It being Chico Marx’s birthday today, I thought it would be fitting to finally make my pilgrimage to the Marx Bros.‘ childhood home in Yorkville, which I’ve wanted to do since my late teens. I brought along film-maker (and fellow Marx Bros. fan) Heather Quinlan, who took the above photograph. Unfortunately, you have to use your imagination a little. The house reminds me of Steven Wright’s joke about George Washington’s hatchet…”The handle’s been replaced, and so has the blade, but it occupies the same space…” It’s only my guess, but I can’t imagine this is the facade the Marx’s saw. But I was moved nonetheless. At any rate, there’s a movement to preserve the place. You can find out more about it here.
To learn more about the roots of variety entertainment, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.