Happy 125th Birthday, Julius Henry Marx

“Will you marry me? Did he leave you any money? Answer the second question first.”

Happy 125th birthday to Julius Henry Marx, aka Groucho Marx. I used to watch Duck Soup every day I was home sick from school. My father is a relentless pun-maker who loved to imitate Groucho’s rapid-fire style. I sometimes felt like I was playing Margaret Dumont, his unflappable straight woman dowager. I didn’t get a lot of it of course but I sort of loved the insulting double entendres, the loving feel behind them. In real life Margaret Dumont was a widow, like her characters, but not a wealthy one. She made movies to make a living, and the professionalism of not cracking up still astounds me. 

Another fun fact: my son’s middle name is Julius, for my father’s father, and we like to joke it’s for Julius Rosenberg since is first name is for Ethel, my mother’s mother, but since I found out it was Groucho’s real name I’ve taken to thinking it’s for him too.

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