Sunday, September 20, 2015
It's no secret that the greatest comedians are Jewish, and most of them achieved their fame by entertaining audiences without having to resort to using foul language, like many of today's younger comics.
Today we're continuing our series, "The Great Jewish Comedians," with a video clip of the great Groucho Marx appearing on the TV show I've Got a Secret in 1959.
For our readers who are too young to remember Groucho, we're including some information about him from Wikipedia, but his career was so long and so varied in vaudeville, movies and TV, alone and with his brothers Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, and Gummo, that we suggest you read his complete biography here.
Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977) was an American comedian and film and television star. He was known as a master of quick wit and widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era. His rapid-fire, often impromptu delivery of innuendo-laden patter earned him many admirers and imitators.
He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of whom he was the third-born. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life.
His distinctive appearance, carried over from his days in vaudeville, included quirks such as an exaggerated stooped posture, glasses, cigar, and a thick greasepaint mustache and eyebrows. These exaggerated features resulted in the creation of one of the world's most ubiquitous and recognizable novelty disguises, known as "Groucho glasses": a one-piece mask consisting of horn-rimmed glasses, large plastic nose, bushy eyebrows and mustache.
In this video clip from 1959 (Yes, that's 56 years ago) Groucho appears on Garry Moore's show and challenges Bill Cullen, Monique van Vooren, Henry Morgan, and Betsy Palmer to guess his secret while plugging his then new book, Groucho and Me.
In watching the video, we noticed how TV has changed since 1959, not only in moving from black and white to today's giant color high definition, but also with Groucho holding, lighting and puffing on a cigar, and Garry holding a lit cigarette, presumably a Winston, which was sponsoring the show.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)