Now Performing in the Rocky Top Theater
167 East Wears Valley Road Suite #17 (Shops of Pigeon Forge) Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
The Marx Brothers
The Marx brothers were an American family comedy act, originally from New York City, that consisted of five brothers. Their names were Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo. The two younger brothers, Gummo and Zeppo, did not develop their stage characters to the same extent, and eventually left the act to pursue other careers. Gummo was not in any of the movies; Zeppo appeared only in the first five.
The brothers were from a family of artists. Their musical talent was encouraged from an early age. Harpo, whose real name was Adolph, (after 1911 he changed it to Arthur) was amazingly talented, learning to play an estimated six different instruments throughout his career. He became a dedicated harpist, which gave him his nickname, Harpo!
Chico, whose real name was Leonard, was an an outstanding pianist.
Groucho, whose real name was Julius Henry was a guitarist and a singer.
Zeppo, whose real name was Herbert Manfred was a vocalist. They all got their start in Vaudeville.
One evening in 1912, at a performance in Nacogdoches, Texas the show was interrupted by shouts from outside about a runaway mule. The audience hurried outside to see what was happening. When they returned, Groucho, angered by the interruption, made snide comments about the audience, instead of becoming angry, the audience laughed. The family then realized they had potential as a comic troupe. The act slowly evolved from singing with comedy to comedy with music.
'The Marx Brothers' stage shows became popular just as Hollywood was changing from silent movies to "talkies". A couple of the first movies they were in were The Cocoanuts in 1929, and Animal Crackers in 1930. Both were written by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind. Following these two feature-length films, they made a short film that was included in Paramount's twentieth anniversary documentary, The House That Shadows Built.
Their last Paramount film, Duck Soup released in 1933 was directed by Leo McCarey — is the higher rated of two Marx Brothers films to make the American Film Institute's "100 years - 100 Movies" list, the other film that made the list was A Night at the Opera.
The Marx Brothers were collectively named #20 on American Film Institutes list of the Top 25 American male screen legends. They are the only group to be so honored.
Harpo Marx was a guest star on the Red Skelton show in the early 1960's and if you are planning a trip to Pigeon Forge or live here, be sure to take the time and see Brian Hoffman's Tribute to Red Skelton.
CLICK HERE or on the Show Schedule link above to reserve your seat to see the show.
"Goodnight now and may God bless"
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