The marx brothers

Reading pulp fiction taught me how to write, said S.J. Perelman

This volume of short essays – originally written for the New Yorker in the 1940s and 1950s but never before assembled – provides ample evidence that the great S.J. Perelman could misspend his youth with the best of them. It’s also the closest thing to an autobiography he ever completed: a series of comic reflections on the awful, absorbing books and movies which entertained him when he should have been attending his classes at Brown University (from which he eventually dropped out), or keeping a steady job. Recollected in the tranquillity (or complacency) of being a well-established, middle-aged family man, these guilty pleasures prove less absorbing to him the second

Harpo Marx – genius, idiot savant or lovable overgrown child?

It’s hard (if not impossible) to imagine a world worth living in that doesn’t include the Marx Brothers; and equally impossible to imagine the Marx Brothers without their forever silent, animal-loving, hilariously unpredictable Harpo, he of the moppet wig, trampish overcoat packed with stolen silverware and blow torches, and recurringly grotesque facial expressions. For while the greatest comic performers of the silent film era (such as Chaplin and Keaton) couldn’t speak to the camera, Harpo was the only comic of the talkie era who simply wouldn’t, as if human conversation were somehow beneath him. There was always something about Harpo that seemed a little better than the ridiculous world he