The Marx Brothers Miscellany - A Subjective Appreciation of the World’s Greatest Comedy Team (hardback)
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The Marx Brothers Miscellany - A Subjective Appreciation of the World’s Greatest Comedy Team (hardback)

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The Marx Brothers Miscellany - A Subjective Appreciation of the World’s Greatest Comedy Team

by Trav S.D.

Foreword by Austin Pendleton

324 pages

6x9 size, hardback

ISBN 9798887714400

The Marx Brothers are widely regarded as the 20th century’s greatest comedy team, a tight knit performing unit who reached their fans through a dozen films, three Broadway shows, a radio program, and a top-flight vaudeville act, as well the brothers’ own separate accomplishments as book authors, recording artists, television personalities, and entrepreneurs. Yet while it’s tempting to think so, the world’s most popular comedy act didn’t emerge in a vacuum. Groucho’s brand of verbal nonsense humor, Harpo’s silent clowning, and Chico’s “Italian” shtick were all highly popular and familiar vaudeville specialties in their day. What made the Marx Brothers original was that they packed it all into the same explosive, anarchistic act. And they were so funny, of course.

Writer/ performer Trav S.D. (No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous) now turns his attention to the greatest of all stage and screen comedy teams in The Marx Brothers Miscellany. Adapted from a series of public lectures and over 150 articles originally published on the popular website Travalanche, The Marx Brothers Miscellany mimics its unruly subject with an irreverent style and crazy-quilt structure combining cultural history, biography, criticism, and more than a few surprises. A one of a kind ex-TRAV-aganza, The Marx Brothers Miscellany also features art by Noah Diamond and a foreword by Austin Pendleton (Skidoo, What’s Up Doc? Finding Nemo).

Bette Midler called No Applause “the best book about the people who worked in vaudeville” in People magazine. Trav S.D.’s other books have included Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube (2013) and Rose’s Royal Midgets and Other Little People of Vaudeville (2020). With Noah Diamond, he co-produced and directed the first ever revival of I’ll Say She Is, the Marx Brothers’ first Broadway show, in 2014. He has performed and lectured at such notable venues as the Museum of Modern Art, Columbia University, and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has contributed to The New York Times, The Village Voice. American Theatre, Reason, and Time Out New York, and has been heard as a guest on the BBC, NPR, and The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, where he had the honor of appearing on a Marx Brothers themed panel with Dick Cavett and Bill Marx, Harpo’s son. The Marx Brothers Miscellany is the product of over 40 years of fandom.