- Copertina flessibile
- Editore: Midnight Marquee Pr Inc (2000)
- ISBN-10: 188766436X
- ISBN-13: 978-1887664363
- Peso di spedizione: 318 g
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 826.615 in Libri (Visualizza i Top 100 nella categoria Libri)
As Long As They're Laughing : Groucho Marx and You Bet Your Life Copertina flessibile – 2000
Book by Dwan Robert
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su Amazon.com (beta)
Robert Dwan does a wonderful job of explaining the mystique behind You Bet Your Life, and though most of it is rightfully due to the talents of Groucho Marx, Dwan explains just how the show was put tigether each week and the behind the scenes and politics that shaped it during its run as America's most popular quiz show.
Dwan also offers a history of the show, from its beginnings on radio and how Groucho, who had already failed numerous times in radio, was convinced to take the job as emcee of a "lowly" quiz show. Dwan tells his story in the manner of a gentle reminiscence that pulls the reader along while providing a few laughs, and surprises, along the way. (One surprise is that for all Groucho's leering and suggestiveness, he abhorred "working dirty," and considered it the cheapest way to get a laugh. Many times on the show an innocent line became a memorable one in the imagination of the audience, who were expecting Groucho to come right out and say what they were thinking.)
With the recent surge in published books on the Marx Brothers, this gentle tome from a small press might well be forgotten in the shuffle. Instead, to those who read it, it will become one of the fondest and best remembered books on the subject.
One thing I would like to see is the reprint of The Secret Word is Groucho, by Groucho himself and Hector Arce. as a previous reviewer perceptibly noted, the two make an excellent boxed set. But as that book is out of print, you can't go wrong with the Dwan book.
In the former book, Marx and Arce concentrated on what made the show work and the politics behind getting it on the air. In "As Long As They're Laughing: Groucho Marx and You Bet Your Life" Robert Dwan (director of the program on radio and television during its entire run) concentrates on the personalities involved and in details about his relationship with Groucho over the years. Dwan's perspective is refreshing.
Among the gems in this book are discussions of the process of recording an episode and preparing it for air. Unusual for the time period, You Bet Your Life was recorded and heavily edited for radio/television broadcast. (Since the objective of the program leaned more toward humor than the actual quiz show, it was important that the pace remained quick.) Included in this section are a number of bits that wound up "on the cutting room floor" because they were deemed too racy for broadcast.
This book is an important addition to the growing number of books on Groucho, and it offers some insight into his complex personality which, though abrasive and often abusive, endeared him to fans all over the world. Particularly touching is Dwan's description of his trip with Groucho and his daughter to Groucho's Mother's birthplace, Dornum, Germany, and the events that made this trip memorable and magical for all involved.
Though a fairly quick read, "As Long As They're Laughing: Groucho Marx and You Bet Your Life" is recommended for anyone interested in Groucho and one of his many careers -- this time as one of the most popular, successful, and award-winning quizmasters in the history of the genre.
The details of production methodology will delight the most ardent Grouchophiles, but even casual fans of the Marxes in particular and TV comedy in general will laugh at the generous portions of comic dialogue from the show. Even more fascinating is Dwan's inclusion of some of the legendary dirty material that didn't make it to air, material that wouldn't shock a minister nowadays and that almost always has the saving graces of comic wit and verbal inventiveness; in other words, Groucho wasn't just dirty (and indeed, as Dwan points out, he deplored what his NY accent called "terlet" jokes).
The secret word is "Dwan," and if you say it on Amazon, you'll get a fine and fun book.