(Travalanche)

9f1e54e77aad2c05c70c66e403e6c081 Harpo with Lucille Ball from the famous “I Love Lucy” episode, which is absolutely the first place I ever saw him

Today is Harpo Marx’s birthday (for more on the great silent clown, see my biographical post on the Marx Brothers). Today’s post has been germinating for a long time. It grew out of lots of contemplation I did during Marxfest and the Fringe Production of I’ll Say She Is. It occurred to me that he was the most original of the Marx Brothers. I think his grandfather, a magician, may have been an influence, but I’ve never come across mention of others — specific performers he watched and emulated in his earliest years. But I did think of a very few contemporaries who come kind of close to him in conception, and a few characters who came later who echo in some way the Harpo idea (just…

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