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Groucho Marx

Artist
Ernest Hamlin Baker, 1889 - 1975
Sitter
Groucho Marx, 2 Oct 1895 - 19 Aug 1977
Date
1951
Type
Drawing
Medium
Graphite pencil on paper
Dimensions
Image (window opening): 27 × 27.9cm (10 5/8 × 11")
Sheet: 34 × 34.3cm (13 3/8 × 13 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Conserved with funds from The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation
Object number
NPG.95.TC5
Exhibition Label
“Trademark: Effrontery.” Time’s cover caption for Groucho Marx was succinct and apt for the comedian who made a lifelong career in movies, radio, and television, spewing his snide, caustic humor at anyone and everywhere. Marx got his start early in vaudeville with his zany brothers. Professionally, he proved to be the most enduring, landing a quiz show on radio (1947–60) and television (1950–61), You Bet Your Life. A master at ad-libbing, only Groucho Marx could win awards for humor with a quiz show, including the George Foster Peabody Award. “It’s a good thing the guy died,” Marx quipped, “otherwise we couldn’t have won any prizes.”
“Trademark: Effrontery” —algo así como “Consigna: la desfachatez”— fue el calce de Time para la foto de Groucho Marx que apareció en su portada. La sucinta frase resulta apta para un comediante que hizo una larga carrera en cine, radio y televisión disparando su sarcasmo y humor mordaz dondequiera y contra quien fuera. Marx comenzó joven en el vodevil junto a sus excéntricos hermanos. De todos, él resultó el más vigente, pasando a conducir un programa de preguntas y respuestas en la radio (1947–60) y en la televisión (1950–61), titulado You Bet Your Life. De hecho, solo un maestro de la improvisación como él podría haber ganado premios por comedia con un programa de ese tipo, entre ellos el Premio George Foster Peabody. “Es una suerte que el tipo haya muerto”, bromeó Marx, “de lo contrario, no habríamos podido ganar ningún premio”.
HT07
Groucho Marx 1895–1977
“Trademark: Effrontery.” Time’s cover caption for Groucho Marx was succinct and apt for the comedian who made a lifelong career in movies, radio, and television, spewing his snide, caustic humor at anyone and everywhere. Marx got his start early in vaudeville with his zany brothers. Professionally, he proved to be the most enduring, landing a quiz show on radio (1947–60) and television (1950–61), You Bet Your Life. A master at ad-libbing, only Groucho Marx could win awards for humor with a quiz show, including the George Foster Peabody Award. “It’s a good thing the guy died,” Marx quipped, “otherwise we couldn’t have won any prizes.”
Ernest Hamlin Baker (1889–1975)
Pencil on paper, 1951
Time cover, December 31, 1951
Gallery purchase
Conserved with funds from the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation
NPG.95.TC5
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection