Bolan and Bowie. Wish I had an MP3.

Spin-
Is that the one that was on the other night? That's still on my Tivo. He really was a cool guy, if you haven't you should check out the Dick Cavett Show with Groucho, really great.

Scurvy said...

That guy is genius at portraying people. Aside from the Jeff Lynne stuff, I love his Ringo.