Marx Brothers

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Left to Right: Zeppo, Chico, Harpo, and some game show host.

The Marx Brothers were vaudeville comedians from the early 20th century. They later starred in their own Broadway shows, and subsequently movies. They were wild and outrageous, gutbustingly hilarious with the central three being masters of different kinds of humor: verbal (Groucho), ethnic and musical (Chico), and surreal pantomime slapstick (Harpo).

A family act, the Marx Brothers went through several incarnations under varying names (including "The Four Nightingales", "The Six Mascots", and others) before an appearance in Texas, where the audience left the theatre during a performance to go watch a mule. This outraged the team, and they began breaking from their script to abuse the audience, which went over better than they expected. Their act quickly incorporated a significant component of what would be referred to today as improv comedy, frequently mocking theatrical clichés and tropes, and they began to move up the ranks of vaudeville performers, eventually reaching the pinnacle of vaudeville fame, performing at New York's Palace theatre. A disagreement with the executive running the biggest vaudeville circuit at the time exiled them from big-time vaudeville, and sent them into regional touring, which was difficult and draining. The troupe was about to disband when a backer willing to fund a legitimate theatre production was found. Success on the road with I'll Say She Is, a revue based in part on their vaudeville routines, continued when the show was brought to Broadway. Their performance caught the attention of the theatrical critics as well as the audience, and their relatively haphazard, underfunded show ran for months. Their subsequent show was also a success, and was adapted to film, starting one of the greatest series of film comedies ever made.

The family had five brothers, although only four (and later three) performed together at a given time. According to interviews Groucho gave late in his life, their stage names reflected personal traits or important events in their lives, and were inspired by a comic strip character named "Sherlocko the Monk", which triggered a brief rash of nicknames ending in "-o".

  • Groucho (Julius Henry Marx), nicknamed for his abrasive wit. (Some sources say the name came from his "grouch bag", a bag worn around the neck, and used to keep money, as vaudeville performers were sometimes not above stealing from each other.) The patron saint of Deadpan Snarkers. Known for his cigar and mustache (which was actually a stripe of greasepaint, at least until he became the host of You Bet Your Life in the 1950s and grew a real one). A cross between a participant and a commentator, Groucho's on-screen persona would inspire comedians from Alan Alda to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 team. Later in life, he became a fan and friend of Alice Cooper, oddly enough.
  • Chico (Leo or Leonard Marx); pronounced "chicko", his nickname referred to his habit of "chicken chasing" (womanizing). His trademarks were an outrageously fake Italian accent, a conical black hat, and a distinctive style of piano playing where he would "shoot" selected keys with his fingers held to form a gun. The most traditional comedian of the three major brothers, Chico would typically find himself providing the verbal component to Harpo's mime, or sparring with Groucho.
  • Harpo (Adolph Marx, later changed to "Arthur"), nicknamed for his virtuoso harp playing (which was completely self-taught). His trademarks were harp playing, a silent mime performance (using a horn instead of speaking), and a clown-like costume featuring a raincoat with apparently bottomless pockets, a curly red wig (later blond, as it looked better in black-and-white film), and a top hat. He is a virtuoso kleptomaniac with a special knack for pickpocketing, ending up with such unlikely prizes as Groucho's boxers and a random man's birthmark. In the early stage shows, he did an Oirish accent, but it was eventually decided that having him be The Speechless was funnier. His mime routines (most notably the infamous Mirror Scene from Duck Soup) have become a staple for comedy shows today, and even inspired all of Mr. Funny's entire character in the 2009 season of The Mr. Men Show.
  • Zeppo (Herbert Marx); according to Groucho, his nickname was born from the arrival of a German zeppelin at Lakehurst, NJ, but the dates do not match. Harpo, in his book Harpo Speaks , claims that the name was derived from a chimpanzee appearing in a comic strip of the day, Mr. Zippo, but when Herbert objected, this was changed to Zeppo. (There are other stories concerning the name's origin, such as the time the brothers were pretending to be farmers in order to dodge serving in World War I and gave each other hayseed names like "Zeke" and "Zeb".) Zeppo was the youngest and most handsome of the brothers, and while still part of the act generally played the straight man and sometimes the romantic lead. His trademark is less developed than the above. (He was a talented comedian, however, once filling in for Groucho during a Vaudeville tour when the latter was ill.) After several movies he followed brother Gummo in leaving the act and becoming a manager for his performing siblings. A talented mechanic and inventor, he also founded a manufacturing company.
  • Gummo (Milton Marx), nicknamed for the sneaky, or "gumshoe", way he had of walking around backstage, or a pair of galoshes ("gumshoes") he had as a child. Gummo left the act when drafted during World War I, although he never reached Europe, about the time the Marxes were first becoming famous. According to That Other Wiki, the contemporary actor Gregg Marx is his grandson.
  • There was actually a sixth Marx Brother, Manfred Marx, who was also the oldest; he died of enterocolitis while still a baby.
  • They are in fact, in no way related to Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto, despite humorist Richard Armour's assertion that Karl was the funniest of the brothers.

Also frequently joining them was the matronly figure of Margaret Dumont, typically cast as a wealthy widow who was a perfect foil for Groucho; he would alternate between shamelessly flirting with her ("Ah, married. I can see you right now in the kitchen, bending over a hot stove...") and viciously insulting her ("But I can't see the stove.").

Their comedic style was chaotic and absurd, with lots of word play, pantomime and satire. In general, they would appear in stock stories, tired even by the standards of the day, and demolish them. The surrounding characters, trapped by their roles, would attempt to continue on through the story, mostly ignoring the literary deconstruction going on.

In particular, Chico, Harpo and Groucho had their own identifiers:

Chico spoofed the ignorant Italian Immigrant, always looking to con, steal or otherwise make a quick buck. He was the only Marx Brother to keep using his vaudeville accent into the movies. It's notable that Chico's character worked on another level besides the obvious spoof; he often got the better of Groucho and other characters with a hint of Obfuscating Stupidity and more than a little gusto, particularly in A Day at the Races. One Marx historian proposed that this was a vicarious release for actual immigrants, seeing "one of their own" get one up on the establishment. Given that the brothers' parents were immigrants (Alsatian Jews rather than Italians) there might be something to that.

Harpo originally spoofed an Irish Bruiser in the early vaudeville days, but later developed his trademark pantomime, "speaking" only through whistling, charades and honking a horn. (In Real Life, Harpo actually had a pleasant baritone voice, and was described as talkative and intelligent; among his friends were Alexander Wolcott and George Bernard Shaw. He, like Wolcott, was a member of the Algonquin Round Table.) He was the clown of the group -- okay, they all were, to a point. He'd literally chase women, randomly snip people's ties off with scissors, eat random objects, and produce unlikely items from his pockets and tattoos.

In the team's vaudeville days, Groucho originally played a German-accented character; but he was often booed for it (there was a World War going on) and so became the fast-talking "authority figure", and possibly the king of wordplay. It was he who uttered those immortal lines, "Once I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know." However, the absolute best-known of his lines is something he never actually said -- a supposed comment to a woman with lots of children who appeared on You Bet Your Life:

Woman: I love my husband.
Groucho: I love my cigar, too, but I take it out once in a while.

Pretty racy stuff, for the 1950s.

Groucho and Harpo went on to inspire the characters of Yakko and Wakko respectively in the hit '90s Warner Brothers cartoon Animaniacs. In fact, an episode of Animaniacs entitled "King Yakko" is very similar to Duck Soup, following a similar plot and with Yakko and Wakko falling into roles similar to those of Groucho and Harpo. The episode even ends with Wakko having a beautiful woman hold his leg, one of Harpo's Running Gags. Also, Bugs Bunny: Bugs actually stole some of his mannerisms and lines from Groucho, including the famous line "Of course you know, this means war!" It is also argued that the way Bugs holds his carrot is meant to be reminiscent of Groucho and his cigar. There was even a Looney Tunes short in which Bugs disguised himself as Groucho to evade the attentions of restaurant chef Elmer Fudd. It didn't work, because Fudd was already disguised as Harpo.

Not to be confused with Marx, a character from Kirby Super Star. Or that other Marx.

The Marx Brothers' films:
The Marx Brothers are the Trope Namers for:
The Marx Brothers provide examples of the following tropes:
  • Banned in China: It was widely feared that their movies encouraged anarchic behavior. And Mussolini even went so far as to ban Duck Soup in Italy because he was convinced that the film was satirically aimed squarely at all fascist dictators.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty:
    • Contrary to popular belief, Captain Spaulding never said "Once I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know" in Animal Crackers (what he did say was "How he got in my pajamas, I don't know"). But as it turns out, Groucho did say it -- while misquoting himself during an episode of You Bet Your Life.
    • Another example: Groucho's line in Horse Feathers, "I've got to stay here, but there's no reason why you folks shouldn't go out into the lobby until this thing blows over" (see below) is almost always misquoted as "out to the lobby for a smoke".
    • People often think Groucho's quote, "Of course you know this means war!" was from Duck Soup. However, the closest thing Groucho says to that was "That's it then, we're going to war!" The actual line is from A Night At the Opera, not Duck Soup.
      • But the antagonist in Duck Soup does say "This means war!"
    • Groucho's "I love my cigar" line on You Bet Your Life (see above).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:

Groucho: (as Chico begins a piano solo) I've got to stay here -- but there's no reason why you folks shouldn't go out into the lobby until this thing blows over.

    • In another instance he deliberately tells a bad joke and then says to the audience, "Well, all the jokes can't be good! You gotta expect that sometimes."
      • Similarly, after one particularly bad stock joke he says, "That's the first time I've used that joke in 20 years."
    • It recomes a Running Gag in At The Circus since Groucho does it numerous times. One of the best is a scene where he is trying to get something Pauline has stuffed down her shirt, and when he realized she's done so he looks at the camera in fear and says, "There has to be someway to get that money while staying out of the Hays Office!"
    • This dress is bright red, but Technicolor is SOOO expensive!
    • In "Go West", after binding and gagging one of the villain's henchmen, Groucho turns toward the audience and remarks, "Did you know this is the best gag in the picture?"
  • Call Back: During the musical number "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" in At the Circus, Groucho mentions that Lydia had a tattoo of "Captain Spaulding exploring the Amazon", referring back to the character he played in Animal Crackers.
    • In A Night at the Opera, Groucho says "You know this means war!", referring to their previous film Duck Soup.
  • Cash Lure: In Go West, Harpo uses this on Groucho.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Harpo. Sometimes a harmless Reality Warper.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Part of their charm is the fact that the Marxes basically didn't care about the plot. Groucho was a comedic sociopath exactly as much as Mystery Science Theater 3000's Mike and Joel were -- he doesn't buy into the significance of anything that you would normally expect a character in a movie to care about. All three of the primary Marxes knew they were in a movie, and were prepared to continue being in the movie, as long as nobody expected them to pay attention to it. Harpo and Chico are sometimes theoretically allies with Groucho, sometimes antagonists ... and it doesn't matter in the slightest.
  • Comic Trio: After Zeppo left, and some would opine before.
  • Commander Contrarian: Groucho
  • Cute Mute: Harpo is the page image for the trope.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Groucho especially, but Chico had his moments
  • Department of Redundancy Department: A routine in A Night at the Opera which focuses on a contract whose clauses are all along the lines of "the party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part"
  • Did Not Do the Research: Anyone who dresses as Harpo using a blond wig. It's light red (darker in The Cocoanuts).
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Everybody, but especially Harpo.
  • Executive Meddling: Most of the Marxes' films had generally unnecessary and/or grating scenes with secondary characters sprinkled throughout, which the studio execs insisted upon adding for "story structure", which is just about the very last thing in the world a zany romp like a Marx Brothers film needs.
    • Irving Thalberg was especially guilty of this (his belief was that female moviegoers wanted linear plotlines and romantic subplots, not just anarchic comedy) and is arguably ultimately responsible for the Marxes' post-Paramount downfall into mediocre films.
      • Note that Groucho would disagree with that attitude -- in later years, he repeatedly called the two MGM films which Thalberg produced, (A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races) their two best. Certainly, they were the most financially successful of The Marx Brothers films.
      • Indeed, it was Thalberg who suggested The Marx Brothers go on tour before filming started, allowing them a chance to test and perfect their new material before a live audience. Many people -- including Groucho himself -- believe this helped to strengthen many of the routines.
    • A better candidate for this might be Louis B. Mayer, who didn't think The Marx Brothers were funny and was ill-pleased when Irving Thalberg gave them a five-picture contract. When Thalberg died in 1936, Mayer used his position as MGM studio chief to deny The Marx Brothers their favorite gag writers and limit the budgets of their remaining films.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Harpo once ate a telephone.
  • Fake Nationality: Especially Chico, the "Italian".

Ravelli (Chico): How did you get to be Roscoe W. Chandler?
Chandler: Say, how did you get to be an Italian?
Ravelli: Never mind—- whose confession is this?

  • Forgotten Trope: Horse Feathers relies on several concepts, like "college widows", that no longer exist
  • Funny Character, Boring Actor: Inverted. Zeppo normally played the Closer to Earth/Only Sane Man, yet in Real Life was said to be even funnier than Groucho (who was indeed as witty as the characters he played!).
  • Funny Foreigner: Chico
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Zeppo was a Real Life example.
  • Genius Ditz: Harpo played a bumbling fool who was nonetheless a brilliant harpist.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A core value of Groucho's comedic approach, to the point that legend attributes far more, and far more blatant, successes to him than he actually had. A few examples:
    • In Horse Feathers Groucho, when renting a canoe, comments: "I wanted a flat bottom, but the girl in the boathouse didn't have one."
    • From Animal Crackers: "We took some pictures of the native girls, but they weren't developed. But we're going back again in a couple of weeks, and..." (here, hastily interrupted by Margaret Dumont)
    • Also from Animal Crackers: "Signor Ravelli's first selection will be 'Somewhere My Love Lies Sleeping' with a male chorus."
    • From Monkey Business: "You're a woman who's been getting nothing but dirty breaks. Well, we can clean and tighten your brakes, but you'll have to stay in the garage all night." This also qualifies as a Funny Aneurysm Moment, as the actress Groucho says this to -- Thelma Todd -- died under mysterious circumstances of carbon monoxide poisoning after being locked in a garage overnight, apparently having passed out in a car with the engine still running.
    • From Duck Soup: "All I can offer you is a Rufus over your head."
      • "Married. I can see you right now, bending over a hot stove... but I can't see the stove."
      • Groucho says "Here's one I picked up in a dance hall!" and goes into a loopy dance move, then says "Here's another one I picked up in a dance hall!" and gestures toward Margaret Dumont.
    • From A Night at the Opera: "You're willing to pay him a thousand dollars a night just for singing? Why, you can get a phonograph record of 'Minnie the Moocher' for 75 cents." (Pause) "For a buck and a quarter, you can get Minnie."
    • From At The Circus:

Groucho: You know, if you hadn't sent for me I'd probably be home now in a nice warm bedroom, in a comfortable bed, with a hot toddy.
Chico: Who?
Groucho: A hot toddy!...That's a drink!
Chico: At'sa too bad!

      • Perhaps not coincidentally, two-time co-star Thelma Todd's nickname was Hot Toddy.
    • Also from At The Circus, as mentioned above, there is a scene where Pauline stuffs some money down her shirt, and Groucho is worried he won't be able to get it out without breaking the Hays Code.
  • Grande Dame: Margaret Dumont was the perpetual butt of the Marxian humor throughout a long series of films.
  • Hammerspace: Harpo
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: The Trope Namer, naturally.
  • He Who Must Not Be Heard: Harpo
  • Homage: The 1992 film Brain Donors is a feature-length homage to the Marx Brothers, essentially a remake of A Night At The Opera that often equals and once in a while tops the original.
    • Dead-on parodies of Groucho and Chico were prominent characters in Cerebus.
    • Similarly, early episodes of M*A*S*H would frequently feature Hawkeye mimicking Groucho, occasionally abetted by Trapper doing Harpo.
    • Welcome Back, Kotter, where Kotter would play the part of Groucho, Epstein would be Chico, and Horshack would be Harpo.
    • And let us not forget the Broadway musical A Day In Hollywood, A Night In the Ukraine, in which the entire second act is a Marx Brothers film that never was, based on Anton Chekhov's "The Bear".
    • In one early issue of The Amazing Spider-Man Spider-Man cribs Groucho's line from Duck Soup, "You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle!" when taunting a supervillain.
    • In a famous episode of I Love Lucy Harpo guest-stars and does the Mirror Routine with Lucy. Helped by Lucy, Ricky and Fred dressing up as Harpo, Groucho and Chico. (Lucille Ball, by the way, appeared in Room Service.)
  • Hurricane of Puns: Chico and Groucho are both prone
    • One well known example is this Groucho monologue from Duck Soup: "Well, that [statement] covers a lot of ground. Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself! You'd better beat it! I hear they're going to tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon you can leave in a minute and a huff."
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All their features from Animal Crackers to Duck Soup are named after silly phrases with animals in them that have nothing to do with the plot. These were followed by two films with titles featuring variations of A _____ at the _____.
  • I'll Take Two Beers, Too!: A Night At The Opera is the Trope Namer
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: In Duck Soup, Groucho does this to Trentino
    • Although he still likes "upstart".
  • I've Got a Secret: In one very memorable episode Harpo was the guest star, his secret being to pantomine various common phrases (For example: He puts jam on a light bulb and pretends to eat it..having a 'Light Lunch'). For the last phrase he took out a copy of his just published book "Harpo Speaks" with a large hole drilled though it. He then took the missing piece and put it in the hole...literally 'Plugging His Book'.
    • In another case, Harpo came out and none of the panelists, including Groucho, figured out his secret. It was not Harpo, but Chico. Take away the costumes, the two could pass as identical twins, and of course knew each other's manerisms to a T.
      • All of them looked like each other under the makeup and props, but Chico and Harpo were the most extreme. During their early career, Chico would get himself booked as pianist in multiple clubs at once and send Harpo in his place to whichever one paid the least.
  • Jerkass: Groucho
  • Karmic Protection: Don't be mean to Harpo.
  • Karmic Trickster: Groucho and company spend much of their movies getting back at those who have wronged them. Groucho was an inspiration for the most famous Karmic Trickster of all.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Grouch and Chico starred in a short lived radio series in 1932-3 called Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel which was considered lost for decades. However, most of the scripts were found in the US Library of Congress and subsequently published as a book and later performed with Marx Brothers impersonators in the early 1990s.
  • Large Ham: Groucho and Chico. Harpo is one of the mute examples.
  • Malaproper: Chico, a lot of the time.
  • Mirror Routine: Not an Ur Example -- the routine predates film -- but one of the most memorable.
  • Missing Episode: Humor Risk (also called Humorisk), the 1921 silent film which was the Marx Brothers' real screen debut. Groucho so disliked the result of their first venture on the screen that he bought and destroyed all copies of the film and its negatives. It would take 8 years (and the invention of talkies) before the Brothers returned to the movies.
    • There's also this short film, made in 1931 as a promotional trailer for Monkey Business and included in a Paramount anniversary feature (The House That Shadows Built) that same year. It features a reworked version of a routine that dated from the Marxes' I'll Say She Is stage revue and includes several gags that were borrowed for Monkey Business itself.
  • Motor Mouth: Groucho.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the United States, the mascot for Vlasic Pickles is an anthropomorphic stork who talks like Groucho. His schtick is that he holds a pickle like a cigar.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Although the public image of Margaret Dumont was as a stuffy dowager who had no clue of how the brothers were funny, many people have observed that she had a long enough career in stage comedy to say that was an act. Groucho claimed she really didn't get the jokes, but who're you gonna believe, him or your own eyes?
  • Odd Name Out: Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, Gummo, and... Margaret.
  • Old Shame: The brothers' 1921 film debut, Humorisk. This silent film was so bad, Groucho bought all existing prints and the negative and burned them all.
  • On Second Thought: "I could dance with you until the cows come home. On Second Thought I'd rather dance with the cows until you came home."
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Watch Harpo when he sits down to play the harp. All traces of his usual goofy clown suddenly disappear as he becomes intent on the music, and then reappear as soon as the music ends. Chico at the piano is sometimes this as well, but Chico mixed up the clowning and the serious music more than Harpo did.
  • Overly Long Gag: A Day at the Races features Harpo beginning to play the piano... before attacking it, spending two to three minutes just tearing it apart. Out of the wreckage, he pulls the strings, which he then proceeds to play as a harp, at which point, the scene stops being a gag and just becomes a very nice harp performance.
    • Also, Chico's incredibly long piano scene in Animal Crackers. And the scene where Harpo pours a truly remarkable amount of cutlery out of his pocket.
      • A Night at the Opera:

Chico: And two hard-boiled eggs.
Groucho: And two hard-boiled eggs.
Harpo: *honk*
Groucho: Make that three hard-boiled eggs.

  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: Not an example in the strictest sense, but the Trope Maker for half of the ones that are. Anytime the password is "swordfish," it's a reference to Horse Feathers.
  • Premature Aggravation: A truly epic example in Duck Soup -- see the trope page for the full quote.
  • Pretext for War: Duck Soup.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Every Double Act followed this pattern. From reddest to bluest: Harpo's characters, Chico's characters, Groucho's characters, and Zeppo's characters.
  • Shout-Out: Every established comedy filmmaker or franchise will do a lengthy Marx Brothers Pastiche.
    • British rock band Queen named two of their 1970s albums (A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races) after Marx Brothers films, which Groucho acknowledged by sending them a thank you note, much to the band's surprise and delight.
    • Somewhat unrelatedly, Elton John, another latter-day friend of Groucho's, got the title of Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player from an event at a bar where Groucho teased Elton that his stage name should really be "John Elton". Elton responded playfully by sticking his hands up high as if he were being held up, and speaking that phrase. A movie poster of Go West outside the front of the theatre on the album cover makes the Groucho connection extra-clear.
  • S. J. Perelman: Co-wrote the screenplays for Monkey Business and Horse Feathers-- and it shows.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: The basis for most of their stories, with the uncouth Marxes making fools out of high society people.
  • Slow Left Hand: A self-taught pianist, Chico was sometimes subject to this trope, especially when he was trying to mime to a prerecorded soundtrack.
  • The Stateroom Sketch: Trope/Sketch Originators; most other instances are a Shout-Out.
  • Straight Man: Zeppo, Margaret Dumont, and really anyone else who spoke to one of the three.
  • Stylistic Suck: According to one interpretation, this was the point of Zeppo's character. He was meant as an exaggerated parody of the typical feckless leading man character that headlined contemporary musicals and comedies of the late '20s. His presence in Horse Feathers and Monkey Business makes much more sense in this light.
  • Throw It In: Groucho was a brilliant improviser; additionally, one story holds that bits of the script simply said "Harpo Does Something Funny" because he came up with stuff much better than the writers ever would. Case in point, Harpo's famous "bottomless pockets" routine began as a scripted incident in one of their stage shows where his character was supposed to steal a butter knife. But Harpo slowly expanded it, one piece at a time per performance, from a single knife to an entire silver set including tea service.
    • Animal Crackers in particular is full of Groucho stepping away from the conversation to have the occasional "strange interlude", parodying the then-popular Eugene O'Neill play Strange Interlude.
  • Translator Buddy: Chico translated for Harpo.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: See Comedic Sociopathy above.
  • What Could Have Been: In 1960 Billy Wilder came up with an idea for bringing the brothers back to the screen in a movie called A Day at the United Nations. The Marxes were amenable, and Wilder worked up a script with frequent collaborator I.A.L. Diamond (Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, etc.), but before production could begin Harpo suffered a heart attack and then Chico died, killing the project.
  • You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses: Groucho says this in Go West. Yes, the guy would.

Don't point that gun at me. It might be loaded. You might be loaded. You might go off. In fact, I wish you would.