An Evening With Groucho Marx

1 Overture
Hello, I Must Be Going
Jack Benny Tribute
My Family, How We Got Our Names
Strange Relatives, Uncle Julius
Chico At Klauber Horn Co.
Uncle Herman, Chiropodist
2 Annie Berger
Vaudeville In Toronto
Oh, How That Woman Could Cook
Toronto Song
London Stories: Polish Officer Story
Churchill & 2nd World War
Tough Chicago Critic Story
Palace Theatre: Sarah Bernhardt
Fanny Brice - Swayne's Rats And Cats
Poem From The Play "Animal Crackers"
3 T.S.Eliot Memorial
Laurence Olivier's Lap
2nd World War Bond Tour
Houdini Story
Stay Down Where You Belong
Otto Kahn Story
W.C.Fields: Beebee Gun
Baby Leroy
Heaven's Above
4 Everybody Works But Father
Father's Day
Margaret Dumont
Thalberg Story: Garbo
Sampson And Delilah Story
Will Rogers, Baseball In Baltimore
Priests' Stories: Plaza Hotel
Show Me A Rose
Lydia The Tattooed Lady


by Dick Cavett

Thank you, it's nice to be wanted. I...I must eh tell you, for the people in the back, it's Dick Cavett up here. I can't believe that I'm here tonight. It's not Carnegie Hall that gets to me, but I can't believe that I know Groucho Marx and he asked me to..ehm... to introduce him tonight, and I'll do that as quickly as possible.

I met Groucho Marx on a sunny sunday afternoon about twelve years ago. He was coming from the funeral of a great friend of his, a man he has often said was his God, George S. Kaufman, We met on the corner of fifty.. eightyfirst and fifth and, I couldn't believe it, but he asked me to walk down fifth avenue with him. We stopped ever so often so he could insult a doorman. We got to the Plaza where he was staying and I assumed that the dream was over and I was trying to think of a way to say goodbye and he said, with that familiar soft voice, that I knew first from the quizshow and then from the movies "Well, you certainly seem like a nice young man, and I'd like to have lunch with you." And we had lunch. It was wonderful, I went home to write it down, as much as I could remember of it. I remember for dessert... the captain and the waiter both came over to take his dessert order, and Groucho said "Do you have any fruit, you can recommend" to the waiter "and I don't mean the captain here." was like that.

The only sad thing about Groucho's life is that there is so many thousands of funny things that have gone unrecorded. Luckily there was someone along at the anti-semetic country club, when they told him he couldn't use the pool, and he asked "Since my daughter is only half-jewish, could she go in up to her knees?"

Thank you, for him.

There's a lot of profound things, that should be said about Groucho, like the fact that his comedy achieves the level of great art, that he has all the gifts I think that a comedian can have. Some of them have a few of them, he has them all, but that's for people to write about.

I was asked to mention one thing: please don't take any flash pictures. It makes Groucho dizzy and he could... it's true, he could fall. He wanted me to mention that, and I said "How can I say that and not alarm the audience?" And he said "Easy, tell them I'll drop dead, if they do." He's serious, but not when you want him to be.

Anyway, to get quickly to the part of the evening that you came and paid for, I would first like to introduce a few people that should be mentioned now. Among them: Rufus T. Firefly, J. Cheever Loophole - J. Cheever Loophole - hold your applause to the end, please - Dr. Hugo C. Hackenbush, Otis B. Driftwood, and Captain Jeffrey Spaulding - the one, the only, Groucho.

Hello, I Must Be Going

First I would like to take a bow for Harpo and Chico.

Hello, I must be going.
I cannot stay,
I came to say
I must be going.
I'm glad I came
but just the same
I must be going.

For my sake you must stay,
for if you go away,
you'll spoil this party
I am throwing.

I'll stay a week or two,
I'll stay the summer through,
but I am telling you,
I must be going.

Jack Benny Tribute

I understand that some time ago Jack Benny played the violin here at Carnegie Hall, and I thought it would be a good idea to take this and break it over my knee and then jump on it. I've had quite enough of Jack Benny. And so has the violin.

My Family, How We Got Our Names

Well, let's get down to cases. How I got started in showbusiness. I saw an ad in the Morning World, which doesn't exist anymore - and hardly do I. The ad said "Boy wanted to sing". I ran all the way from Ninety-third Street, where I lived then, to Thirty-third Street, and ran up five flights of stairs and knocked on the door, and a man came to the door wearing a woman's outfit. Not entirely, just lipstick. And I realized that that was the profession, that I wanted into.

I've better start talking about my family first, I guess. There was quite a group of them.

Can you hear me out there? You're not missing anything. Luckily I can't hear it either.

Well, I had a family, I Harpo played the harp, that was pretty obvious. Chico was what they used to call a chicken chaser. In England now they call them birds, which is the equivalent of a chicken chaser in America fifty years ago. He did very well with that, too. Zeppo was born when the Zeppelin arrived at Lakehurst, New Jersey. He had nothing to do with the arrival. My other brother Gummo - it's not his real name, his real name Milton. It seemed like such a silly name, and we used to call him Gumshoes, because somebody had given him a pair of rubbers. In a nice way, I mean. And that's his name: Gummo Marx. My name, of course, I never did understand.

Strange Relatives, Uncle Julius

I had an uncle named Julius, he was well over four feet. And I was named after him, 'cause we were under some peculiar impression that he had money. As a matter of fact, my father wanted to throw him out of the house, but my mother said "No, no, I remember, I read a story once in which a man was supposed to be broke, and when he died, he left a lot of money". So they named me Julius. He never worked anyhow, he was just in the house, sitting there. He finally died, and he left a will. His will consisted of a celluloid dickie, an eightball, and three razorblades. And besides he owed my father eighty-five dollars, which he never did get from him.

Then we had a sister. She wasn't really our sister, she was an adopted sister. The father of that sister had gotten a look at this girl and fled to Canada, and we never saw him again. But the girl stayed with us, and her name was Polly. Polly didn't.. she wasn't a bad looking girl, but her rear end stuck way out. You could play pinochle on her rear end.

Chico At Klauber Horn Co.

And Chico was the gambler of the family. He pawned everything. My father was a tailor, and a very bad one, and Chico was always short of money, and he used to hock my fathers shears, so whenever my father made a suit, of course it didn't fit, and the shears would be hanging up in the pawnshop on Ninety-first Street. Chico got a job at Klauber Horn and Co. They used to manufacture paper, different kinds of paper. And Chico never brought home a salary, 'cause he was always in the poolroom, or he was some place, and he never brought a salary. And my father told him, "Next week, if you come home without your salary, I'll kill you." They had a very close relationship.

Chico didn't know what to do. His fahter was laying for him - in a nice way, I mean. And Chico entered, apprehensively, and there was my father waiting for him. Chico said "Dad, I got a great surprise for you. They had a sale today, on paper, and I took the three dollars, that I was suposed to bring home, and I bought this paper". And my father opened it, and it was toilet paper. It was the first time we had ever seen toilet paper in our house. We had always used either the Morning World or the Herald Tribune. When I was really young, before that, I used to smoke it. Roll it up into a small ball and I would light it, and it was very good.

Uncle Herman, Chiropodist

It was a very peculiar family. I had an uncle who was a chiropodist. He would come to your house, and he had a small suitcase, and he would cut your toenails for twenty-five cents. Then he got a job, 'cause there is not much money in cutting toenails for twenty-five cents. And it was cold, it was winter, so he got a job setting fire to hotels in the Catskills.

Then he was so good at this, that they finally transferred him, and they gave him a job in the Adirondacks, where they had much bigger hotels to burn down. He finally wound up in Sing-Sing.


Marvin Hamlisch. That must be you, eh? Oh, this is Marvin Hamlisch. I'm gonna sing you a song written by my good friend Harry Ruby. It's called Timbuctoo. Are you ready to play this song.

Hamlisch: Always ready!

Long ago in old New Amsterdam,
there lived a cousin of the Duke of Buckingham.
His friends knew Buckingham to be a sport,
so they cut the 'ham' and called him Buck for short.
One day Buck met a little cluck, and he wispered "Duckie, Dear",
in accents loud and clear,
"Please marry me, my dear".
She replied "I will be your bride, but there must be no delay".
So they were buckled up that day.

Soon they had a lot of little Bucks,
and you know how fast they grow.
There was one Buck, two Bucks, three Bucks, four Bucks,
no one knows how many more Bucks.
Mrs. Buck would play the ukulele every morn till two,
and while old man Buck was singing,
all the little Bucks were buck-and-winging.
When they had eggs for breakfast, Buck was out of luck,
each Buck would eat a dozen eggs, and a dozen cost a buck.

The landlord came to raise Buck's rent,
but he couldn't raise a sou.
So he backed up the motor truck,
and he said goodbye, said goodbye, he said goodnight, he said goodbye, and he s.. Timbuctoo!.

Thank you.
I muffed a few words in there, but it's such a crazy song, it doesn't make any difference.

Annie Berger

I use to live in a street called Ninety-third Street. And there was a girl there that I was stuck on. She was almost fifteen years old. And I used to go out every morning and buy bread for my mother. I used to get the stale bread, because it was four cents, and the regular bread was five cents. So in no time at all, about four months, I'd saved seventy cents. I was stuck on Annie Berger, she had a great pair of legs, and I used to watch her walk up the stairs - she lived on the floor above us. One day after I had the seventy cents, I said "Why don't I take you to the theater?". I had it all figured out. Ten cent car fare for two, ten cents for car fare coming back and fifty cents for two seats in the third gallery.

But when we got to the theater - it was Hammerstein's Victoria Theater - there was a fella selling sauerkraut candy in front of the theater, and it was a nickle a bag. She said "Gee, I would love to have some of that sauerkraut candy." But I only had ten cents left by this time, so I bought her a bag of this candy. We were sitting in the gallery so high, we couldn't even see the actors, and she starts eating this sauerkraut candy, and I can hear her, but I can't hear the actors on the stage. And I could have killed her, I'd thought she'd offer me a piece, but she didn't.

So when the show was over - by this time she had consumed all the candy - and we got outside and I said "Annie..." - it was cold, it was real cold; had been snowing all that day - I said "Look, you had sauerkraut candy, didn't you, in there. You never offered me a piece of the candy, did you? Now I only have five cents left, and we gotta go all the way to Ninety-third Street. Now, look, I care a great deal about you, but I don't wanna walk all the way to Ninety-third Street, so I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. I'll toss the coin up" - this nickel that I had left - "and you holler heads or tails." She hollered "heads", it came down tails, and she walked home. I didn't see her again for ten years.

Vaudeville In Toronto

Soon we were in vaudeville. And I was a German comedian with a spade beard. I was dressed like my uncle Al Shean - we were Gallagher and Shean in those days - that was my mother's brother. I don't know if you remember him, but he used to sing "Oh, Mr. Gallagher, oh Mr. Gallagher, what's on your mind this morning, Mr. Shean?". So I became a German comedian. We were playing in Shea's, Toronto. The Lusitania was sunk in the First World War. I was supposed to sing a song, a german song. I was afraid that if I did they were gonna kill me, that audience. I'm gonna sign this song for you now.

Oh, How That Woman Could Cook

I once knew a woman who couldn't spell cat.
Her face was as homely as chintz.

That wasn't necessary, that part you did.

Hamlisch: Could I...could I try it again?

Let's keep it on a high basis.

Hamlisch: Could I try it again? Could I get another crack at it?


Hamlisch: Thank you.

I once knew a woman who couldn't spell cat.
Her face was as homely as chintz.
In winter she always wore last summers hat,
And her size eleven shoe was a pinch.
When she played piano, strong men would faint,
Und veek men would cry out in grief.
Und as for her singing, well, it made you feel,
That it wasn't so tough to be 'deef'.
But with all these things that the people would say,
Her voice and her looks couldn't drive them away,
'Cause, ach, how that woman could cook.
Her bread was like angel food's cake.
She could take soup meat, and give it one look,
And right away it was porterhouse steak.
Her pfannkuchen, what a beautiful dream,
Her tripe was like peaches in cream,
And with the table between us,
She looked exactly like Venus,
Oh, God, how that woman could cook.

Toronto Song

Obviously, with the Lucetania laying at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, I would have got killed if I had sang this song in Canada. So I put some make-up on again, and I made myself a Jew comedian, which I'd never been, I'd never been a Jew comedian, and I sang this song.

Mr. and Mrs. Klein,
they lived a life so fine,
until the relatives came.
Uncle und tante Wolf,
brought over the little Wolfs,
like wolves they lived up to their name.

One week went by,
Klein started to cry,
It looks like the Wolfs mean to stay.
So he tells his wife one night,
that while they were sleeping tight,
let's leave them, and we'll run away.

Say, it's better to run to Toronto,
than to live in a place you don't want to.
With twenty wolves in front of me,
my house looks like a menagerie.

Imagine the cheek from the tante,
to bring all the Wolfs from Toronto,
and, oy, how they can eat,
at least a pound of meat.

Say, they take what they want, when they want to.
Just think what the bills will amount to.
Every day they are growing more and more.
They eat one meal a day, that's right,
they start in the morning and finish at night.
It's going to be a cold cold winter, and I can't keep the Wolfs from the door.

Thank you.

London Stories: Polish Officer Story

When I was over in London, some years ago - I did a quizshow over there for a while. It wasn't too succesful, but American ambassador, he liked me, because I used to be funny and crack jokes. Jackie Onassis' sister, Radziwill, you may have seen her, she's been on TV a few times. She's a very pretty girl, and she had a husband, who was Polish. He was well over four feet, and I told him a story. This is the story:

It's about a hooker. You all know what that is, I guess. I'm sure that sometime in your life, somebody has seen one. It was a story about a girl who picks up a Pole, and takes him home, and feeds him, gets him dinner. They go to bed that night, have a great time. Next morning she helps him get dressed, puts on his uniform with his big epaulets hanging on, and he starts to leave. Then she says "Just a monment, what about money?", and he says "A Polish officer doesn't accept money."

Churchill & 2nd World War

I don't know if you remember the 2nd World War, because there's so many now, it's hard to keep track of them. Well, during the 2nd World War, Hess had been sent by Hitler to try to negotiate peace with Churchill. Churchill at that time was in the projection room at 10 Downing Street running "Monkey Business". He sent an orderly to the door, and said "Tell him to come back after I've seen Monkey Business, and we'll discuss business."

One night at the embassy Winston Churchill's daughter Mary was my dinner partner. When the butler passed around the cigars, she said "Take one for me." I said "What? What do you want a cigar for? You don't smoke cigars, do you?". She said "No, but my father does, Winston, and we play a little game.". I said "What kind of a game?". "I take a cigar, and he takes a cigar, and then he bets me a pound" - I think it was around two and a half dollars - "and we bet who can hold the ash on the cigar the longest." At this time he was running the British government. Now, you never think of a man like that trying to win two bucks from his daughter.

Tough Chicago Critic Story

Speaking of vaudeville, there used to be a critic in Chicago, when we played there, by the name of Percy Hammond. This is about thirty years ago, I guess. He was on the Chicago Tribune, and he reviewed our act. We did a big act, and we had about twenty-five people on there, and he reviewed the act, and the next morning this was the review. He said "The Marx Brothers and their various relatives ran around the stage for almost an hour, yesterday afternoon. Why I'll never understand."

He was a tough guy.

During the 2nd World War, years later, the Chicago Tribune correspondent had died, and they had to get a new guy go over and cover the war. They had a big meeting one day there, and Ring Lardner were there and they had the whole staff of the Chicago Tribune. And somebody suggested sending Percy Hammond over, this critic who had reviewed our act. And Ring Lardner said "No, no, you can't do that. Suppose he doesn't like the war."

How many of you have read the George Kaufman book? Nobody, eh? He was a close friend of mine. He was a hell of a playwright, and he was also a show doctor, and I remember one of the Bloomingdales department store family was producing a show and opening it in Philladelphia, and they invited George Kaufman to come down there and see the show, because it needed a little help. And Kaufman went down and sat in the second or third row, and when the show was over, the fellow from Bloomingdales, he came down in the audience, and he said to George, he said "How about the show, how did you like it?" And Kaufman said "Tell you what you do: close the show and keep the store open at nights."

Palace Theatre - Sarah Bernhardt

I was playing the Palace Theater once, and Sarah Bernhardt was on the bill. She was one of the first great stars to play the Palace. She insisted on getting a thousand dollars in cash before she appeared. She was old at that time, but they wanted her at the Palace just the same. She used to do some scene, where she used to lie in a coffin and play a dramatic scene. Oh, she was alive. She only had one leg. Did you know that? She was getting a thousand dollars before each performance. I had two legs and I was getting fifty dollars a week.

Fanny Brice - Swayne's Rats And Cats

Once we were on the bill with Fanny Brice. I'm sure a lot of you remember Fanny Brice. She was quite a performer, and on the bill, too, was an act called Swayne's Rats and Cats, and you wouldn't believe that, but that was the name of the act. And they had a miniature race track on the stage, and the rats were dressed as jockeys and the cats were horses. It was an incredible act, imagine teaching these...these rats and cats to learn all this, and they wore the uniforms, too.

And one day while they were doing the act, there was a scream came from Fanny's dressingroom, and Swayne ran in there. And he had a turkish towel with him, I don't know what he gonna... Fanny Brice was standing on a chair, frightened a bit, got her clothes a-way up. Swayne grabs this rat - it wasn't one of the rats from his act. This was a sewer rat that had gotten into the theater. Swayne captures this sewer rat, and the next year we played on the bill with Swayne again, and this rat was now the star of the show.

Poem From The Play "Animal Crackers"

When we did "Animal Crackers" we needed two minutes for a change - a scenery change - so I wrote a ridiculous poem. And I always think of whether the audiences really listens to the actor on the stage. I wrote the most ridiculous poem, you could possibly write, and tried it on the audience. And the first three weks we did the show, we used to get a sophisticated New York audience, and they used to laugh and they used to applaude at the end. Then we started to get the out-of-towners, people from the middle west, and they though I were serious. Here's the way it goes:

Did you ever sit and ponder, as you walk along the strand,
that life's a bitter battle at the best.
And if you only knew it you would lend a helping hand,
then every man could meet the final test.
The world is but a stage, my friend, and life's but a game,
and how you play is all that matters in the end.
But whether a man is right or wrong, a woman gets the blame,
and your mother is your dog's best friend.
Then up came mighty Casey, and strode up to the bat,
and Sheridan was fifty miles away.
For it takes a heap of loving to make a home like that,
on the road to where the flying fishes play.

Then I used to take a chair, which the vaudeville actors used to do in those days, and I would start walking off the stage, and the last line would be:

So be a real life Pagliac'
and laugh, Clown, laugh.

T.S.Eliot Memorial

I had a great friend in England. His name was T.S.Eliot. The Poet. Now, there are people out here that might not know that he was a famous English poet. As a matter of fact he was born in St.Louis and moved to England. He wrote me a letter, and he said "I'd like a picture of you with a cigar on it." You know, one of these.

So I sent him a picture of me, and he returned it. He said "I want a picture of you smoking the cigar." So I sent him one smoking a cigar, and we got very well acquainted. And I had read up on T.S.Eliot. 'Murder In The Cathedral' and a few things like that, and I thought I'd impress him. And all he wanted to talk about was the Marx Brothers. That's what happens when you come from St.Louis.

Laurence Olivier's Lap

Well, he was a wonderful man, he was a great friend of mine, but eventually he died. They had a great memorial, and mrs. Eliot had asked me to go on the stage and say a few words about her late husband. So I went in at around four o'clock in the afternoon, and the stagedoor was locked so I went through the front of the theater, and I walked down the aisle. It was stitchy in darkness in there and I couldn't see anything. I don't see too well anyhow. Is there anybody out front?

At any rate I finally felt my way down to the front row, and I sat down. And I'm now sitting on - I can't think of his name - it'll come to me in a couple of hours. Did I sing 'Oh, How That Woman Could Cook'? No, it was true, I was sitting...sitting on Kenneth Tynan's lap. It was dark. So he says "Take the next seat." So I took the next seat, and I'm now sitting on Laurence Olivier's lap. He says "What are you doing here, Groucho?" I said "Well, I thought.. you know I was invited by Mrs. Eliot to come over here. I thought I'd take a look at the theater." He says "Why don't you get up on the stage, and show us what you're gonna do?" I said "Well, I don't plan on doing anything here." And other than that, with all the actors you've got here. You had all the shakespearian actors in England, and I was an old vaudeville ham. So he says "Well get up and say something, you've gotta do something for Mrs. Eliot."

So I went up on the stage, and this came to me, while I was standing on the stage, with Olivier down front and Kenneth Tynan. It's a tough audience for an old vaudeville actor. It was a story about a man, who was condemned to be hanged, and the priest had said to him "Have you any last words to say, before we spring the trap?". And the man says "Yes", he says, "I don't think this damn thing is safe."

2nd World War Bond Tour

I did a bond tour during the Second World War. It was Hope and Crosby and Cagney - most of the big stars. Desi Arnaz. Yeah, he was on it. We were raising money, and we played Boston and Philadelphia and most of the big cities. And we got to Minneapolis. There wasn't any big theater to play there, so we did our show in a railroad station. Then I told the audience, that I knew a girl in Minneapolis. She was also known in St.Pauls, she used to come over to visit me. She was know as the Tail Of Two Cities. I didn't sell any more bonds, but eh...they didn't allow me to appear anymore.

Houdini Story

There were times when I used to wear a mustache, and there were times when I didn't. I got tired of wearing it, and I would take it off, because if I didn't have a mustache on, people didn't bother me in the street. Then one night I went to the Wintergarden, and Houdini were appearing there, and I was sans mustache. That means 'without'. Gotta watch yourself at the Wintergarden. Anyway, I'm sitting in the second row, and Houdini is now doing a trick. He would take some needles and put them in his mouth, and a spool of thread, and then he would thread the needles. So he asked for a volunteer out of the audience, and who do you think went up on the stage. And he opened his mouth wide. "I wanna prove that there is no trickery to this trick. What do you see in there?" And I said "Pyorrhea!" and left the stage.


You know Berlin wrote our first real Broadway play. It was "Cocoanuts". And George Kaufman hated music. Even when he wrote a Pulitzer Prize play with Morrie Ryskind, he didn't like songs, because they got in the way of the jokes. So, this got Berlin angry, and he went home that night, and he wrote a new song. He said "You didn't like the song in Cocoanuts, I wrote a new song for you." And he played it for Kaufman, and Kaufman said "It stinks!", and this is it.

Sing it, you fool! Let's hear it.

Da, da, dah, da.

Not for just a day.
Not for just a year.
Not for just a week, (or something)
But always.

Stay Down Where You Belong

Berlin and I were very friendly, and Harry Ruby and I surprised him. We sang one of his songs, which he hated. It was a song from the First World War, and the song went like this:

Down below, (rat-a-ta-da-ta-da) down below (wow-u-wow-u-wow-u)
Sat the Devil talking to his son, who wanted to go
Up above, up above.
He said 'It's too slow for me down here', and so,

The Devil said 'Listen lad,
Listen to your dear old dad'.
'You stay down here where you belong.
The folks above you, they don't know right from wrong.

To please their kings they've all gone off to war,
But not a one of them knows what they're fighting for.
Way up above they say, that I'm a devil and I'm bad,
But the kings up there are bigger devils than your dad.

They're breaking the hearts of mothers,
They're making butchers out of brothers.
You'll find more hell up there,
Than there is down here below.

We were sitting at a table, and Ruby was at the piano and Berlin called me over. He says "If you ever have an urge to sing that song again, if you'll get in touch with me, I'll give you a hundred dollars not to sing it." But I still sing it, because I think it has four wonderful lines in there. And that it applies today just as much as it did forty years ago.

They're breaking...

Have you got a key, you're not using?

They're breaking the hearts of mothers,
They're making butchers out of brothers.
You'll find more hell up there,
Than there is down here below.

Otto Kahn Story

I knew a fellow named Otto Kahn, who was a very rich man, and he gave a lot of money to the Metropolitan Opera House at one time. And his close friend was Marshall P. Wilder, who was a hunchback. And they were walking down Fifth Avenue, and they came to a synagogue, and Kahn turned to Wilder and he said "Marshall, you know I used to be a Jew." Marshall said "Really? I used to be a hunchback."

W.C.Fields: Beebee Gun

Now we get to W.C.Fields. He was a friend of mine. He was a great drunk, and if they had had marijuana in those days, I'm sure he'd have been using it. He lived in San Fernando Valley, and he always carried a beebee gun. And he sat in the bushes and when the tourists would go past, he would shoot at them.


One day he allowed me in his house, and he had a ladder there, and it led up to an attic, and in this attic he had 50000 dollars worth of whisky. Un-opened cases of whisky. And I said to him "Bill, what have you got that booze there for? We haven't had prohibition in twenty-five years." He said "It may come back."

Baby Leroy

Fields was doing a picture, many years ago, with a kid named Baby Leroy, and in those days you had to have a nurse on the set. This was one of the rules in the movie industry. So the nurse had to go to the bathroom. Even nurses do that occasionally, and Fields said "Look, I'll take care of the kid, you just got to the bathroom." And when she had gone, he took a bottle of booze out of his backpocket, and he got Baby Leroy dead drunk. They had to close the show for...the movie for three days, until he'd sobered up.

Heaven's Above

There used to be a girl actress in Hollywood. She was an actress, a very pretty one, too, and she always wore an anklet, and had it around here, and on this anklet it said "Heaven's above".

She did quite some business with that anklet.

You want me to leave the stage?

Hamlisch: I think we'll both go, yeah.

Then I'll go off.

Everybody Works But Father

Years ago when there were many songs written about mothers, you know like "Mammy", "Ireland Must Be Heaven", "Mom, They Are Making Eyes At Me", "My Mother's Eyes", nobody ever wrote any song about fathers. Father was the town schlemeil in almost every place. He was nothing, mother was the boss. I think there were two songs that I remember: "Pop Goes The Weasel" and "Oh, What A Crumb Is My Old Man". I remember one more song, it's called:

Everybody works but father,
He sits around all day.
Feet in front of the fireplace,
Smoking his pipe of clay.
Mother takes in washing,
So does sister Ann.
Everybody works in our house
But my old man.

That was a big hit, that song. They even sang it in Europe, in Germany.

Alle schaft aber nicht Vater.
Er geht der ganze Tag herum.
Und raucht der verdammte Pfeife,
Das alles geht driblen drum.
Und Mutter nimmt den Vasching
Und auch tut Schwester Ann.
Alle arbeiten in unser Platz,
Aber nicht der alter Mann.

Father's Day

I have a friend in Hollywood. I think I do, but I'm not so sure. His name is Harry Ruby, and he wrote a lot of songs, that I've sung over the years.

Today, father, is father's day,
And we're giving you a tie.
It's not much we know,
It's just our way of showing you
We think you are a regular guy.

You say that it was nice of us to bother.
But it really was a pleasure to fuss,
For according to our mother,
You're our father,
And that's good enough for us.
Yes, that's good enough for us.

Margaret Dumont

All I can tell you about Margaret Dumont, who was Mrs. Rittenhouse in our pictures. We did a picture, it was a war picture, and a shell came through the window. And I rushed over, an pulled the shade down. And she said "Otis, what are you doing?" I said "I'm fighting for your honor, which is more than you ever did."

Then we were on a boat, and I had two suitcases, and Mrs Rittenhouse was in the back of me. And she said "Otis, have you got everything?" And I said "I haven't had any complaints yet."

Thalberg Story: Garbo

I was in a building called the Thalberg Building. It was a building that was built to honor Irving Thalberg, who was our producer at MGM, and a woman backed into the elevator. And this woman was wearing a hat. I had nothing to do, I'm bored, so I take the back of the hat, and I push it up, and I turn around and it's Greta Garbo. The biggest star in all of showbusiness. I didn't know what to say. And finally I said "I'm terribly sorry, but I thought you were a fella I knew from Kansas City."

Sampson And Delilah Story

I was once invited to Cecil De Mille's projection room, and they were running "Samson and Delilah" with Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature. I'm sure many of you have seen that picture, some time or other. So Cecil De Mille came up to me, when the picture was over and he said "How did you like the picture?" I said "It'll be a failure." And he said "Why? Why will it be a failure?" "Because you got the characters wrong. Victor Mature has much bigger knockers than Hedy Lamarr."

They never asked me at the Paramount again.

Will Rogers, Baseball In Baltimore

I remember playing baseball with Will Rogers in Baltimore. In those days on the Keith circuit, they used to have teams, and our team would be the Marx brothers and a few other players. And Will Rogers was playing second base. And I got on first base, and I ran to second base and I slid in there. And Will Rogers was standing about twenty feet in front of second base, and he turned around on the heal and he said "You're out!" I said "How can I be out? You've got to touch me with the ball on second base, don't you know that?" And he said "Groucho, at my age, wherever you stand is second base." It's a true story.

Priests' Stories: Plaza Hotel

I've always had trouble with priests. I was married by a Rabbi, I think. I'm not sure of that. I think my grandfather bought a speech for five dollars, and all the brothers used that speech. "My dear parents, for many years you have toiled and laboured for my happiness." We had no idea what the hell we were talking about, but we did the whole thing, and it was only a dollar a piece for each speech.

I was in the Plaza Hotel, and there was a priest standing there, and he recognizes me, and he says "Aren't you Groucho Marx?" and I said "Yeah". He says "My mother is crazy about that quizshow you used to do." and I said "I didn't know you fellas had mothers." and I continued, I said "I always thought it was immaculate conception."


Then I was in Montreal. I made a quick exit out of the elevator. I was in Montreal and a priest came up to me, puts out his hand and says "I wanna thank you for all the joy you've put into this world." And I shook his hand, and I said "And I wanna thank you, for all the joy you've taken out of this world." He said "Could I use that next sunday in my sermon?" And I said "Yes you can, but you'll have to pay the William Morris office ten percent."


I was in Italy, I was in Rome. Wonderful city. And I'd just lit a dollar cigar, and I was walking to the corner, and somebody bumped against me. It was a dollar cigar, I wasn't gonna let it lay there, so I reached down to pick it up, and I said "Jesus Christ!" And I turned around, and there is two priests standing next to me, and one of them had bumped against me. He reached in here and pulled out two cigars, and he said "Groucho, you've just said the secret word."

Show Me A Rose

I think we ought to sing "Show Me A Rose".

Ever since songwriters started writing songs,
They have written songs about the rose.
Red roses, blue roses, old roses, new roses,
Roses from the north and south and west,
But here is the rose song that I love the best.

Show me a rose,
And I'll show you a girl who cares.
Show me a rose,
Or leave me alone.

Show me a rose,
And I'll show you a storm at sea.
Show me a rose,
Or leave me alone.

She taught me how to do the tango,
Down where the palm trees sway.
I called her Rose-a-mir,
And she called a spade a spade.

Show me a rose,
And I'll show you a stag at bay.
Show me a rose,
Or leave me alone.

One night in Bixby, Mississippi,
We watched the clouds roll by.
I said "My dear, how are you?"
And she wispered "So am I"

Show me a rose,
And I'll show you a girl named Sam.
Show me a rose,
Or leave me alone.

Show me a rose,
A fragrant rose.
Make believe that you don't know me,
Until you show me
A rose.

Lydia The Tattooed Lady

Music by Harold Arlen. Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg.

Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?
Lydia The Tattooed Lady.
She has eyes that men adore so,
and a torso even more so.
Lydia, oh Lydia, that encyclopedia.
Lydia The Queen of Tattoo.
On her back is The Battle of Waterloo.
Beside it, The Wreck of the Hesperus too.
And proudly above waves the red, white, and blue.
You can learn a lot from Lydia!

When her robe is unfurled she will show you the world,
if you step up and tell her where.
For a dime you can see Kankakee or Paree,
or Washington crossing The Delaware.

Oh Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?
Lydia The Tattooed Lady.
When her muscles start relaxin',
up the hill comes Andrew Jackson.
... that encyclopedia.
Lydia The Queen of Tattoo.
For two bits she will do a mazurka in jazz,
with a view of Niagara that nobody has.
And on a clear day you can see Alcatraz.
You can learn a lot from Lydia!

Come along and see Buffalo Bill with his lasso.
Just a little classic by Mendel Picasso.
Here is Captain Spaulding exploring the Amazon.
Here's Godiva, but with her pajamas on.

Oh Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?
Lydia The Queen of them all.
She once swept an Admiral clear off his feet.
The ships on her hips made his heart skip a beat.
And now the old boy's in command of the fleet,
for he went and married Lydia!

I said Lydia...
He said Lydia...
I said Lydia...
He said Lydia...

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