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Definition: Marx Brothers from Philip's Encyclopedia

US team of vaudeville and film comedians. The Marx Brothers consisted of Chico (Leonard, 1891-1961), Harpo (Arthur, 1893-1964), Groucho (Julius, 1895-1977) and Zeppo (Herbert, 1901-79), the latter withdrew from the group in 1935. Marx Brothers' riotous, wisecracking comedies include Animal Crackers (1930), Duck Soup (1933), and A Night at the Opera (1935).


Summary Article: Marx Brothers
from Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

Groucho, Harpo, and Chico Marx Credit:The Bettmann Archive

U.S. comedy team. The original five brothers were Chico (orig. Leonard) (1886–1961), Harpo (orig. Adolph Arthur) (1888–1964), Groucho (orig. Julius Henry) (1890–1977), Gummo (orig. Milton) (1893–1977), and Zeppo (orig. Herbert) (1901–79). They formed a vaudeville act with their mother, Minnie, called “The Six Musical Mascots” (1904–18). Gummo left the act early on, and the brothers later became “The Four Marx Brothers.” They won fame with their first Broadway play, I’ll Say She Is (1924), which was followed by The Cocoanuts (1925; film, 1929) and Animal Crackers (1926; film, 1930). They later starred in Monkey Business (1931), Horse Feathers (1932), Duck Soup (1933), A Night at the Opera (1935), and Room Service (1938), among other films, developing a skillful blend of visual and verbal humour, with Groucho supplying wisecracks and a running commentary as counterpoint to the frantic, anarchic activities of the silent Harpo and the Italian-accented Chico. Zeppo left the act in 1934, and the act disbanded in 1949. Groucho later hosted the television quiz program You Bet Your Life (1950–61).

Event: Marx Brothers

Start Date: 1905

End Date: 1949

Definition: ensemble (theatre)

Significance: comedy (literature and performance)

Related Place: United States

Keywords: Marx Brothers, vaudeville, ensemble, comedy, motion picture, acting, United States

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Copyright 1994-2017 Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc

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