Harpo's Raincoat Pocket
Also known as "Fun Stuff." When we find something that we like, it is picked up, dusted off, and
placed in the Pocket. We drop it in here because it amuses us, and might amuse you too.
Trivia, quotes, desktop wallpapers, etc.
The Harpo Speaks! Project: An evolving page which includes researching
places, period games, and people who were mentioned in Harpo's autobiography. Help needed!
Warner Brothers vs. Marx Brothers: Tom Ruegger's "Animaniacs" compared
with the Marx films.
Created (and colored) by me. Please do not claim that you made them or post them on a website,
be nice. Post a link to this shabby site if you are able to. Thanx!
AIM Buddy Icons
YOYF's Video Reccommendations
The highlighted titles can be bought online. I've placed a + next to the ones I own or have seen.
Red Skelton Christmas Show: Freddie & the Yuletide Doll - Skit: Red Skelton and Harpo find each other in the middle of the war, each on opposing sides.
Instead of killing each other, they decide to sit in the foxhole and play a friendly game of cards. Soon, their
officers find them and command Red and Harpo to shoot one another. I can't tell you how it ends because I've never
+Red Skelton: The "Lost" Episodes Vol.2 - Skit: Harpo plays the
fitting role of George Appleby's (Red Skelton) guardian angel. When Harpo is sent down to help George with his
marriage problems, George doesn't know what he is, so Harpo pulls one panto gesture after another, ending it with
flapping his arms like a chicken (ie. angel wings). This prompts Red to improv., "Which one are you doing,
Gertrude or Heathcliffe?" Harpo doubles-over laughing silently (and you can see that he wants to burst out
laughing but must prevent making noise because of his mute character) which makes Red double-over at the sight
of him. It's a great moment to see these two panto geniuses crack each other up. Harpo the guardian angel plays
practical jokes on Red's Appleby character, and is foolish, cute, child-like, and funny, which is all-around everything
we expect Harpo's character to be. Harpo doesn't play the harp in this episode, but he does a wonderful, long panto
skit. I hope to find an online place which sells this DVD, and scan the cover so maybe you can find it yourself.
+Groucho Marx: You Bet Your Life -
12 shows. Not only does it have great moments from the tv series, but also has Harpo and Chico doing a commercial
for Prom Shampoo (watch for it at the end of the 3rd show). A few great moments feature an "angry, bug-eyed
fellow", a painter named "Yuk", and an old woman who threatens Groucho to put out his cigar while
she's onstage. Absolutely crazy.
+"Hollywood-Without Make-up" -
features Ken Murray's bootleg footage of his travels around hollywood in the 19. Shows Harpo and Groucho in soapbox
cars racing down the path against a boy, Hearst Castle in San Simeon (where Harpo visited), and a poolside party
where Chico, Harpo, and Groucho lay back in beach-chairs asleep in bathing shorts, wigs, hats, and grease-paint
Unknown Marx Brothers - Highly recommended by OTHER marxists. I'm planning
on getting this one after seeing some of the great photos that were flashed on the screen. To see some screencaps
yourself, visit Anicorn
- To reach the harp pedals, Harpo would wear a ballet slipper.
- The movie title "Swordfish" was named after the quote/scene in "Horse Feathers".
- Woody Allen let his marxism take over some of his films. He named the title of his film "Everyone Says
I Love You" (1996) after the song in "Horse Feathers" which the melody of the song can be heard
near the end of the film. The characters also sing a version of "Hooray for Captain Spaulding" in french,
and hold a "Groucho Party", where all the people who attend dress in suits and groucho-glasses (VERY
amusing!). There's also a big christmas tree at the party with Marx Brothers ornaments decorating it.
- Before filming "Room Service", Ann Miller was introduced to the Marxs. Harpo immediately dropped
his pants and it frightened her so much that she was afraid to go near him ever since. (fact by Robert Osborne)
- In "A Night At The Opera", "A Day At The Races", "At The Circus", "Go West",
"The Big Store", and "Duck Soup", the music concerning Harpo was recorded before filming the
scene. Facts that give it away are that Harpo reaches for the wrong strings on the harp, he plays at the wrong
speed, he doesn't use the harp pedal, or he runs out of high-note strings as the continues to play higher notes.
But for films like "Duck Soup" and "A Day At The Races", the piano strings do not make the
same sound as a harp when plucked. Though, it is unknown to me whether the other films were recorded beforehand,
or if Chico ever recorded his piano-playing before the scene.
- The "Love Happy" DVD has extra footage of Harpo's torture scene and a few of Groucho's lines that
were cut from the movie, but the case cover doesnt indicate extra footage.
- Danny Devito is making a movie about the Marxs lives, called "The
Marx Brothers". It first became known on the Ducklist in 1999, and IMdB.com says the movie is due to be
out in 2005! We'll see!
- Singer Jonathan Richman recorded a song about Harpo, Groucho, and Chico, called "When
Harpo Played His Harp" (also called "Harpo En Su Harpa").
- Chico's trademark hat was green.
- The Warner Brothers studio couldn't get the Marx Brothers, so they created their own and called them "The
Ritz Brothers". What is ironic about this is that WB tried to start a lawsuit with the Marxs because "Casablanca"
and "A Night In Casablanca" were released the same year and WB wanted the Marxs to change the films name.
- Guiness Book of World Records has a record for "the most people at one time wearing Groucho Marx glasses",
in which people have to sit in one area for 20 minutes wearing black glasses with black fuzzy brows and moustache
beneath a big rubber nose. In the past, the books have shown the record being held three times. 522 people worn
the glasses at first, and then were defeated in 2003 by East Lansing College in Michigan, holding the record at
800 people, most who were teenagers who had no idea of who Groucho was. In April 2004, Marxists flocked to Warren,
PA to pay a tribute to Groucho by defeating last years record, bringing in 1,293 people! One of the people was
Groucho-impersonater Frank Ferrante, who also performed at the GrouchoFest. They may try to break their own record
- In an episode of the TV cartoon "Recess", the kids go up to a secret door that looked just like the
one in "Horse Feathers". Someone opened the peep-hole and asked, "What's the password?", whereupon
the kids naturally replied "Swordfish!"
- In his book "Harpo Speaks", Harpo says he was born in 1893. At IMdB.com,
it says he was born in 1888. In reality, Harpo was born in 1888. We believe that either Paramount or MGM told the
audience that the Brothers were approx 10 years younger (maybe to convince the crowds that it was morally safe
for young men to behave silly, rather than older men .. who knows for sure).
- If you're ever in South Carolina, you might run into a few restaurants called "Groucho's" that has
a sign with a cartoon of a walking chubby man in glasses, hat and Groucho-esque haircut, smoking a cigar while
carrying a big hamburger. The restuarant wasn't named after Groucho himself, supposedly it was named after a man
who earned this nickname. The character of the burger-carrying man might suggest that he was given that nickname
because he looked like Groucho. If you can't get to SC, you can order shirts, salad dressing, and other stuff at
- With the help of computer technology and a voice actor, Groucho was put into a Diet Coke commercial in the
90s. Paula Abdul "talked" with him about Diet Coke and then she went to dance with a technicolor Fred
Astaire who also was put into the commercial using clips of his films. If anyone has this commercial and can put
it on the computer and send it to me, I'd love to see it.
- According to Imdb.com, the Marx's father, Sam "Frenchie" Marx, was uncredited as a "passenger
on the boat" and also the "man at quayside upon arrival" in their film Monkey Business. He's
sitting on the crates behind them after they're carried off the ship. He's wearing a white hat, dark suit, and
you can see Frenchie's infamous smirk beneath his moustache, standing like the proud father that he was.
- Gummo invented the "screw clamp",
a clamp that tightens and loosens on rubber hoses, such as the one attached to the radiator hose beneath the hood
of your car.
- On the TV show "Home Improvement" (ep. "Reel Men", #HI64), while Tim and Al go ice-fishing,
Jill and her gal-pal's get together at her house to watch chick-fliks and wax their legs. Jill asks the other two
the question "If you could be with any other man, who would it be?". One girl replied "a dentist",
and Jill said "That isn't what I mean. You're supposed to tell your ultimate fantasy, someone famous. Like
Harpo Marx. ....He has a great sense of humor, and he doesn't talk!" (approx. word-for-word.)
- On the TV show "Wings", Casey finds that everybody around her likes the Three Stooges, and she says
she doesn't understand whats funny about three guys smacking each other. When Brian was found in the lobby of the
airport watching the Stooge Marathon, Casey said, "Oh yeh, sure I like them. Wait, where's Groucho and Harpo?"
Later, she meets the boss of a company who she hopes will hire her, but when she walks into his office, he's also
watching the Stooge Marathon, and she fakes liking the Stooges so she would get hired. (Being a true Marxist, I
cringed along with her through every moment. haha)
- In Miami, Florida, there really is a town called Coconut Grove! In the history
of Coconut Grove (another good site is here),
the first settlement was in the1830s. In 1882, the first hotel was built ("Bay View House", later called
"The Peacock Inn"), a big farm house that welcomed travellers and visiters to stay there. Comparing the
Peacock Inn to the hotel in the film, Groucho mentioned they had a third floor (which could be true since the Peacock
Inn had extensions built), and the Inn was run by two English brothers (like Groucho and Zeppo). So I believe that
the script was supposed to take place in the 1800s, even though the casts' costumes were of the early 1900s, because
photos prove that it once did look like that in the 1800s,
when Harpo said he was surprised when visited Miami because looked nothing like the film sets. Today, this "trendy"
city has changed from fields of palm trees to a full-fledged city with stores, stage-theatres, old-fashion neighborhood
houses (from large "Gone with the wind"-like homes to tiny 1950s beach homes) is inhabited by visiting
tourists, celebrities, and the students of a nearby college. On the map
of Coconut Grove, I didn't see any of the streets (or rivers or viaducts) that Groucho mentioned on his map,
but it does show the struggle of the locals trying to save their city from being run over by Miami's modernism.
The Grove Isle Resort is a hotel that looks like
a remodeled lavished version of the one in "The Cocoanuts", the lobby with it's curved desk (open at
the end) and the circular couch, also the beach, lounge-chairs, and many palm trees which we see in the beginning
of the film. Though, I doubt that Groucho would decorate his lobby with large gold palm trees..
"They say Woody Allen got something from the Marx Brothers. He didn't. He is an original. The best. The
"...to me about the Marx Brothers, as a child. And as I grew up, i found them the funniest people on the
screen to me were the Marx Brothers, and I got to meet Groucho in the last 10 years of his life, and was friendly
with him and he was a wonderful, wonderful person. You know, [he] reminded me of every jewish uncle that I knew
at any bar mitzfuh or wedding. He was, you know, the wise-cracking uncle. He looks a little like my family, like
my mothers side of the family. I just found him to be... you know, if your gonna do comedy, they were unsentimental,
they were anarchtic, they were original and surreal, hilarious. And I dont think there's ever been anyone like
them before us since. For a comedian, they're just as good as you can get i think." -Woody Allen
Think About It
I don't know whether most of these are fact or fiction, but I post them here because you, too, may have pondered
these questions, likenesses, differences, etc.
- Coinsidences: Was the title of the harp song called "Harpo's Bizaar" (film "The Big Store")
intended to be a pun on the title of a magazine called "Harpers Bizaar", which Harpo's friend Alice Duer
Miller was a writer for?
- Stunt Double: In "Animal Crackers", there is a scene where Chico talks to Harpo when the lights
are suddenly knocked out, and Harpo attempts to climb up a laddar and has to hang from the curtains when the laddar
is swept from beneath his feet, leaving him to dangle until he eventually finds the mantle ledge. It is impossible
for Harpo to hang onto the curtain using only one hand while using his other hand to make those loud whistles,
plus his whistling is out-of-sync with his jerking movements. Here is my guess as to what happened: The camera
cuts when Harpo begins to climb the ladder, maybe giving the real Harpo time to duck behind the couch so that he
could do the whistling, while his double is sent up the ladder to do the movements. After he gets on the ledge
and the dark scene is over, the camera stops, the double and Harpo switch places, the camera goes on again, the
lights come on, and the scene resumes with him climbing down the laddar.
- Question: In the scene of "A Day At The Races", Chico convinces Harpo that he will give him
"an apple'a pie and a'beautyful nurses", and Harpo then agrees he will go to the doctors. As they begin
to walk out of the room, Harpo turns around to look off-camera (and off-stage) and he waves happily. Who is he
- Stand-In: Also in this scene, when Groucho talks to Margaret Dumont in the dark, he doesn't match the
words that are being said (nods his head at unneeded moments, talks when his lips aren't moving, doesnt talk when
his lips are moving). In this scene his lines are short and hurried, and the shadowed figure seems to make big
gestures that don't match up.
- Stand-In: Another strange scene from "Animal Crackers" is when after Harpo offers the lollypop
to try to coax the woman out of the room. He peeks around the corner to listen to a conversation about one of the
paintings being hidden in the room upstairs. When the people move closer to him, he dives to the floor and crawls
underneath the dresser and listens from there. If you look at the person under the dresser when they show him under
the dresser and the two people talking, the persons face does not look like Harpo's and he's wearing a black curly
wig instead of the blond wig.
- Reoccuring theme: In "The Cocoanuts" (1929), Chico and Harpo use a taxi-horn, desk bells,
and the chimes of a cash register, while singing and whistling along to their rendition of "Anvil Chorus"
from the opera "Il Trovatore". This song shows up again in "Animal Crackers" (1930), when they
break into song with Chico on piano, Groucho singing, and Harpo assisting by clanging horseshoes together. Later
on, they make a giant tribute to the opera in "A Night At The Opera" (1935), where "Il Trovatore"
is featured, livened up, and somewhat mutilated by the Brothers. Though, who's to say if they used "Anvil
Chorus" in the stage versions of "Animal Crackers" and "The Cocoanuts", or if they were
used just for the films. I believe they got the song from the years spent in vaudeville with the sad act of Mons
Herbert who, Harpo said, "Mons used to set a dinner table on the stage, and play 'The Anvil Chorus' by blowing
on knives and forks against each other. For a finish he would blow up a prop roast turkey and deflate it in such
a way that it played 'Oh Dry Those Tears' out of its rump." (Harpo Speaks! pg. 131)
- Familiar names: (in bold)
-"Aunt Minnie" mentioned in A Night At The Opera (their mother)
-"Inspecter Hennessy" in A Night At The Opera/Animal Crackers (Alexander Woollcott's
secretary, Joe. Known through Harpo.)
-"Beatrice" in A Night In Casablanca (Harpo's friend. George Kaufmans wife)
-"Polly" in At The Circus (Marx's step-sister)
-"Sam Grunion" in Love Happy (Marx's uncle, cousin, and father. Also knew producer Sam
Marx, and directer Sam Wood.)
a) Animal Crackers: "Excuse me, a caterpillar captain!","OHHH!","It must've
been the caterpillar that frightened him!" b) Monkey Business: "Afraid? Me? A man who's licked
his weight in wild caterpillars? You bet I'm scared!"
a)Day At The Races: "Getta yo' ice creeaam! Getta yo' Tootsie-Frootsie ice'a creeeaam!"
b) Love Happy: "Awww. Ice cream! Tootsie-Frootsie ice cream!"
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and I will post it here. Thanks!
I must be going