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The Marx Brothers

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Groucho and Elmo in Elmo's World: Noses.

The Marx Brothers were an iconic American comedy troupe, led by Julius "Groucho" Marx (1890-1977) and included brothers Harpo and Chico (all stage and film work), Zeppo (in early films), and Gummo (in the stage era). The brothers performed on stage and in a series of successful farcical movies, including A Day at the Races, A Night at the Opera, A Night in Casablanca, Duck Soup, and Animal Crackers, amongst others. Groucho, with his greasepaint moustache, thick cigar, spectacles, and wavy hair, developed the persona of consummate wisecracker and con artist.

As a solo performer, Groucho hosted the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life, a series which relied less on the suspense of competition than on the host's patter and rapport with contestants.



Music Works Wonders.


Fozzie in Groucho glasses at the El Sleezo Cafe.

Impresario groucho chicken

A Brief History of Motion Pictures.


Spike Milligan imitates Groucho Marx.


Dr. Beemer giving Baby Fozzie his checkup.


David imagines Gordon with Harpo hair.


The Mayor of Grouchland.


Maria and Luis in Sing Yourself Silly.


Fozzie in his glasses in the book Fozzie's Funnies.


From Orange's The Muppets Gold Spot.

Gonzo groucho
  • Duck Soup featured Groucho and Harpo Marx in a now famous mirror scene: in an empty hallway, Harpo would mime to be the reflection of Groucho, confusing him in the process. A similar routine appears in The Muppet Show episode 104 featuring Kermit and Robot Kermit.
  • Spike Milligan assists Sam the Eagle with an oration on The Muppet Show episode 317, in which he comes out on stage representing an English gentleman. However, he speaks in such a thick brogue, that Sam can't understand him and claims he is not speaking the Queen's English. Spike replies in an eyebrow-raising, faux cigar-holding Groucho-Marx pose, "Why should I? She never speaks any of mine."
  • One of Spike Milligans partners from The Goon Show, Peter Sellers, tended to slip in a Groucho voice every now and again in his career. He appears as a gypsy violinist on The Muppet Show episode 219, being told "play" by the Muppets. Temporarily breaking away from his gypsy voice, Peter said in Groucho style, miming cigar-holding, "Listen, any more talk like that and I will play!"
  • In a 1970s Sesame Street segment, David and Maria imagine Gordon with a variety of hairstyles. At one point, David imagines him with "hair like Harpo."
  • In Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting, Kermit tries to interview people on the street. He meets Grover, who calls out, "Ice cream! Get your Tootsie-Frootsie ice cream!" This is in reference to a scene from A Day At the Races in which Chico Marx calls out the same thing.
  • A set of floating Groucho glasses talks to Elmo in Elmo's World: Eyes. The glasses enter to "Hello, I Must Be Going" from Animal Crackers, and in a reference to You Bet Your Life," they prompt Elmo to say the "secret word", which signals a duck to drop from the ceiling.
  • Episode 1576 of Sesame Street features a group of birds called the "Canary Brothers", two of which are named Zeppo and Gummo Marx.
  • In the video Sing Yourself Silly, Maria and Luis don a pair of Groucho glasses and imitate his cigar-holding pose as they remark "Now that's silly!".
  • Mr. Earth does a brief imitation of Groucho using a paper towel tube in Being Green.
  • The popular "mirror scene" from Duck Soup was recreated in The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson story arc, in which Kismet mirrors Kermit's every move. After Kermit leaves, he comments, "You know, I've always wanted to do that."
  • In a Tweet dated September 7, 2011, Oscar said, “The only ‘a-peeling’ thing about a banana is the part that goes in the TRASH!” – Grouch Marx, Grouch comedian. Love that guy! Tweet
  • For a 2011 commercial promoting The Muppets in the UK, Fozzie Bear decorates the advertiser's logo, Orange, with Groucho glasses.

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