Groucho Marx, tänker jag - han måste Googlas. Och raskt in på IMDb (Internet Movie Data base - en oumbärlig sajt) där det står både det ena och det andra.
Egentligen så visste jag det redan förut, men jag blir straxt påmind om att Bröderna Marx gjorde både A night at the Opera och A day at the races - båda även titlar på fenomenala skivor som Queen gav ut 1975 resp 1976. Min klass- (och fortfarande) kamrat Camilla och jag lärde oss den japanska texten till Teo Torriate utantill och den sitter lika bergfast som Bohemian Rhapsody. Och även trosbekännelsen, även om den inlärdes på annan ort - Siljansnäs för att vara exakt. Och om en månad åker jag upp till Dalarna igen!
Ojdå, nu kom vi in på ett sidospår - tillbaka till ordningen.
Sedan följer såväl tragik som komik, och eftersom det är roligare att sluta med ett skratt än att gräva efter en Kleenex så jag börjar med Erin Fleming. Så här står det om henne och tilläggas bör (för ordningen och matematikens skull) att Groucho Marx (f Julius Henry Marx) levde mellan 1890-1977.
Marilyn Fleming 1941-2003I tidningen Movie Star (Juli 1983) kunde man läsa en "bisarr och barmhärtigt kort artikel" där Erin berättar om hur hennes kärlek till Groucho (som hon älskade som en far, vilket man väl får beteckna som helt normalt eftersom han var 51 år äldre än henne) förstörde hennes liv. Och nog låter det sorgligt alltid, även om det bara är en sida av sanningen.
Erin (b Marilyn) Fleming was a highly ambitious Canadian actress who was Groucho Marx' controversial guardian from circa 1969 until his death in 1977. His family sued to have her removed from that status, saying she was pushing him into public performances against doctors' advice, after he had suffered a series of minor strokes. She was considered mentally unstable and was reportedly living as a bag lady in Los Angeles in the last years of her life. She died from a self inflicted gunshot wound in 2003.
Så - om alla har torkat tårarna och fräst ordentligt så far vi vidare.
En lång lista om tokigheter som GM sagt och gjort finns också på IMDb, och här följer ett axplock:
- Died three days after Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, due to the furor over the former's death, the media paid little attention to the passing of this comic genius. In an interview, he jokingly suggested his epitaph read: "Excuse me, I can't stand up."
- When talking about Margaret Dumont, the actress who frequently played the dowager who acted as a punching bag for Groucho's verbal insults, he claimed the secret to their chemistry is that she never understood what he was saying.
- Shortly after his death, his children found a gag letter written by Groucho that stated that he wanted to be buried on top of Marilyn Monroe.
- In 1989, the Republic of Abkhazia (in the former Soviet Georgia) proclaimed independence. To show the world they were rejecting their Communist past, they issued two postage stamps of Groucho Marx and John Lennon (as opposed to Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin).
- Long-time companion of Erin Fleming.
- Was good friends with rock star Alice Cooper, often inviting him over at 11:00 pm to watch TV. A drawing of Groucho can also be seen on the cover of "Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits" album. In 1978, when the original giant white letters of the famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign were auctioned off in order to raise money for new replacement letters, Alice bought an "O" in memory of Groucho.
- Was a big fan of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas and used to stage Gilbert & Sullivan sing-along evenings at his home. During the 1950s, he appeared as Ko-Ko on NBC-TV in an acclaimed abridged version of "The Mikado."
- Carried on extensive correspondence with such literary giants as T.S. Eliot and Carl Sandburg. He also was well-known for attaching a hilarious P.S. to his most serious letters. According to Dick Cavett, Groucho added this P.S. to a lengthy account of his memories of Charles Chaplin from vaudeville days: ""Did you ever notice that Peter O'Toole has a double-phallic name?"
- The famous phrase "Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" is often referred to as a Groucho quote, but it was actually delivered by Chicolini (Chico Marx) in Duck Soup (1933) while impersonating Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho).
- Was in attendance at The Beatles 1964 Hollywood Bowl concert, and there is existing footage of him applauding.
- His son Arthur Marx was once smoking a corncob pipe in his room when he heard his father coming down the hall. In a panic, he stuffed the still-lit pipe into a drawer. Groucho came in, sniffed the air and left without a word. A moment later he was back with a briar pipe and a pouch of tobacco. "This will be better than that corncob you're using," he said. Arthur asked if his father was angry and Groucho said, "Nonsense. Smoking won't hurt you. I've been smoking for years, and aside from the fact that I feel terrible all the time it hasn't hurt me, either!".
- Often when the Marxes arrived at restaurants, there would be a long wait for a table. "Just tell the maître d' who we are" his wife would nag. (In his pre-mustache days, he was rarely recognized in public.) Groucho would say, "OK, OK. Good evening, sir. My name is Jones. This is Mrs. Jones, and here are all the little Joneses." Now his wife would be furious and insist that he tell the maître d' the truth. "Oh, all right," said Groucho. "My name is Smith. This is Mrs. Smith, and here are all the little Smiths."
- Also, Groucho's son, Arthur, published a brief account of an incident that occurred when Arthur was a child. The family was going through airport customs and, while filling out a form, Groucho listed his name as "Julius Henry Marx" and his occupation as "smuggler". Thereafter, chaos ensued.
- During a tour of Germany in 1958, accompanied by then-wife Eden, daughter Melinda, Robert Dwan and Dwan's daughter Judith, he climbed a pile of rubble that marked the site of Adolf Hitler's bunker, the site of Hitler's death, and performed a two minute charleston. He later remarked to Richard J. Anobile in The Marx Brothers Scrapbook, "Not much satisfaction after he killed six million Jews!"
- Elton John accompanied Groucho to a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar. As the lights went down, Groucho called out, "Does it have a happy ending?"
- [on resigning from the Friars Club] I do not care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.
- [when told that a swimming pool was off-limits to Jews] My son is half-Jewish; can he wade in up to his knees?
- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
- Marriage is a wonderful institution. But who wants to live in an institution?
- I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
- You're only as young as the woman you feel.
- If you want to see a comic strip, you should see me in the shower.
- Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.
- I drink to make other people interesting.
- I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.
- The only game I like to play is Old Maid...provided she's not TOO old.
- A moose is an animal with horns on the front of his head and a hunting lodge wall on the back of it.
- When I heard about [the Broadway play] "Hair", I was kind of curious about the six naked primates on stage. So I called up the box office and they said tickets were $11 apiece. That's an awful price to pay. I went into the bathroom at home and took off all my clothes and looked in the mirror for five minutes. And I said, 'This isn't worth $11'.
- People are most likely to listen to reason when in bed.
- Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?
- [asked in 1975 if he'd seen any recent movies] I saw Jaws (1975). But I think it would have been funnier if a guppy had swallowed the boat instead of a shark.
- One of the best hearing aids a man can have is an attentive wife.
- She got her good looks from her father--he's a plastic surgeon.
- A woman is an occasional pleasure, but a cigar is always a smoke.