That’s Me, Groucho!

The Solo Career of Groucho Marx


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About the Book

Groucho Marx’s career as a solo performer began long before the Marx Brothers and lasted almost until the end of his life, with a series of controversial sold-out concerts in his eighties. In between came several films, numerous television and radio appearances, theater performances, dramatic acting and writing and his smash hit radio and TV quiz show You Bet Your Life (1947–1961). This first ever comprehensive study of his work without his famous brothers reveals a Groucho perhaps unfamiliar to the public. Driven to prove he was much more than just a comedian with a greasepaint (later real) mustache, Groucho always thought of himself as essentially a solo performer and strove for individual success in his professional life—and to balance (if not always successfully) his career with his family life. Many rare photographs are included, along with new and previously unpublished interviews.

About the Author(s)

Matthew Coniam has contributed to numerous books, magazines, journals and websites in Britain and America. He lives in Bath, England.

Bibliographic Details

Matthew Coniam

Foreword by Frank Ferrante

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 188
Bibliographic Info: 57 photos & illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6373-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2597-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword • by Frank Ferrante 1
Preface 3
Introduction: Subtracting Sheep 5
1. A sort of summer mental aberration 17
2. I wish Harpo and Chico were here 31
3. Howard Hughes owes me a trip around the world 51
4. I hate work 67
5. A comparatively easy racket 88
6. I hope God doesn’t look like that 104
7. Lighted rooms 123
Afterword 137
Appendix I: Evenings with Groucho • by Matthew Coniam 139
Appendix II: Anatomy of a Mustache • by Noah Diamond 142
Appendix III: I Saw It with My Own Ears • by Gary Westin 150
Appendix IV: Memoirs of a Reigning Firefly • by Jay Hopkins 154
Appendix V: The Groucho Marx Theory of Creativity • by Matthew Coniam 162
Chapter Notes 167
Bibliography 173
Index 175

Book Reviews & Awards

“the only book-length study that offers us as deep an assessment of such feature films as ‘Copacabana,’ ‘Double Dynamite,’ ‘A Girl in Every Port,’ and other feature length movies in which Groucho has a role separate from his brothers…most highly recommended”—James L. Neibaur, writer; “multitude of fascinating insights and revelations…amazingly detailed book…extraordinarily well researched”—Pop Culture Classics.