Posts Tagged ‘Marx Brothers’

I write mostly about World War II but, on occasion, I simply have to take detours.  Today is one of those days.  March 22nd marks the birthday of Leonard Marx, better known as Chico, one of the Marx Brothers.  Chico (shown on the far right in the photo) was born in 1887 and, along with his brothers, formed what is probably the most famous comedic family in history.

Beginning as vaudeville actors, they eventually became fixtures in movies.  Chico was an extremely talented piano player and was known for his unorthodox playing style, including “shooting” the keys pistol-style.  His characters were typically Italian and featured an overdone Italian accent.  As a group, they drove directors crazy, rarely rehearsing their lines and simply ad-libbing most of their material.  They were true comic geniuses. 

I love Marx Brothers movies and have watched nearly all of them, but my favorite is probably “Animal Crackers”.  In it, Chico plays Signor Emmanuel Ravelli.  He plays the piano (it’s a couple minutes into this clip), he helps Captain Spaulding solve the “stolen oil painting mystery“, and he is a total hoot.

Happy Birthday, Chico Marx!!

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