We’re starting off the week with a quiz about the most successful fraternal team of the classic movie period — The Marx Brothers. This in keeping with our current infatuation with the subject of famous Brother Acts in show biz.
And, what better way is there to start with this most famous and renowned team. (We’ve run Groucho Quizzes in the past but this time it’s the zany ensemble that you’ll be tested on).
Groucho , of course, was the grounding centerpiece of originally five vaudevillians (one largely inactive after a few years) — all brothers of which three formed the performing core. Groucho (ne Julius) was the third oldest of the five siblings, and obviously remains the most enduringly famous.
For the record, there originally were five Marx Brothers: Groucho, Harpo, Gummo, Chico and Zeppo. Each played to greater or lesser degrees their assigned roles. (Most of our quiz questions here are about Grouch and Harpo.) Here we go:
1) Question: Which one of the following was NOT considered a member of the Marx Brothers? a) Milton (Gummo); b) Adolph (Harpo); c) Leonard (Chico) or d) Herbert (Zeppo).
2) Question: Groucho once affectionately described this non-relative performer as “the fifth Marx Brother.” Can you name this person? a) Ed Wynn; b) Bert Lahr; c) W.C. Fields or d) Margaret Dumont.
3) Question: Harpo is famous for remaining the silent Marx Brother. How come he never uttered a word onstage or in movies? a) He was struck dumb in his Twenties; b) He reacted to a negative review from a critic in Champaign, Illinois; c) He was order to clam up by his forceful stage mother; or d) He simply enjoyed working sans dialogue.
4) Question: How did Adolph Marx get the stage name “Harpo?” a) That was his father’s nickname; b) Because he took up the stringed harp to liven up the boys’ vaudeville act; c) Because he was given a surprise gift by his mother; d) He just liked the sound of the moniker.
5) Question: Which of the following was Marx Brothers’ final Hollywood movie? a) Love Happy; b) A Night at the Opera; c) A Day at the Races; or d) A Night In Casablanca.
6) Question: Who gave Julius Marx the “Groucho” nickname, which he professed to hate? a) His Uncle Julius, for whom he was actually named; b) A fellow vaudeville performer named Art Fisher; c) His mother Minnie in commenting on Marx’s dour personality; or d) His brother Adolph.
7) Question: The brothers’ mother mother, the former Minna Schoenberg, was the subject of a short lived Broadway musical in 1970. Can you name the show and the actress who played her?
8) Question: Although brought up with scanty formal education, Harpo became a celebrated member of the so-called Round Table group of intellectuals at New York’s Algonquin Hotel. Who was his closest Round Table pal? a) George Kaufman; b) Dorothy Parker; c) Bernard Baruch; or d) Alexander Woollcott.
9) Question: Harpo Marx’s most famous comic expression was known as a “gookie.” What exactly was it and who was it named after?
10) Question: Of all the Marx brothers, Harpo was the most romantically and sexually active, and never really settled down. a) True; or b) False.