Harpo Teams Up With Lucy

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Another post in honor of Harpo’s birthday.

This absolutely would have been my first exposure to Harpo Marx; ten years after he died, in a 20 year old re-run of I Love Lucy. The 1955 episode was shot when the “sit” in the sit-com had altered; Lucy and Desi had moved to Hollywood and were meeting famous stars in every episode. And thus…Harpo, as himself.

It was necessarily my first exposure to the famous mirror routine as well. In the episode, Harpo performs it with Lucy in commemoration of his having performed it with Groucho in 1933. But of course Max Linder had done the same routine in Seven Years Bad Luck (1921), and I discovered only a couple of days ago that Raymond Dandy had done it in Kri Kri Domestico (1913). While, I think it is funny, I have no need to ever see anyone do it ever again.

For more on comedy film history don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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To find out more about the variety arts past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. 

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