Rented a disc of Groucho Marx’ old TV show “You Bet Your Life” b/w The Red Skelton Show. So strange the way the pacing of media and the national sense of humor have changed. You can see it looking back through every decade – get back to Hee Haw reruns and they’re barely funny, though I remember the family gathering around the tube in the 70s to watch Hee Haw and laugh… hard to imagine now what we thought was so rip-roaring.

We think of Groucho as some kind of genius, but his humor is actually banal by today’s standards, and the pace of the show is so slow. At the beginning the camera sits on a placard bearing his name for a full 15 seconds as Mr. Music Man plays a charming ditty — it’s excruciating to eyeballs fried by 21st century shotgun media. If someone appeared today working with Groucho-style humor and pacing, no one would notice.

Music: Cardiacs :: Cry Wet Smile Dry

One Reply to “Groucho”

  1. Yeah, I remember watching the Marx-Brothers movies (years ago), and while I thought them funny, they weren’t _that_ funny. Same with ‘The Court Jester’ – still amusing, but nothing more.

    On the other hand there are a couple of MB scenes which, despite their slow pace, have a timeless quality. Time for a ‘Best of Marx Brothers’ compilation.

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