There now is an extra page to list references to the Marx Brothers in movies, TV shows, books, etc. Click here to go to the page.
Here is some trivia from Michael A. Yahn:
"I thought it might be interesting to list a few unusual facts on the Brothers. Some you may have heard before..others you may not have. Here's a few to start things off. Maybe you gotta some good ones to add eh?"
- All of the daughters of the Marxes have names beginning in the letter "M".
- Harpo's wig was originally red but on film it looked black so from ANIMAL CRACKERS on he sported a blonde wig to make it seem red...and...well you get the idea.
- When gangster Bugsy Segal was murdered, in his pocket was a check from Chico for gambling losses. ("It was probably a good thing he didn't cash it!!")
- YOU BET YOUR LIFE announcer George Fenneman also supplied the voice for that infamous DRAGNET line, "The story you are about to see is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent."
- Chico played GYPSY LOVE SONG in the Marxes first movie THE COCOANUTS, and in their last LOVE HAPPY.
- Jackie Gleason convinced Groucho to appear in what would be his final film, SKIDOO. For his five days of work he was paid a mere $25,000.00.
Algonquin Round Table
The Algonquin in New York was a prime social meeting place for the Round Table which included Harpo and Kaufman and occasionally Groucho. It is revived in the film 'Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle'. The character listed as Harpo Marx is played by J.M.Henry. George S. Kaufman was played by David Thornton.
In Studio City, CA, there are streets by the name of "Freedonia" and "Teasedale" within a few blocks of each other.
Article in "Variety" of Feb 7, 1919
This review of the Four Marx Brothers appeared in "Variety" in the "New Acts" section on 2-7-19. It's interesting because, unlike what you read about the Marxes today, it looks at them as working comedians, not Legends Of The Past (so the writer carps about old material, and most interestingly, several actors who influenced Groucho). It was also written at a time when the brothers were still known by their given names -- Julius, Arthur, Herbert, and Leonard -- instead of their nicknames. The act reviewed here is also the first time Zeppo appeared regularly with the brothers, and was written while they were still living in Chicago. They had bought a chicken farm there during World War I so that they could claim they were farmers, allowing them to dodge the draft (as farmers were thought essential to the war effort). Instead of doing much farming, they played vaude all year and went to White Sox games in the summer.
Ben Schwartz <email@example.com>
Four Marx Brothers.
Revue; 11 people; 38 Mins.
The act is billed as "The Four Marx Brothers in Their New Revue." It is really not a new revue -- it's the old revue with new scenery, new gowns, new gags, new songs and a new Marx brother, Herbert Marx, who replaced Milton Marx, when Milton went into the army and liked the job so well that he stayed put. The best thing that can be said about the new act is that it's as good as the old one. It is still titled "Back Home," and the week at the Palace is in verity a trip "back home" for the boys, who live in and are made much of in Chicago. There isn't an act in vaudeville that is more surefire than the Four Marx Brothers. They have been in vaudeville so long that nearly everybody who goes to vaudeville with any degree of regularity has seen them. Their new act is not really a new act, nor is it the old act. It's a compromise. The boys could use an altogether new act, and have announced that they will.
Julius Marx is developing into an actor. He knows flashes of Louis Mann; at least a "chemical trace" of David Wakefield and at times reflects the canny technique of Barney Bernard. Julius has a strongly defined sense of humor. His asides are more funny than the set lines. He is a confirmed ad-libber and claims he has a right to interpolate, he having written the material for the act. Arthur Marx, known as "Harpo," because of his adaptness with the harp, is the sole survivor on the American vaudeville stage of the school of pantomine. Without saying a word he draws most of the laughs of the act, and that not by virtue of mere mugging, but by the utility of props, gestures, and psychological situations.
Leonard (Chico) in the character of the wop, backed by his nifty piano playing and ingenious "fingering," and Herbert (Zep) as the straight man, do their work with eminent satisfaction. Little Gene Maddox is still in the act. Her youthful charm and swift eccentric stepping with the youngest Marx win her a big hand. Clarence Sterling has replaced Ed Metcalfe in the character of the cop in the scene in "one," and was born for the part. The two singing girls in the act have remarkably good voices, and lend their really artistic rendition of numbers to the roughhouse comedy of the act to very good effect.
Variety, New Acts, Feb 7, 1919
Thanks to Simone Starace for providing information.