marxology  Mikael Uhlin's Marxology @
[Main Page]   |   [History]   |   [Vaudeville]   |   [Misc.]   |   [Films & Film Projects]

The Marx Brothers


Theatrical Manager's Office, with artistes looking for engagements

[Script source Library of Congress, Washington
via Simon Louvish' book Monkey Business

Knock on door.

Mr Lee Come in! Come in!

Zeppo My name is Sammy Brown and I've just got into town.
Saw your ad, you're Mr. Lee. Say you can make a mint on me.

Mr Lee What do you do?

Zeppo Dance, sing.

Mr Lee Play a role?

Zeppo Anything! I'm a find for guys like you, cause there's nothing I can't do!...

Mr Lee Who told you you could dance and sing?

Zeppo For money I'd do anything. Why don't you try me. You might as well.

Mr Lee You might be great.

Zeppo Who can tell.

Mr Lee What do you call your specialty?

Zeppo You mean my big sensation? I knock them cold when I pull off my Frisco imitation!

Zeppo is followed on stage by Chico.

Mr Lee Come in, you want to talk to me.

Chico I want to talk to Mr Lee.

Mr Lee I'm Mr Lee

Zeppo That's him.

Chico I see - you want a very good actor - yes? I'm the guy you want, I guess. I no speaka da very good English, but I'm fulla da pep and I gotta da ambish.

Mr Lee What do you do?

Chico Acrobat!

Mr Lee What's your name?

Chico Zbysko - but the best thing that I do is give the imitation of Frisco.

Chico does the imitation, which does not do him much good. The next to knock on the door is Groucho.

Groucho I want to speak to Mr Lee. I'm a dramatic actor.

Chico Oh, I see, that's Mr Lee.

Groucho Lend an ear to me.

Mr Lee Can you play a role?

Groucho Can I play a role? Do you know who you're looking at? I'll play any kind of a role...and I'll eat it up like that (snaps fingers). I played a part in Ben Hur once.

Mr Lee What part did you play?

Groucho The Girl, she played the part of Ben.

Mr Lee And you?

Groucho And I played her.

Mr Lee When you go out, don't slam the door.

Groucho You are kidding me, are you not?

Mr. Lee Kidding you? Say, I've been here all day - now show me what you got.

Groucho I want to play a dramatic part - the kind that touches a woman's heart. To make her cry - for me to die -

Chico Did you ever get hit with a custard pie?...

Groucho I'll give a recitation - or would you prefer to see me give my Frisco imitation?

Harpo, next, breezes in, holding his hand for a handshake and walking past. Business with cane and horn. He hands Manager his card.

Mr. Lee "My name is What-do-you-care. My address is anywhere. The people say I'm very dumb, so I thought to you I'd come."

Groucho Wait a minute, maybe he is crazy...
To Harpo
Do you want to get on the stage?
Harpo nods gleefully. Crazy.

Zeppo I have a manuscript for a one act musical comedy, you put these boys in it and they will be a knock-out.

Mr Lee Any Frisco imitations?

Zeppo No sir, not a one.

Mr Lee Sit down, my boy. I'm always willing to listen to new material.
As he says this business of boys moving desk and chairs and generally upsetting office.
Say, what is this?

Zeppo Well, my first scene takes place in a hotel - there are a lot of pretty girls -

Mr Lee You're not going to explain the plot to me, are you?

Zeppo I was just going to -

Mr Lee interrupts Give me a show with lots of comedy, with pretty girls and a few fast comedians, and you can't miss. With a plot you are taking a chance, and when you give the audience a chance to concentrate it makes them think and when you give the audience a chance to think that's the time they get wise to you, and the result is that you have to do your business through the cut rate ticket office.
As he says this he slams his hand on desk and misses hat and boys do business of grabbing hats and putting them on their heads

Zeppo Well my story has no plot and means absolutely nothing.

Mr Lee That's what I want!

The script continues on to Part Two.

On The Balcony
Scene 1 Scene 2