Today is the day!
100 years ago, Julius, Milton, Adolph and Leonard Marx were playing poker in Galesburg, Illinois with a vaudeville monologist named Art Fisher, who, riffing on a popular comic strip of the day by Gus Mager, bestowed nicknames upon his pals as he dealt them the cards.
Julius, who was known for carrying his money in a grouch bag (a common practice among vaudevillians in those days) became “Groucho“. Milton, the dancer of the team, who favored gum-soled shoes, became “Gummo“. Adolph, who played the harp, became “Harpo“. And Leonard, a great ladies man, became “Chick-o” (they took out the k, but it’s pronounced as though it still has one). Here’s the original inspiration:
Many months ago Bill Marx, son of Harpo, came up with the idea of making this special centenary “The International Day of Laughter”. He had a big celebration out on the West Coast a few weeks ago (read all about that here). That event was the inspiration for our own East Coast celebration: Marxfest.
Tonight at 6pm Eastern, you can join Bill Marx and the Marxfest committee for a live video chat, ask questions, and help us celebrate! Do that right here: http://www.shindig.com/event/marxfest
Thanks, Noah Diamond, for pulling together these visuals.