October 11 commemorates the 60th anniversary of the death of Leonard Marx, affectionately known to all of us as “Chico.” We fondly remember Chico as being part of the Marx Brothers and for his unique piano playing skills (i.e., “shooting” the keys with his finger).
Chico Marx is one of the greatest comedians of all time. He masterfully used his onstage Italian persona to humorously outwit, outfox, and con his “opponent,” most notably his brother, Groucho. Chico also kept us laughing with his keenly developed skills at “mispronouncing” and “misunderstanding” terms and phrases, especially when Groucho spoke in a heavily accented New York accent.
Today, comedians rely on being obnoxious, obscene, and / or offensive to get laughs. Chico and his brothers never had to drop “F-bombs,” rely on sexually explicit material, or use “toilet humor” to be funny. Instead, Chico, Harpo, and Groucho expertly applied their comedic talents to keep us in stitches for over half a century; and, today, we still find ourselves laughing at their timeless humor.
John Di Genio