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Madison Square Garden (1890)

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Madison Square Garden II
Full nameMadison Square Garden
LocationManhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°44′34″N 73°59′08″W / 40.74278°N 73.98556°W / 40.74278; -73.98556

Madison Square Garden (1890-1926) was an indoor arena in New York City, the second by that name, and the second to be located at 26th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Opened in 1890 at the cost of about $500,000, it replaced the first Madison Square Garden, and hosted numerous events, including boxing matches, orchestral performances, light operas and romantic comedies, the annual French Ball, both the Barnum and the Ringling circuses, and the 1924 Democratic National Convention, which nominated John W. Davis after 103 ballots. The building closed in 1925, and was replaced by the third Madison Square Garden at Eighth Avenue and 50th Street, which was the first to be located away from Madison Square.

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  • ✪ The Unknown Marx Brothers Documentary - Inside The Marx Brothers


the Marx Brothers Groucho Chico and Harpo were the biggest comedy stars of their time the irreverent anti-establishment unpredictable they made depression-era America rock with laughter and amazingly their humor is as influential today as it was when they made their classic films those are the March brothers we know and love if there's a lot more to their story it all began a 19th century Germany where their maternal grandparents ran a traveling theatrical company maybe Schoenberg was a bad magician Fanny was a yodeling harpist when they came to America their daughter Minnie was 15 7 years later the bright witty and ambitious many married Sam marks Frenchie as everybody called him was by most accounts a very nice man a very good cook but a very bad tailor Frenchie and Minnie raised five boys but what few know is that there was a sixth Mark's brother Chico was born after the firstborn died and his name was Manfred because Chico came after that many was very attached Leonard was born in 1887 as a boy Chico and to hustle money in pool halls racetracks and bars okay lady I sent him right over Chieko cause trouble from the time he was quite young I mean he got into gambling he was a compulsive gambler by the time he was 12 once while delivering a suit for his father he lost a bet and the pants to a local hustler so he stole Frenchy shears and hocked them to get the pants back his stage character the lovable con artist was already taking shape it is very likely because whatever love many was able to give was so directed a chick of that chicle was probably felt the most secure and himself because he's the one who wheeled and dealed jobs for them and they'll probably never cracked open a book he was very articulate and delightful she gained used to give him you know $0.50 a week got piano lessons and maybe he got to the piano teacher once out of four times because he'd gambled the 50 cents away I'm on the way to the teacher nobody ever had played the piano like him before and nobody has ever played it like him since it's quite an unusual technique that he developed all by himself you know he worked very hard at it but only when he had to the only time he ever practiced at all was when he had a show to do he left us this remarkable legacy of how he played the piano and people probably remember him more for his piano playing than anything else in 1888 Adolf was born in the shadow of Chico's gregariousness this child who later changed his name to author and finally Harpo became the good son every day he would come home from school he'd go by the window and he'd see the man rolling the cigars and as he rolled the cigars he made this remarkably hideous looking face he couldn't help it it was just a reaction the man would go and the cigar would be made and dad thought that was one of the best-looking men he had ever seen in his life he developed the gooky as a result it became a part of his act having mastered the look Papa would pound on the window do a cookie and it enraged the cigar maker so began Huff was not totally innocent challenging of authority figures he taught himself how to play the harp having no resources to go out and get lessons he learned on the job as playing accompaniment for the brothers and they incorporated the harp into the act daddy was a great ragtime pianist and he had fun at the piano but Harper was a really great musician extraordinary harpist in 1890 the famous trio was completed when Julius was born quiet and intellectually curious he would frequently lock himself in the bathroom to read stock piling that lethal verbal arsenal that would be his trade why he's dead I'll bet he just using that as an excuse I was with him no wonder he passed away oh I see then it was murder will you marry me did he leave you any money and to the second question fight even as a boy Julius was careful with money many would give him fired pennies to buy bread he would get a day-old blood for four cents and squirrel away the rest Groucho would always equate money with securely the three Marx Brothers became four in 1892 when Milton was born and five in 1901 when Herbert became the fifth Marx brother many's boys were raised in a poor immigrant neighborhood on the Upper East Side of New York at the turn of the century mitties determination to see her son succeed was possibly reflective of feeling of failure in her own life and feeling that these boys had it driven by the ultimate stage mother they would do anything to escape poverty that willingness to do anything enable them to survive the horrors a small-time Bonneville the boys were doing so badly in school they except for Groucho they were all playing hooky that she decided to put them all into show business so they'd be in one place where she could keep an eye they started as a family singing at first it was a three than the four Nightingale that's Groucho looking just like Harper with a gap-toothed smile many years later Groucho remembered one of his first performance and I walked out on the stage and there were sixteen musicians sitting out front dressed in evening clothes I'd never seen anybody dressed in evening clothes except my father when he got married here was a 60-minute I was I was really I was stiff with fright and but I bellowed this song out I was young enough to have courage in those days anyhow this is where the chorus went of course you must remember that I could sing then somebody sweetheart I want to be somebody's heart beating all for me somebody's to arms around me when I feel blue somebody sweetheart the Marx Brothers there was no glamour in vaudeville they toured the country singing in dilapidated theaters with only distant and unrealistic dreams of success to keep them going the Feist boy would sing and gamma would sing and hopper would sing and then I'd say she was Chico was in the same town that his brothers were in and when he saw that they were playing he bribed the guy in the pit who played the piano to let him stand in for him and when his brother saw him in the pit they started throwing things at him and he threw them back and he joined the act a major breakthrough for the brothers occurred in 1910 in of all places mega-doses Texas they would do a show and get on a train and move to the next town and do another show what happened is as they were in the middle of their song and not a very good song at that a man runs in and says runaway mules runaway mules and the audience raced out to see a runaway mule so Groucho was just furious yeah when the audience finally filed back in he made comments comments like nag at doses full Roach's I think that was kind of thing that they were saying but the people thought it was funny and then apparently dad decided in on the spur of the moment to dive under a rug that was on the stage and go across the stage under the rug and Chico ran over and started shooting the piano keys and they became a comedy act as a result of this now listen you're making a big mistake they're funny fellas and I've got a play that I've written that I like to explain to you I like to read this man is good fun on high school featured Groucho is the stern professor a role he would reprise 20 years later in horsefeathers now then baboons what is the cause oh that's easy twice is a captain Dennis a lieutenant Dennis a corpuscle that's fine why don't you borrow a hole and you so don't let the SAP run out the brothers were an on-stage force but it was an act of desperation by many that gave them the push they needed in 1914 she had the audacity to buy a full-page ad in the trade magazine variety she brazenly guaranteed that the Marx Brothers would boost the box office or perform for free it worked and from that point on they were booked solid on the top beaurevel circuits she took the name of Minnie Palmer and she became an agent and when Daddy joined the act one of the things he discovered was that in order to sell some of her act she excelled the Marx Brothers cheaper so he very gently because he adored many but he managed to get the reins away and become the manager and he stayed their manager until the very end I'm sincerely proud to greet you and thank you very much for coming here chika I've been a fan of yours mansae this since I was about this high and when I saw you in duck soup are you really brothers well as far as I know you know a lot of people asked me here are we really brothers and come half we'll talk how did you get your name she's gonna make any more pictures you know pop up and really talk we don't think he can talk just played out for them and never miss a putt that big though how we got a name is a very interesting thing one night the Marx Brothers were involved in a backstage game of stud poker and a comedian named art Fisher was dealing and he dealt a card to Leonard and he stopped and he said wait a moment you're always chasing the chicks so we're gonna call you Chico Chico's name came because in those days a fellow who chase girls was called a chicken chaser I got my name was about 15 years of age I I used to chase the chicken I still chased him I don't catch him anymore I'm just waiting for a rainy day I'm putting them on and then six he put down four Julius who he decided to call Groucho we used to wear a little bag goes around the neck was called a grouch bag in this bag we would keep our pennies on marbles piece of candy you wore a little grouch bag around your neck with some money in it and you never took it off when you slept and you never took it off and that was maybe part of the name Groucho and I got my name from that cartoon you just read my own theory was that he really was going by his disposition that's mean he wasn't always grouchy but he was grouchy a lot well Harper got his name because obviously he played the harp when they were on the farm Zeppo who was about 14 was sitting on a fence when Daddy was walking down the road and when he saw daddy he went hi there Zeke and dad said hi they're Zep and it's stuck Zeppo was born when the face Zeppelin came over to America that's how he got his name there was a freak apparently with Ringling Brothers Circus hey I'll just add limb well they went ahead and they did the show and then the following day the reviews came out and said something like last night's bill at the Orpheum Arthur Marx proved himself a first-rate pantomimist however his reputation as a comedian was rudely shattered every time he opened his mouth to speak and from that time on he never spoke another word on stage just used the horn and the whistle you know I'd be lost without a telephone hippo was always the Navy one he says look we're better than half the shows that are on Broadway in Hanoi were always good we didn't think that we can make it he was enormous ly optimistic about everything that was the gambler in them and Groucho was always pessimistic so that when Chico came up with the idea of doing a Broadway show Groucho Groucho was terrified he said why should anybody go see us on Broadway for three dollars and 30 cents one for 55 cents they can see us in vaudeville and chico said because we're too good for vaudeville he said we belong on Broadway a cartoonist friend of checkers had an idea for a new production that would make use of leftover scenery being stored near a vacant in Philadelphia together he and Chico combined existing Marx Brothers routines with new material making it more of a review than a traditional stage musical I'll say she is opened in Philadelphia and June of 1923 and was an incident for example one that hopper asked one of the chorus girls to run across the stage in the middle of Groucho's love scene with de menthe the audience roared and mechag stayed after Broadway they took the coconuts on the road touring until early 1928 I by the time they returned to the Great White Way for animal crackers their third-straight hit show business had been revolutionized with talking movies the latest rage Cremant like all studios was desperate to sign performers who could move and speak at the same time they snapped up the Marx Brothers and what's more remarkable to me is that five years after their success on Broadway they made their first motion pictures so they got 25 years on stage before you ever see them in coconuts and by that time they were all 40 years old in the spring of 1929 the Marx has made a talkie version of the career of the brothers Marx that is until Chico's gambling really paid off Chico was a bridge partner with every Tobin and Chico said you know I don't think we're finished and Irving said you're not he said you've been handled wrong Chico talked Thalberg the savvy had a production of MGM in two offering the brothers an incredible deal Chico came to his brothers and said Solberg's giving us a great contract and Harpo and Groucho said we're not signing any contract because of what do you mean he said we're not signing unless you let us manage your money and so Chico had to give in but money wasn't the key factor in this deal Thal Briggs I was on creative excellence the first thing he did was to reunite them with playwright George S Kaufman he said I'm gonna start a whole unit at MGM just for you with your own writers in your own director he said you'll wait and see and of course he was quite right before the cameras could crack a foot of film the mush brothers began to worry about the script so if Ahlberg suggested a road tour to test selected scenes this inspired notion not only improved the script but rebuilt the brothers confidence by giving them the chance to do what they did this perform in front of live audiences I used to see Groucho and the brothers on the stage of the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco they would come up and do scenes from their upcoming movie that they hadn't shot yet I have never laughed like that in my life in the theatre not ever I mean you and I and I saw four shows a day seven days a week and I screamed laughing all the time they would do them in front of this live audience at the Golden Gate Theatre and time.the laughs so that when they shot the movie they were they would leave that much space for the audience to laugh at the movie so you could hear the next joke as funny as they were in film they were a hundred times thousand times funnier on stage and they were unpredictable I mean things would happen on stage that was so wonderful I used to watch them wallpaper Margaret Dumont into the wall and what four or five shows a day this poor woman who looked like my mother during the tour the famous stateroom scene was almost dropped because it wasn't getting any laughs then one night they threw out the script and Marxist Anarchy ruled the stage once more the results turned a weak scene into a cinema classic on the second or third day I thought to myself gee the second show is nobody in the audience except a few drunks guys and overcoats and a few ladies of the evening how come get my hair done so I went out and came back and went backstage and Daddy and Harper were waiting for me and I said hi and they said well and I said well and they said well and I really didn't know what the hell they were talking about I looked at daddy and looked at Harper and Harper said I told you she wouldn't know chico said I was sure you'd guess I said know what guess what and it turned out they had changed parts daddy had played Harpo and Harpo had played daddy and they did it for me and I wasn't there that's one of the biggest disappointments I've ever had in show business it was a hard break because they never would do it again the tour was a rousing success in PAL Berg's faith and the Marx Brothers was validated a Night at the Opera was a box-office smash and made them gigantic stars once again attempting to repeat the successful formula of an ad at the Opera the March weathers again hit the road to try out a new script but two weeks after filming began Thalberg only 37 years old died of pneumonia without his guidance during shooting and editing the brothers had no strong creative vision still Thalberg had set the course and a day at the races would prove to be the Marx Brothers last great movie we're yes just moved I have a most important announcement to make most important the Marx Brothers are retiring from the silver screen we didn't know you cared farewell picture the big star for everything goodbye goodbye Racha Chico and Harpo mono in their fifties the last three films were mediocre at best an MJ Miranda wanted them for that matter neither did another studio in town the brothers Chiklis I'd had no financial need to work so they decided to retire and women and women in pavia and women the act was finished nothing would ever be the same not for the Marx Brothers not for America the brunt of the cowardly blow struck at Pearl Harbor was borne by the Army and Navy Papo did his part for the war effort criss crossing the country selling war bonds with stars such as Lucille Ball and Fred Astaire I think I enjoyed Grouch of the most when we did the victory caravan back in 1942 when we were selling bonds across the country in about 25 26 cities and was amazing the train stopped in Washington which was our first stop and they had a tremendous crowd cheering everybody that got off the train when he Groucho got off nobody recognized him because he didn't have his moustache a cigar so he just climbed down the other end of the car put on his moustache put the cigar in his mouth got down on the crotch got off and got a tremendous hand the atomic bomb ended the war and brought the troops back home the fall of 1945 it was time for all Americans to get back to a normal life there were families to unite lives to rebuild but could the Marx Brothers find a place in this brave new world you bet your life with the end of World War two came a new explosion of energy and optimism America was getting back to work and surprisingly so were the Marx Brothers most people remember the Marx's from their movies what you know is that they created a substantial body of work in television you know Jimmy Fitz ricotta maybe you know itsy bitsy pizza chico was the first to explore this uncharted territory but it was a Groucho who found everlasting stardom in the infant medium we sat in the audience and Bob Hope was reading a script and he was reading it with Groucho I'd never seen Groucho before in person and Bob dropped his script accidentally so Groucho dropped his on purpose and they talked for maybe 12 minutes or so and very funny and not dirty Groucho what are you doing out here in the desert desert I'm sitting in the dressing room for 40 minutes Wow - excuse me a minute I have to make an announcement on the air step into the studio with me where do you know everybody in radio wears wooden shoes so after the show I went up on the stage and I introduced myself to Groucho and said how would you like to go or do a quiz show and he said well I flopped three times on the radio so far and he had in variety shows and I'll compete with refrigerators I'll do anything you want he said I would like to do a radio show but I'll be damned if I do were a quiz show that's for hideous thank you thank you this is Groucho Marx well here I am stepping in over my head again folks this is just as new to me as it is to you I've never done one of these shows before but we've got several couples up here on the stage a lot of people in the seats out front and the doors are locked so I've got to go through with it besides somebody might win $1,000 cash at any moment all I know is it can't be me you bet your life started on radio in October of 1947 with a format reminiscent of a dozen other quiz shows but in its second season it became the sleeper hit of the year and one for grandchild radios highest honor a Peabody Award for Best entertainment you saw his friends succeeding Jack Benny and this and that and he couldn't and it really upset him so when he finally did it himself it made me extremely happy yes I know the show switched from ABC to CBS just as television was on the way in but could Groucho make the transition to TV all right ladies and gentlemen the secret word tonight is a name and a M e really you bet your life and here's that sterling elgin american the one the only what a ridiculous name oh that's me Groucho Marx you're looking at the very first television pictures of Groucho Marx this audition film was shot in December of 1949 and was never broadcast we knew we had to be on television eventually and we wondered how we were going to do that we just televised a radio show so they decided they'd bring a camera in and on CBS and we did that we did the show and during the show these guys took some pictures of us on kinescope so we could look at it suppose I suppose I kiss her and you didn't know anything about it I'd know about it well I guess I'm gonna have to trap you I would I'll bet you a buck I bet you a buck I can kiss your wife and you won't know a thing about it Bette okay would you mind moving inside there well you saw me kiss I didn't you I lose here's your vodka that isn't my wife well don't coming running to me with your troubles I hi are you married yes I am you have any kids sorry and I think for it's soon when were you home last how'd you lose your job well I was teaching someone how to drive and I got a ticket for giving the wrong signal we had quite a talk and when we went on television as to whether he should have the little black moustache and the whole thing you know like in the movies and Weezy says no you're a different man now you are not the continuation of that fella the geniuses that the network's wanted him to do the show with that stache painted on them and the eyebrows and he refused so much and you bet your life now here he is the one the only that boy still hanging around oh that's me then even say the secret way the duck will come down and pay him $100 the word tonight is fit back that's the way you pronounce it in French huh bet back Bob Duan who later became the director of the Groucho Show and had been my boss in San Francisco said I didn't know you were in town George I'm doing an audition and I'd like you to come down I'd this show may never make it it's with Groucho we didn't know there's gonna be any great chemistry I mean we didn't be able to think oh boy there's a guy that's gonna have the chemistry with Groucho you may fire when ready all right you have to ask me okay yeah what do you want me to say go ahead George ha that's I'm Adler bang but you see he's so dignified and straight it's just right for Groucho and he went to college and Groucho didn't and it was a great look that's what it was all right are you ready we did a routine that I didn't realize I was doing I was ad libbing but but in terror I've been getting a lot of mail recently even people saying that I don't like you and that I ride you on the show and everything and you know that isn't true George you know I love snap you upload you did know it yes I knew you liked me in your own way oh how that man could embarrass me and it wasn't that he was really mean but he could see the dark side of everything you know and he would get a lot of fun out of insults he said to me more than once was I Bob I have nothing but confidence in you and very little of that I think one of the reason he's kind of mean is that he had tight shoes and he had insomnia and he had stomach problems all the time he couldn't sleep at night you know here no heck of a time and it made him just kind of only his friend good Rene said I think the best retort he said it was there was a lot of action in the show he said Roger opened his mouth and literate witty words came out who was the Barbarian Conqueror known as the scourge of God scholars of God sco s co u RG e scourge scout code scrounge of God thickness they don't know what anyhow they don't know what and I can't pronounce it it's a real classy quiz show we did extensive searching for contestants we found them through newspaper stories through letters that were written to us it was a very popular show and people wanted to be on it no I don't think the people were intimidated by Cronshaw they were proud to be on the ones I felt sorry for where the contestants who thought they were funnier than Groucho who wanted to do jokes with Groucho and you could see it happening you know I just he'd literally he did he'd let him go and then well there was actually a little sprinkling of rudeness to what he said but he was the silly man saying it what makes you think just because a man is five inches taller than six feet that this makes him a man well you know it doesn't go by sighs a man sighs there's nothing to do with his ability in any way I'm trying to keep this on a boil well name one specifically well automobiles couldn't run without belt aeroplanes couldn't run the girls in California have that new look by this I mean a girl's couldn't run without family well I'm about men Ron the question is did Gacha have a script or did he add live in the answers yes I know why but people try to prove that our show was scripted well if you if you ever worked with amateurs you know that you don't give them a script at the night of a show and they're gonna remember what do you want them to remember is when he asks you how you met your husband tell him that story that you told me well then naturally ground who will know what that story is going to be and he's got some ideas of what he's going to say but it's not a script the critics raved radio TV daily said there isn't a comedian in the business that can hold a candle a brother Groucho's repartee and therein lies the treat of this new video fare hole E&L upon viewing these recently discovered behind-the-scenes photographs does it become clear that Groucho had a little help on film and and sometimes Groucho would get off on a tangent that we knew we weren't ever used on the show and we're eating up this film this 35 millimeter film so when they've written they had to have some way to get a message to him out on the stage and so what we got that I remembered was I'd seen him in bowling alleys you know that you know which is essentially an overhead projector would you find in every classroom nowadays so there was nothing very mysterious about it it had this white glass with a light behind it so you can see the silhouette you'd see the words and he could write backwards and says jump to page seven or ask her where she met her husband you know and he would write down this and Groucho if he looked he would see and they'd asked where she met her husband and that moved the show along so mean that he is which I questioned oh man have you ever been made love to by our Frenchman not not good night in recall take them out and pass them around let's keep it this way now nice and quiet and subdued and UCLA happy free it took 45 minutes to film each episode of you bet your life after which they would be trimmed down to the best 24 minutes for broadcast most of the material that was left on the cutting room floor belongs there but every so often a special moment was saved on the other piece of tape you know what you're right I'm something yes I see we gave him a lot of help we knew a lot about the contestants when they came up there and we prepared a lot of material for him but he was totally free to use that in any way he wanted and so he could take chances what have you learned that too being 25 years in public well the old-fashioned way is still the best I might have some reputation you know there is anything anybody can say to me anymore that doesn't evoke some kind of a daddy laughs from the audience what do you mean by the old-fashioned way Wow and if they didn't work he knew they would be cut out he'd turn around to me and say it was gone well I suppose you became a famous actress and then you met somebody you liked and got married would you be willing to quit acting and be a housewife and a mother well I think if you keep your feet on the ground you can combine both that's what I would like to do well if you keep your feet on the ground you'll never be a mother that's what they call a waste of film primarily the big objective Gaucho will be to migrate the people by space vehicle to other planets that have more desirable temperature you're gonna have to put your shoes on again it is getting Deeping yeah pardon me just a minute I hate interrupt this but Tim have you read this book no sir well hold it I'll be right back now that we've all seen action let's have a little action on the show may I make an announcement here you may I don't approve of it you can go ahead and well this is a serious announcement for a doctor in our audience there's nothing wrong with anybody here at the show dr. Hoyt that's a fine name for a dr. Hoyt has a call for you sir doctor why don't you pay your bills and they won't be badgering you in the middle of a performance not only terrible but revolting welcome welcome for the DeSoto Plymouth dealers your face looks familiar haven't we met before I don't think so Roger and what is your name is no this is the late either I'll have to get my glasses fixed so you'll have to do your hair differently what is your name sir uh Forsythe Ronald Forsythe Ronald it was Rodney during rehearsal okay and I think we better get started and play you bet your life where's the doctor macho in the words of Rufus T Firefly wasn't a sentimental old fluff but this kinescope of his appearance on the Jack Benny program was among his most prized possessions it hasn't been seen since the original broadcast in 1955 in a sacred way which is something found around the house the duck will come down and pay you $100 something around the house yes now what do you live for a fraud well right now I'm living in Glendale Glendale yes I have a little home there with six rules and and windows and window shades the new blinds and tables and chairs and spoons and saucers knives of poor old and hold it why are you telling me all this you said that the secret word is something around the house I can't get over how familiar you look is the violin you play a Stradivarius that's right oh no no you see III you have to be rich to people have a Stradivarius II I'm poor I all I have around my house or towels and rugs and ashtrays look enough of that already now Rodney you say you you don't have a Stradivarius nothing you know I heard that a lot of imitation strands have been made and so I know but they could never fool me because you see I could tell a phony I guess the world hold it there's been a mistake the duck thought you said to say good way but you didn't what secret why does telephone and you said telephone but I got a better my speech say that use Colonia a change yeah well in the sentence you use you said you wouldn't be fooled because you can telephony but you didn't let me finish the second I said I was bought a telephony a friend of mine who's a violinist his name this friend you've got a family okay they say the customers all right but I don't know how that applies to you you sound like the type has never been a customer I don't care just let me at this duck more where that came from well that was they just flew in from Las Vegas Benny is not although he's a funny a delivery he does it with attitude I mean he does it with a facial expression and gets you know tremendous laughs the big question tonight is $3,000 you are 15 seconds to decide you are 15 seconds to decide on a single answer between you think carefully and please note up in the audience are you ready yeah all right there is a famous radio and television comedian who was born in Waukegan Illinois wait a minute we know us Jack Benny mr. Forsyte though that's not the question what question is this now listen this is the question how many years this bum has been lying about his age now for $3,000 three thousand dollars can you tell me how old he really is five seconds more $3,000 what is Jack Benny's real age 39 I'm sorry but that's the wrong answer which means the big question next week will be wait $3,500 thanks and good luck into the so diplomatic Thank You Rodney know anybody that can give away as much money at you and still tell jokes deserve something that's an unfortunate subject you but since you did bring it up yeah when do I get paid how about money oh oh oh well Groucho I would worry about that because you will get a check tomorrow morning hmm now how about paying me in cash why what's what's wrong with my check well I can tell a phony to you bet your life enter this remarkable run a 1961 the real secret word was spontaneity that's what made this show unique you never knew what gotcha would say next that edge gave the program live from syndication where it has influenced each new generation of comedians the program revived watchos career and made him a bigger star than ever and paved the way for a Marx Brothers Renaissance on that you can bet your life back in 1946 just before Groucho fell into his newfound stardom he was enjoying semi-retirement there's a frustrated farmer and he was constantly out in the backyard pruning the trees and tending to the vegetable gardens he loved doing that here in these never-before-seen 3d home movies Groucho relaxes with his family Harpo no longer the jaunty world travelling member of the Algonquin Round Table had retired to more sedate pleasures while raccho is busy revolutionizing the quiz show check out his act overseas in the pictures you see I used to be in the way I used to be always Italian but I saw what they did the more Cellini so now I'm Greek Harpo meanwhile pursued his diverse interests including posing for Hollywood's favorite portrait artist John Decker in these rare home movies he's seen clowning in front of Decker's Harpal as the Blue Boar my father would sometimes be listening to the radio and they had a show in Palm Springs where people would come on about lost animals lost pets that they had found animals and my father would generally answer the radio ad and bring that animal home and we were always the house was always filled with animals he loved down as much as Harpo enjoyed spending time with his family he wasn't ready to retire not yet later somebody out of the audience would start shooting back at us you know that I believe that my dad was apprehensive every time he walked out on the stage oh you want me to do a different type show dad well maybe I've got a humor this kid let's walk on back into my office would you come back here huh you like that huh he was very nervous that night because in those days it was live television and you only had one shot at it this was no editing and he recognized that and this was not rehearsed heavily to the point where it would be smooth and he knew that a windshield wiper windshield wiper on a rainy day nobody ever knew how to write for Harpo he went to page two and it's a Harpo skips down a nice little road and he is confronted by a huge stuffed bear Harpo does something funny that's how they wrote for him come on I asked you to play the Haab would you play the hop you won't play the hop you don't want it why you invented this oh good it's very peculiar fire it's got two mouthpieces that you play in both sides at the same time how do you do that please do me a favor and I'd like you to play the hop would you play the hop you what are you gonna get on you gonna get the car and read I didn't know he played ladies and gentleman I want you to watch half will play the clarinet he's really one of the greatest you're gonna play the clarinet not seriously what are you gonna play what are you playing I'm forever blowing bubbles that's why you're gonna play it seriously well are you gonna play it seriously I'll direct the band seriously cuz I'm a great musical conductor that's the trouble now stop it are you gonna play the number now stop it finish the number where your Harpal please what's the trouble what's the trouble don't you want me to play don't you want me to direct it you want another director who do you want what do you want Billy make hi Billy would you come over here please I want you to meet Harpo Marx hey have you got a suggestion can you help us can you help us I have a very suggestive milk what he plays yeah I direct yeah and you sing I thought you'd never call on me I'm a great singer I'm a sensational singer they face we always felt that the roles outside of Harpo were the most difficult to play in another dramatic role hey boy you sure see some dandies huh help I'm trying to run look I didn't take any course and mine reading at the police academy let's go huh hey wait a minute for pete's sake what do you want except for those occasional guest spots Harpo spent his time in Palm Springs playing golf and being a good father and husband so to make it simplified we moved down here Benny what what do you like most about living in Palm Springs I can remember my father coming and waking me up in the middle of the night very often because he wanted to play a game he wanted to play jacks he wanted to play cards any kind of a game but if he was working during the daytime nighttime was the only time he had to spend with his children and it would never occur to him to let us sleep he would just come wake us up and that was his time to play a game or whatever my parents were having a lot of problems my mother was drinking and and off in this car pool and his family live six or seven blocks away when I was growing up in Beverly Hills and many's the evening that I would bicycle over to Harpo's house there was a peacefulness there that there was not in my house and I would always bicycle over in time for them to invite me to dinner and hope that they would and they frequently did they always did so you know that gypsy love song or I know the cars well I played the voice maybe you could follow me and well suppose you play the first well I knew around you're going to noodle what do you mean by noodle that's fine you noodle there and I with macaroni already good now we tried the chorus but the chorus we played the endosomal you know what the NSM who is drew how long do you study music how about the thing is you know two more years you could have been a plumber this is my family album and this is my brother Harpo he's always chasing the girls but no more now he's a teller the girls about creamy prom because prom home pointment is awaiting cream leaves your hair sauce you'll get a creamy prom my top oh he was a combination of a will of the wisp and Peter Pan and to a little girl he was magic Hollywood making his first appearance on British Telecom can I ask the obvious question you're gonna play the piano for us aren't you yes but I'm a little busy busy stage what do you mean backstage what here yeah can you get one for me when my uncle chicka would sit with me at the piano sometimes he would help me on the pieces that I was supposed to be playing because my mother was always sitting and listening in the other room but he would always entertain me because he had a style all his own I was more entertained by his piano playing than what I was supposed to be doing we would be driving up any street and he'd say you see the green light baby and I say yes he said daddy bets you that it'll turn red before you can count Tim they have to have a bet going on everything hey angel disguise yourself no no put on your halo halo halo hello hello you're looking at the deputy self a television pilot about muddling angels writing Earthbound wrongs these scenes piece together from the recently discovered master film footage or all that remain of the legendary lost Marx Brothers TV show did you ever see a voice linking pair of angels say the secret word you can have either one of them 24 Chicago take one Baker Tech 3 hey pipe it down here comes the chief what it's easy now don't be scared all you gotta do is a sneak in the side of this is a sneaky fellow now go ahead now do your stuff fine para bunglers a jealous woman she'll get even with him she'll marry him I'll have to take charge here phone plays hmm I wonder how they do that head--oh free he's a piano player I'm a piano player I fix him start again I say look oh look he's a piano player I'm a piano player I fix a him phone plays hmm I must find out how they do that Roger Chico I'll take the easy way phone please extraordinary oh it was the first time all three brothers had worked together in nearly a decade but it wasn't a happy experience throughout the filming Chico frustrated everyone with his inability to remember lines then during a break and shooting it was discovered that he was suffering from hardening of the arteries no insurance company would underwrite the rigorous schedule of a weekly series so production was shut down and the deputy Seraph was never completed and he was beginning to get very ill at that time and it was hard from then on despite his illness chicle kept working he starred in summer stock and with Harpo entertained Las Vegas audiences with a nightclub act I had just split from my husband was having a hard time financially and I was talking to Daddy about it and he said gee he said I wish I were Groucho so I could help you and I said and I'm so glad I said it I said I wouldn't trade you in for any of my uncle's I said you're the best in the world I've been always so happy that I said that to him anyway he was getting sicker and sicker we knew it was only a matter of time and he had a near near brush I mean my mother had me fly out because we thought he was dying but he recovered from that attack well they'd lived through so many near deaths with Daddy that I think when he finally died they just was sort of relieved because he was very very ill so when that happens it's kind of a relief Jimmy Durante at the funeral looked awful and I heard him say it's the end of it there'll be no more Marx Brothers now Happo speaks in this fascinating new autobiography that is in person that's another question let's find out Happo your book is chock full of great and very funny stories now which one is your favorite was going on he loved music and he played the harp every single day of his life and the probably the most important moment of his stage life would always come when he would sit down to play solo harp that's when you saw Harpo transform himself into the serious Arthur Marx and all of a sudden he would be at one with the art in the late 30s Salvador Dali the great surrealist painter dubbed the Marx Brothers as being the great surrealist act he gave my dad a harp that had strings of barbed wire and it was wrapped in cellophane and there were spoons and knives and forks glued to the entire frame during one of my dad's many semi retirements Gummo came to him with a deal and was to do for one-minute commercials for labott beer Harpo what would you like most in all the world right now no not that not that imagine it's hot the sun's beating down on you imagine you're in the middle of a burning desert a hundred miles from the nearest oasis you haven't had a drink of water in three days now what do you want most in all the world Harpo didn't anyone tell you this is a beer commercial that's right you've got it Labatt Pilsner or lager beer they were the most surrealistic commercials I've ever seen in my life Harpo I imagine we're lost drifting in the middle of the Pacific surrounded by man-eating sharks no food no water no hope then suddenly we sight land we're rescue saved from a fate worse than that now what's the first thing you'd ask for my dad jumped at it because he was able to make some money and it would be just one day of shooting round one he moved into the center of the Ring you sized him up then you hit him you changed your tactics you're trying to confuse him you're laughing at him trying to make him mad what happened oh don't tell me he got mad never mind Harpo you'll do better in the next round I know to this day I don't understand him but I find the most fascinating I'm not sure my father really wanted to retire show business had been his life and I think that's what he wanted to continue doing until he couldn't do it any longer the entire Marx clan gathered for Harpo's final performance he shared the build with red-hot comedy folk singer Alan Schurman just about the end of the first half of the show Alan step to the microphone and said this is a very special evening because you folks are going to witness the retirement of Harpo Marx and all of us went you know when we heard that shocking news and then Alan said something like I don't even know if he'll come out but I'm going to ask this great gentleman and great comedian if he will come out and let us applaud him once more something to that effect well Harper came out and got a standing ovation again first of all because we did love him and secondly we thought we'll never see him again dad got up and made a speech for the first time spoke in public was a very interesting feeling because here is a man who was silent all his life and making people laugh and now he was speaking and everybody was silent and then a a chuckle originally built to a roar of laughter over the next six or seven minutes because once he started to speak you couldn't shut him up and now here is my special guest star Rufus T Firefly J cleaver loophole dr. Hugo Z hackenbush captain Jeffrey Spaulding also known as mr. Groucho Marx ladies and gentlemen in 1973 when he was almost 83 Groucho made his last great variety show appearance proving that the Masters wit was as sharp as ever Groucho treated crips with one of comedies biggest star I've just been fine I don't know but I'm just tickled to have you here and words cannot express how thrilled I am to have you on the show a little money wouldn't ah now you smoke cigars I see yeah yeah I like no Goodman's yeah well just mostly comes from the first time I saw you and I figured gee whiz you know I wholly like to smoke cigars well you know it's a handy thing to have for a comedian asumi you are a community there's one question I wanted to ask you you've known all of the truly great names in comedy now I mean how would you classify me you yeah you'd come right after Nixon every one of those jokes in that session worked because he would he would listen to the question and then that mind would click in okay how would you rate WC Fields I never speak ill of the dead except in your case well I met Groucho I found exactly what I expected a cantankerous ornery salty amusing amazing man who took nothing seriously do you believe in life after death I'm serious doubts about life before death I believe in death during life and so does everyone watching this show do you have any unfulfilled wish well yes I'd like to terminate this interviews well you can't be funnier than that and of course it put Cosby down and put Cosby away because everybody had great respect for Cosby at that point except for Groucho who had none he didn't he didn't respect bill he bothered Groucho that bill smoked better cigars didn't in Groucho did so Groucho and the way I copped about a half a dozen of mill cigars and you just you had to love him in 1974 Groucho was presented with an honorary Oscar for his contribution to film he began this final moment in the spotlight by taking a bow for all of our brothers hello I must be going I cannot stay I came to say I must be going I'm glad I came but just the same I must be going I'll stay a week or two nice day the summer through what I am Telling Simon Thomas Nara much has been said and written about the style inceptions of the Marx Brothers comedy film historians have offered endless intellectual analyses as to the reasons for their success but perhaps the most persuasive argument for why they've made audiences laugh for four generations is that they were funny pure and simple like all great artists Groucho Chico and Harpo were true originals and once the Marx Brothers entered our collective consciousness they never left once again I like



The interior of Madison Square Garden at night, c.1905
The interior of Madison Square Garden at night, c.1905

Madison Square Garden II, as it has come to be called in retrospect, was designed by noted architect Stanford White, who kept an apartment there. In 1906 White was murdered in the Garden's rooftop restaurant by millionaire Harry Kendall Thaw over White's affair with Thaw's wife, the well-known actress Evelyn Nesbit, whom White date raped when she was 16.[1] The resulting sensational press coverage of the scandal caused Thaw's trial to be one of the first Trials of the Century.

The new building, which replaced an antiquated open-air structure that was previously a railroad passenger depot, was built by a syndicate which included J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, P. T. Barnum,[2] Darius Mills, James Stillman and W. W. Astor. White gave them a Beaux-Arts structure with a Moorish feel, including a minaret-like tower modeled after Giralda, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville [2] – soaring 32 stories – the city's second tallest building at the time – dominating Madison Square Park. It was 200 feet (61 m) by 485 feet (148 m), and the main hall, which was the largest in the world, measured 200 feet (61 m) by 350 feet (110 m), with permanent seating for 8,000 people and floor space for thousands more. It had a 1200-seat theatre, a concert hall with a capacity of 1500, the largest restaurant in the city and a roof garden cabaret.[3] The final cost for the building, which the New York Times called "one of the great institutions of the town, to be mentioned along with Central Park and the bridge of Brooklyn" was $3 million.[3]

Topping the Garden's tower was a statue of Diana, by noted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, which caused Madison Square Park to become known as "Diana's little wooded park". The original gilt copper statue was 18 ft (5.5 m) tall, and weighed 1,800 lb (820 kg), and spun with the wind; Saint-Gaudens had draped the statue in cloth, but this was soon blown away.[2] The statue was put in place in 1891, but was soon thought to be too large by Saint-Gaudens and White. It was removed and placed on top of a building at The World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, but the bottom half was destroyed by a fire after the close of the Exposition, and the top half was lost. In 1893, a hollow second version of the statue, 13 ft (4.0 m) tall and made of gilded copper, replaced the original. This is now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a copy is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[2][4] Saint-Gaudens made several smaller variants in bronze, one of which was on display in the entryway of both Madison Square Garden III, built in 1925, and the current Madison Square Garden.

The opening of the new arena was attended by over 17,000 people – who paid up to $50 for tickets to the event – including J.P. Morgan, the Pierponts, the Whitneys and General William Tecumseh Sherman.[3]


Another view of the exterior
Another view of the exterior

In 1902 and 1903, the Garden hosted the World Series of Football, which is best remembered for showcasing the very first indoor professional football games. The 1902 event involved five teams. The Knickerbocker Athletic Club, "New York team", Syracuse Athletic Club and the Warslow Athletic Club represented New York state. Meanwhile, the Orange Athletic Club represented New Jersey. The eventual winner of the 1902 series was the Syracuse Athletic Club. The event returned to the Garden in 1903 for the second and final time. The 1903 series featured the Knickerbocker Athletic Club, Olympic Athletic Club, Oreos Athletic Club and Watertown Red & Black representing New York state. Meanwhile, the Orange Athletic Club represented New Jersey, and the Franklin Athletic Club represented western Pennsylvania. The Franklin Athletic Club would go on to claim the event's final title.[5]

On January 8, 1909, Matthew Maloney finished ahead of James Crowley and Sidney Hatch in an indoor marathon before 5,000 "wildly cheering" spectators held within the Garden.[6] Maloney was reported to have set a new indoor record for the event (2:54:45.4).[6]

The Garden continued to host The Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show. This championship is the second longest running U.S. sporting event (behind only the Kentucky Derby).

Boxing has a long history at Madison Square Garden. The original Garden presented boxing matches even before they were technically legal, calling them "exhibitions" or "illustrated lectures". Among the many events which were held in the new Garden were a number of significant boxing match-ups. A bout between defending heavyweight champion Jess Willard and challenger Frank Moran on March 25, 1916, which brought in $152,000, the largest Garden take to that date.[3] Also, Jack Dempsey's knockout of Bill Brennan in the 12th round on December 14, 1920.[3]

Professional wrestling was also successfully staged at the venue, as with later incarnations of the Garden. The World Heavyweight Championship derives from George Hackenschmidt's victory in two straight falls at the Garden over Tom Jenkins on May 4, 1905.[7] Joe Stecher regained the championship from Earl Caddock at the venue on January 30, 1920,[8] the earliest American professional wrestling match to survive on film.[9] The venue also hosted the next two title changes, Ed "Strangler" Lewis' victory over Stecher on December 13, 1920, and his subsequent loss of the championship to Stanislaus Zbyszko on May 6, 1921.[10][11][12][13]

From 1899 until its demolition, Madison Square Garden hosted the Six Days of New York, an annual six-day racing event of track cycling.


Despite its importance to the New York cultural scene in the early 20th century, Madison Square Garden II was never any more of a financial success than the original Garden was,[14] and the New York Life Insurance Company, which held the mortgage on it, decided to tear it down to make way for a new headquarters building, which would become the landmark Cass Gilbert-designed New York Life Building. Construction on the new building began in 1926, and was completed in 1928.

In popular culture

The 32-story tower of Madison Square Garden dominates the skyline over Madison Square and Madison Square Park in this 1908 image.

See also


  1. ^ Dworin, Caroline H. (2007-11-04). "The Girl, the Swing and a Row House in Ruins". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  2. ^ a b c d Federal Writers' Project (1939), New York City Guide, New York: Random House, ISBN 0-403-02921-X (Reprinted by Scholarly Press, 1976; often referred to as WPA Guide to New York City), pp.330-333
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Madison Square Garden II
  4. ^ Information page at the Met's website
  5. ^ Carroll, Bob (1980). "The First Football World Series" (PDF). Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 2 (Annual): 1–8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-15.
  6. ^ a b "MALONEY WINS MARATHON RACE; Trinity A.C. Runner Beats Big Field in Madison Square Garden. COVERS COURSE IN 2:53:06 Winner in Rye to New York Race Scores a Popular Victory Before a Big and Wildly Cheering Crowd" (pdf). The New York Times. New York. November 9, 1909. Retrieved May 14, 2012.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Hackenschmidt Is Wrestling Champion" (PDF). New York Times. 1905-05-05. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  8. ^ "Caddock Defeated In Fast Mat Bout" (PDF). New York Times. 1920-01-31. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Lewis Captures Wrestling Title" (PDF). New York Times. 1920-12-14. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  11. ^ ""Strangler" Lewis Regains His Title". Hartford Courant. 1920-12-14. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  12. ^ "Zbyszko Wrests Title From Lewis" (PDF). New York Times. 1921-05-06. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  13. ^ F4W Staff (May 6, 2015). "On this day in pro wrestling history  (May 6): Verne Gagne Vs. Danny Hodge, 1st Annual Von Erich Parade of Champions show". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  14. ^ Burrows, Edwin G. and Wallace, Mike, Gotham: A History of New York to 1989. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-19-511634-8

External links

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