Ireland’s Caladh Nua makes American debut
The New York Times summed up the comedy genius as “America’s most gifted funny man.” Born Julius Henry Marx on October 2, 1890, Groucho was the third of five sons born to poor immigrant parents Sam and Minnie Marx. Straight from the streets of New York's upper Eastside, Groucho was thrust onstage at age 15 as one third of the singing Leroy Trio. Eventually, brothers Harpo, Chico, Gummo and Zeppo joined the act that began as the singing Four Nightingales and evolved into the world's funniest vaudeville act known as the Marx Brothers. After twenty years of touring their act all over the country, the Marx Brothers finally hit pay dirt with a musical comedy called I'll Say She Is. Audiences and critics went wild over the brothers' irreverent humor, the expert pantomime, the physical shtick, and the outrageous musical talent. I'll Say She Is moved to Broadway in 1924 and was an instant sensation legitimizing the Marx Brothers as world-class talents. Two more Broadway hits followed - The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers introducing audiences to Groucho's most renowned incarnation - Captain Spalding, the African Explorer. In 1930, Groucho and his brothers moved to Hollywood and changed the face of film comedy forever. There they made Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, Duck Soup, A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, Room Service, At the Circus, Go West, The Big Store, A Night in Casablanca and Love Happy between 1931 and 1949. The Four Marx Brothers appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in1932. As a solo, Groucho launched a career on radio and television with his Emmy Award winning work as the host of the comedy quiz show You Bet Your Life. The show flourished for fourteen highly rated seasons from 1947 to 1961 on ABC radio then NBC television. Groucho was a major fixture in 1950's television with his "secret woid". In the late 1960's, a renewed interest in the anarchic hijinks of the Marx Brothers swept across the nation - particularly among college age students. Fortunately, Groucho Marx survived long enough to experience his renaissance. He made TV appearances, performed at Carnegie Hall at age 82 and received a special Academy Award in 1974 for “the brilliant and unequalled achievements of the Marx Brothers”. On August 19, 1977 Groucho Marx died at age 86. His final request? "Bury me next to Marilyn Monroe."