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The Marx Family Tree

It's not all in the family

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Marx Brothers


I see where numerous relatives of mine have written TIME, frantically yelping that they are cousins of Sam Marx of M-G-M [TIME, April 8]. The Marx fortunes have certainly sunk to a low ebb when members of the family find it necessary to rush into print to claim relationship to anyone.

I don’t know about the rest of them, but I was born during a volcanic eruption in one of the banana countries in Central America. I don’t remember which one—I don’t even remember the bananas, I hardly remember the stalk.

At the age of three, an utter stranger apprenticed me to a basket weaver in Guatemala. I soon learned to weave with such dexterousness that, by the time my second teeth arrived, I was known throughout the village as the basket child of Guatemala.

After I was run out of Guatemala, I met two other fellows, named, I believe, Harpo and Chico. After considerable bickering, they convinced me that America, softened up by an excess of rationing, could be persuaded to swallow another dose of Casablanca—this one to be called A Night in Casablanca.

Well, we made the picture and that’s that. The point is that Harpo and Chico are brothers but they are both strangers to me. And, as for Sam Marx of M-G-M who reluctantly confesses to being their cousin—well, he’s slightly mistaken. The fact of the matter is, he happens to be their joint child by a former marriage.