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Duck Soup, part 2 December 30, 2007

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Duck Soup, Movies, Musicals, Weirdness.

Herbert “Zeppo” MarxDuck Soup was the last movie made by Herbert (“Zeppo”) Marx (1901-1979), the youngest of the Marx Brothers. Contrary to conventional wisdom Zeppo did not leave acting because he was any less talented than Groucho, Harpo or Chico; offstage he was known as being every bit as funny as his brothers, who tended to be very businesslike and deadpan about their humor. He had understudied all three on Broadway and was said to have done Groucho so well that even the backstage crew mistook him for the real thing.

This is the only Marx Bros. movie without a romantic subplot, which Zeppo had carried in the four previous movies. (Thus it’s the only one of their movies with no scenes that you’re inclined to fast-forward.)

Zeppo briefly went into business as an agent with his older brother Herbert (“Gummo”). Later he became a successful inventor of a motorized bicycle and a watch for heart patients that warned or cardiac arrest. His best-known invention is the Marman clamp, which was used to transport the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

(NOTE: today’s section runs 14:04)

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