Thursday, August 07, 2008

Harpo Marx Talks At Last!

I admit it without shame: I'm a Marx Brothers fan. It's a real delight for me to read occasional Marx-related news in The New Yorker, particularly during 1929 when their star was on the rise. Reviews! Goofy letters! Gossip!

But whenever I run across a Marx Brothers tidbit I usually curb my enthusiasm, assuming that readers of this blog wouldn't give a damn. Usually their New Yorker stuff is pretty dumb anyway.

This advertisement from Rosoff's, however, is just fun enough to deserve mention.

Described as "The Broadway Night Club dedicated to good food," Rosoff's was apparently a popular eatery in its day, but it closed in 1981 and has left few internet footprints. Perhaps trying to imitate the "celebrity spy" advertisements from Reuben's, here's Harpo Marx giving a ringing Rosoff's endorsement.
"You needn't think that just because I play the harp I'm an angel. Nor even that I'm stringing you. After the performance of 'Animal Crackers' every other pay day I let the blondes take me over to your restaurant. I have one of your club steaks à la Rosoff, and after that I'm ready to be all four of the Three Muskateers.

"And I want you to know that if Groucho ever kills me for charging these feeds up on the swindle sheet, you can have him hanged for Harpocide.

"Yours for more clubbing and staking,"



Sweet Somethings by Lois said...

I always liked Harpo.
He always got his point made withoug flapping his gums all the time.
My idea of a perfect man.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

And he was also the sweetest and most sane of the bunch!

So different from his feral man-child stage persona...

Gary said...

Wow! I never could really categorize Harpo until now.

Zany, yes. Wild-eyed, yes. Eerily silent, yes. Talented, yes. "Teller"-like (Penn & Teller) but with his own brand of mischief, yes.

But the idea of "feral man-child" - now that sounds about right. And he was the sanest???

I always loved the classic skit he did with Lucille Ball on TV (the mirror images).

They just don't make 'em that way anymore.

Muffy St. Bernard said...

I didn't see the Lucille Ball skit, but it sounds like it might be the same one they did in "Duck Soup." Was Harpo imitating everything Lucille did, with her wondering if he was a mirror image?

Harpo always seemed like an animal to me, a simple creature bent on immediate gratification and destruction...but suddenly showing great cunning. His antics were so CONFUSING...I love his "hold my knee" thing.

In private life, yeah, he was the "good father," kind and gentle, intelligent, calm. Whereas Groucho was angry & neurotic and Chico was totally irresponsible.

True, the Marxes were something special.

Gary said...

Yes, that was the skit - the mirror image.

Hard to imagine him as gentle and calm! But good for him (and his family) that he was!