We’ve written in this space before of our longstanding love for the Marx Brothers, and it’s been our experience that, when you’ve been a Marxist long enough and have read virtually every published word there is to be read about them, one is not easily stirred by new “revelations” or unseen footage.
But we got very excited indeed when, in an email correspondence with Bill Marx, Harpo’s eldest son, some months back, he assigned us our own Marxian nickname (Bretto, if you must know)—and of his own volition, too.
And we found it not a little thrilling, too, when we came across the clip below (we’re not sure how it eluded our notice until now—it went live on YouTube in 2006, for pete’s sake). It’s the only footage we’ve seen (and heard) of Bill’s father, Harpo, speaking.
We knew Harpo could talk, of course, but we’d just never seen him do it (we heard an audio clip once that purportedly featured him uttering a few words, but with no visuals, who could be sure?).
Rest assured, there are visuals with this clip: You’ll know only hear Harpo speak, you’ll see it. He only says a few words, and they’re right at the beginning of the clip (that’s Harpo on the left, by the way, just in case you didn’t recognize out of costume).