The Hempress Loves Groucho Marx!


I love funny people! If you can make me laugh, I want you to be my best friend. I actually train my kids to be funny. It makes life as a parent so much more bearable when you can all learn to laugh together as a family. Seriously!

Lately, I’ve been fixated on the Marx Brothers. I’m not kidding when I say I have tear my kids away from their books so they can watch TV with me. (My kids are serious bibliophiles!) I literally make time to sit with my kids to share some good old fashioned comedy. I pull up funny videos on Youtube all the time time and make them “study!” (It’s never too early to impress upon them the importance of “getting” old cartoon references: Pete Puma, Foghorn Legorhn, Monty Python, etc..)

Lately however, I’ve been dying laughing while watching the Marx Brothers on Netflix. I especially love watching my children respond to their comedy which proves just how timeless their humor is. While I have always loved the Marx Brothers, I have to admit, Groucho is my favorite. Take a look at this one clip from an interview on the old Dick Cavett show:

Groucho’s genius fascinates me. From what I’ve read, he had a gift for being able to listen to a question and  then devise the most hilarious retort possible, almost instantly. The quickness of his wit was astounding and I can’t help but marvel at what timeless humor he and his brothers were able to create.

In my “Marx Brother’s research,”  I came across this fascinating little tid bit of information. Here is an interview where Chico Marx was asked how Groucho got his name. Of course, it’s “hemp” related, check it out:

Chico Marx Explains How Groucho Got His Name

In a 1959 interview on BBC TV’s Showtime, Chico Marx was asked how his brother Groucho got his name. Referring to the times when marijuana was legal and the Marx Brothers were a Vaudeville act (around 1920), he replied, “We used to wear a little bag around our neck, called a Grouch bag. In this bag we would keep our pennies, some marbles, a couple of pieces of candy, a little marijuana, whatever we could get…(laughter from the audience)… because, you know, we were studying to be musicians (big smile to the crowd). So that’s where Groucho got his name.” The clip, from the 1993 documentary The Unknown Marx Brothers from Winstar Home Video

So, that is how Julius Henry Marx got the name Groucho. It was the name of the bag he used to carry his weed in!  So could it have been the marijuana that contributed to Groucho’s creative genius? Well, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised.

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