Groucho Marx Lesson for Lusty Generals

For those of a certain age, everything new recalls that fount of all wisdom, Groucho Marx. The current tragic comedy surrounding our military leaders is no exception.

It brings back a story Groucho relished telling Dick Cavett about the aphrodesiac rewards and risks of fame in the Marx brothers’ vaudeville days.

Back then, Groucho and Chico were visited backstage in Iowa by a middle-aged Jewish couple, who relayed their admiration and said, “We know you boys are Jewish, and we thought you might like to come to our house Friday night for a traditional Jewish dinner.”

The brothers agreed but, walking around town the day before, Chico recognized the address and they decided to ring the doorbell. The couple’s two pretty daughters were home, greeted them happily and were eventually induced to act out their fandom physically.

When the parents appeared, there was some embarrassment.

“Chico was more accustomed to this sort of predicament than I was,” Groucho recalled, “so I followed his example, which was grabbing up our clothes and high-tailing it out the window. Fortunately, we were on the ground floor…”

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Author: ROBERT STEIN