"Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx"
"A new biography looks at Groucho Marx's inner life"
by Adam Gopnik
The New Yorker, April 17, 2000


"By now the pundits agree, with slightly Marxian logic, almost
everything that we think of as having happened in the sixties
actually took place in the seventies, and nothing more surely
than the renaissance of the Marx Brothers. They were too violent
and acerbic for the flower-power period; W.C. Fields and Lewis
Carroll, not Groucho, are the ones who decorate the cover of
'Sgt. Pepper's'...

Groucho's reputation rose even as his spirits sank. In the mid-
sixties he went off to London, to have dinner with T.S. Eliot,
who had written to him asking for an autographed picture..."

Scene: Picadilly Circus, London, 1966

T.S. Eliot: "When Mr. Apollinax visited the United States
                  his laughter tinkled among the teacups.

Groucho Marx: "Now there's a man with an open mind - 
                           you can feel the breeze from here!"

T.S.E.:    "I thought of Fragilion, that shy figure among the
               birch-trees, and of Priapus in the shrubbery
               gaping at the lady in the swing."

Groucho: "I'm going to Iowa for an award. Then I'm appearing at 
                Carnegie Hall. It's sold out. Then I'm sailing to France 
                to be honored by the French government. However, 
                I'd give it all up for one erection."

T.S.E.: "In the palace of Mrs. Phlaccus, at Professor
             Channing-Cheetah's he laughed like an 
             irresponsible foetus."

Groucho: "We took pictures of the native girls, but they weren't 
                developed. . . So, we're going back next week."

T.S.E.:  "His laughter was submarine and profound
               like the old man of the sea's
              hidden under coral islands
              where worried bodies of drowned men drift down in
              the green silence."

Groucho: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. 
                Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

T.S.E.:  "Dropping from fingers of surf.
              I looked for the head of Mr. Apollinax 
             rolling under a chair."

Groucho: "Well, art is art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is 
                water! And east is east and west is west and if you take
                cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more 
                like prunes than rhubarb does. Now, uh... Now you
                tell me what you know."

T.S.E.:  "Or grinning over a screen
               With seaweed in its hair."

Waiter:  "Excuse me, Mr. Marx, what was it like making movies back
               in the old days?"

Groucho:  "It was hard work son. They didn't have restrooms near 
                   the sound stages. I guess they didn't think actors were
                   human. But all that's changed now."

Waiter:  "Really? How so?"

Groucho:  "People don't piss anymore!"

Waiter:  "And what are you doing with your time now?"

Groucho:  "Wasting it; talking to you."

T.S.E.:  "I heard the beat of centaur's hoofs over the hard
              turf as his dry and passionate talk devoured the
              afternoon. "He is a charming man" "But after all what 
             did he mean?" "His pointed ears.... He must be unbalanced.""

Groucho: "Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped."

T.S.E.:  ""There was something he said that I might have

Groucho: "A child of five could understand this. 
                 Fetch me a child of five."

T.S.E.:  "Of dowager Mrs. Phlaccus, and Professor and Mrs.
              Cheetah I remember a slice of lemon, and 
              a bitten macaroon."

Groucho: "I know, I know, she's a woman who's been getting
                 nothing but dirty breaks. Well, we can
                clean and tighten her brakes, but she'll have 
                 to stay in the garage all night."

T.S.E.:  "Waiter! There's a fly in my soup!"

Waiter:  "That's all right sir; no extra charge."

Groucho: "I cannot say that I do not disagree with you."

Copyright: 2000
Jan Galligan Jan Galligan c/o Sprynet
All Rights Reserved
Last modified June 20, 2000