Saturday, March 22, 2014

March 22: Happy Birthday, Chico Marx

March 22: Happy Birthday, Chico Marx

It's pronounced "Chick-o." Legend has it that in an early press release, the typesetter forgot the "k," and in a spirit of whimsy, the Marx Brothers left it that way. It therefore began to be pronounced the way it was spelled, and the name essentially began going by either pronunciation.

In the fall of '32, the mispronounced Marx brother began appearing with just Groucho on a radio program called Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, the Monday installment of Standard Oil's Five Star Theatre. Chico played Emmanuel Ravelli, the assistant to Groucho's lawyer character.

In Spring of '34, the two had a quick stint on a show called Marx of Time which lampooned current events.

Chico appeared in a handful of episodes of Pabst Blue Ribbon Town, which Groucho Marx hosted.

He also lent his talents to Command Performance, Radio Hall of Fame, and Hollywood Hotel. The piano-playing funny man died in October of 1961. His real name was Leonard.

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