|ASubmarineSandwich - 2009-05-05 |
One of the greatest comedic performers of all time in the waning, befuddled years of his life mumbling through a song that clearly was once one of his favorites.
Startled and rejected by the Nixon era of American anger and frustration, the aged Mr. Marx, who wears a silly hat to hide his once famous, now thinning head of greyish hair.
He attempts to bemusedly philosophize the horror and madness of the contemporary mindset with the frivolously dada nihilism of his youth. It doesn't quite work.
They clap, but only in hopes of tricking poor Groucho into thinking he still has the skill and talents that put him in the spotlight so many years ago, at least for long enough that he makes it through what may be one of his last public appearances. But Groucho knows. You can't trick a trickster. He wants them to stop their polite pandering so he can speak.
He finds himself confining his speech to one, solitary person in the front row, an aforementioned insurance salesman who he has been friends with since 1929 and a fellow relic from when Vaudeville was king and Broadway shows were better than moving pictures. His captive audience of one was no doubt in a similar predicament of gasping, failing comprehension, and both commiserate the rest of the audience's pitying but encouraging silence.
This video kind of makes me sad, but I guess it should be here.
At least he's still coherent here, you can see the man beneath. He was performing through 1977 when he didn't even know where he was. The decline of Groucho and his Senile Years stand as a lesson. Know when to pack it in, and make sure that if you get Alzheimers, your legal guardian isn't someone who will wheel you to every show in Hollywood to perform until you keel over dead from exhaustion. Many times I've heard "It's like when Grouch went senile" as a term for when an old act just gets tragic.
Groucho anecdote: When he vacationed to Berlin in the 50s and visited the site of Hitler's Bunker, he climbed onto the site and danced a frentic silent jig for several minutes on Hitler's grave. "With 6 million dead, it just doesn't feel good as it ought to."
But always 5 stars for great Groucho.
|punch drunk babies - 2009-05-05 |
That song would work well in Fallout
|Dinanukht - 2009-05-06 |
I can't bring myself to five star the slow death of a man's career.
|Menudo con queso - 2009-05-06 |
That song is a pretty good 2-minute summation of Mark Twain's Letters From Earth.
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