Groucho Marx, the original gangsta of smartassery

Hello, Frank Ferrante must be going
Hello, Frank Ferrante must be going

Frank Ferrante does a Groucho Marx so convincing he doesn't even rehearse his show anymore; it's all ad-libbed. And while Ferrante does incorporate some classic lines into An Evening with Groucho, his Groucho Marx tribute show, it's not so much a rehashing of Marx's material as an embodiment of it. In that respect, Ferrante's act may not be entirely original, but when it comes to the legend of Groucho, almost nothing is. Inestimably influential, Groucho has had a profound impact, directly or indirectly, on anyone who's ever made a living on snark, sarcasm or general smartassery (including us). So today, in advance of Ferrante's performance, we bring you a few clips of Groucho's most famous and best.

"Seven-cent Nickel," from Animal Crackers The crux of this bit is Groucho preposterously suggesting that a seven-cent nickel could solve the world's financial problems, but really, it's just Groucho fucking with a rich guy -- he was pretty much the OG of sticking it to the man.
"Hello, I must be Going," from Animal Crackers There aren't a whole lot of legit-ass funny songs in musicals -- cute, yeah; mildly amusing, sure -- but this is song is one. By turns witty, misleading and hilariously absurd, the song also shows off Groucho's surprisingly decent vocal chops.
Groucho vs. "Lord" Buckley, from You Bet your Life It takes a second to pick up, but this one, again, features Groucho engaging in what he does best: zinging the pompous. Plus, Lord Buckley does Shakespeare in jive.
"You didn't know I could rhumba," from A Day at the Races Ah vaudeville -- they don't make performers like they used to. Just look at that guy go! He sings, he dances and, as always, he gets in some fantastic one-liners, all the while offending the uptight. Thanks, Groucho. We owe you one.

Don't miss An Evening with Groucho tonight at the Lakewood Cultural Center at 7:30 p.m. Tickets run $25. For more information, see the Westword calendar page.


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