Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The Marx Brothers
It's kind of funny that as a kid, I didn't like The Marx Brothers. I thought they were just brash and unfunny, and much preferred The Three Stooges (still do). Over the years, I developed a taste for them, taking a particular liking to Groucho, and to a lesser extent Harpo. I never really warmed to Chico, not because of his ethnic humor, but because I still find him the least funny of the three (I'm not counting Zeppo in this).
I also go against the grain of most Marx Brothers fans who act as if their Paramount films and the first two they did for MGM are the only good ones. Am I the only person out there who actually likes "Room Service" and "Love Happy"? Saying that, my favorite film by them is hands down "Duck Soup" (which is one of the Paramount films); the only film they did where Harpo and Chico do not play their instruments!
The photo above is going to be used in my new book about "Cracked" magazine. Though John Severin did not admit it, I still feel that Harpo Marx was an inspiration for the redesign of "Cracked" mascot Sylvester P. Smythe with issue #11. This photo is from "A Day at the Races" where Harpo and Chico are wallpapering.
Severin always claimed that the inspiration for Sylvester was this little apprentice guy in an old Jackie Gleason sketch. I think that is true for the original Sylvester design, who was kind of an ugly guy. When Severin "cutened" him up, I think subconsciously he had Harpo in mind. I do.