Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Seven Degrees of Sherlock Holmes - #43 - Groucho Marx

Never one of my favorites, but he did have a lasting effect on comedy.

Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

was in the 1952 film "A Girl in Every Port"

with one of my favorite actress's, Marie Wilson (1916 - 1972)

who participated in  1962's "Mr. Hobbs takes a Vacation"

which featured Reginald Gardiner (1903-1980)

who was also in the war film "A Yank in the RAF" (1941)

which also starred Bruce Lester (1912-2008)

who took part in "Above Suspicion" (1943)

along side one of our favorite Holmes, Basil Rathbone (1892-1967)

So, there you have it, there you are.


  1. I am a big fan of Groucho Marx and the Marx Brothers. There are some other tangential Groucho/Sherlock connections. Early in the 20th century there was a comic strip called "Sherlocko, the Monk" by Gus Mager, a burlesque of Sherlock Holmes. All the characters have names ending in -o; Sherlocko, Watso, etc. In the book "The Groucho Phile: An Illustrated Life by Groucho Marx" there is a picture of the comic strip from 1911 with Yanko the dentist complaining to Sherlocko that someone tried to break into his shop. Sherlocko deduces that it wasn't a break in but Groucho wanting the dentist to yank his tooth. In the caption for the illustration, Groucho Marx writes:

    The folklore about how the Marx Brothers got their names has more than a kernel of truth. The time was 1914, and we were playing a week in Galesbutrg, We were sitting aroung backstage playing poker with a monologist named Art Fisher, and talk got around to how Sherlocko the Monk", a popular comic strip of the time, had infected vaudeville with all sorts of Henpeckos and Tightwados and Nervos. Fisher took the cue. I was the moody one, so he called me Groucho. The harp player would be known as Harpo. The fellow who wore the gumshoes would be known as Gummo. And the one constantly chasing the pretty chicks would be called Chicko. We didn't think much of the idea at first, but it caught on. The "k" in Leonard's new name was accidentally dropped by a typesetter, and it became Chico. Of the four, I was the only one whose name had actually appeared in the strip. Groucho was introduced in theis sequence, published on December 22, 1910, and the character continued appearing in the strip until the early 1950s, long after "Sherlock the Monk" evolved into "Hawkshaw the Detective."

    In the early 2000's, Ron Goulart wrote a series of mysteries with Groucho as the detective, the first being "Elementary, My Dear Groucho" (1999), with Groucho solving a murder on the set of "The Valley of Fear". The cover has a Al Hirschfeld-like illustration of Groucho in deerstalker and Inverness, holding a pipe. I like them. The mysteries are well done and Goulart captures Groucho's style of humor.

    1. See! That is what I love about Sherlockians. You put one piece of info out there, and you end up learning so much more.

      Thanks James.