Status: Available

The Marx Brothers—1905-1950 Plus

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana

Spring 2024
Tuesday Morning
Moderator: Robert Cohen



Participants in this seminar will dig into the lives and accomplishments of the Marx Brothers, arguably the greatest comedy team of all time.


We will explore the Marx Brothers from their childhood to vaudeville to Hollywood and beyond. Each class participant will present on a Marx Brothers–related topic. Examples might include childhood, biography of a Marx Brother, vaudeville years, Hollywood movie years, musical talents of the brothers, movie co-stars, celebrity friends, effects of the Great Depression, and influence on other comics. Participants are free to pick their own special interest topic. A list of suggested topics will be provided.

ROLE OF PARTICIPANTS: Once participants have chosen a topic, they will be expected to give a 20–35 minute presentation. PowerPoint and videos are especially encouraged, as the Marx Brothers visuals are so important. If a participant is uncomfortable with PowerPoint, the moderators can help.

Nearly all the material you will need can be found on YouTube or by googling
“Marx Brothers.” If you wish to dig deeper, here are some suggested book titles: Four of the Three Musketeers by Robert Bader; Marx Brothers and America by Robert Weir; The Marx Brothers Encyclopedia by Glen Mitchell; Monkey Business by Simon Louvish; Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx; Groucho and Me by Groucho Marx; The Marx Brothers by Allen Eyles.

ABOUT THE MODERATOR: Over the last seven years, Bob has moderated several courses for FCLIR. His passions are music, musical theater, art, film, and reading. He is excited to dig into the Marx Brothers.