Simply put, the Marx brothers were an American comedy act, and the casts were real brothers. They were quite successful on Broadway and in the motion picture for many years. They have been famous from 1905 to 1949. There were five brothers, and they made a total of thirteen different feature films. In this article, you will get to learn about the Marx brothers.


Marx Brothers

Marx Brothers
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The family comedy act was so famous in the United States. They were also selected in the top 100 comedy films by the American Film Institute. One of the best things about them is that the brothers were highly praised by fans, scholars, and critics.

They were on the AFI’s 100 years and 100 Stars list. And when it comes to being in the 25 greatest make stars, all five of them were on the list.

The Marx brother’s names are as follows.

  • Zeppo
  • Gummo
  • Groucho
  • Harpo
  • Chico

Many people don’t know that there was a sixth brother. And he was the firstborn child whose name was Manfred, but he died in infancy. There were mainly three brothers who used to be in the main act- Groucho, Chico, and Harpo. And they had different stage personalities.

The show disbanded in 1950, and after that, they chose other professions. Groucho started his career in television, and Chico and Harpo didn’t make it to successful roles. 

While on the other hand, Gummo and Zeppo couldn’t make another successful career in television. So, they pursued their career in business. 


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From the beginning, the family was into art. Most of the family members were either artists or musicians. This is the major reason that these brothers pursued their careers in acting and comedy. Harpo was one of the talented brothers among them. He could play six different instruments.

Then he dedicated himself to the harpist, and this is where the nickname came from. Chico was also talented, as he was an excellent pianist. Zeppo was an excellent singer and vocalist, while Groucho used to sing and play guitar.

The brothers started their act in vaudeville. This is the same stage where his uncle Albert Schonberg performed. He did the character of Al Shean of Gallagher and Shean. Groucho started his career in 1905, and the act was to sing. Within two years, Gummo joined him, and they started to sing together.

After one year, Harpo joined them, and their stage name became four Nightingale. In 1910, the group expanded as Minnie, their mother, and Hannah, their aunt, joined. Then people started to call them The Six Mascots.


Marx Brothers Comedy GIF by Coolidge Corner Theatre - Find & Share on GIPHY

In 1912, the Marx brothers started to do something different. There was a performance at the Opera House in Texas. In this performance, there was an incident that took place. There was an argument between Groucho and the audience. And Groucho shouted and said something, and instead of becoming angry, the audience laughed. And this is when the brothers realized that they had the potential to do something else.

This was the time when they found their comedy potential. Before that day, this was a singing performance with comedy. And from that day, their performance became comedy with music.

Groucho used to ask as a German teacher, and Chico, Gummo, and Harpo were the students. Most of the scripts were written by their uncle Al Shean. The Marx Brothers became famous in a small period of time

Stage Names

Stage Names
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There were different stage names for the brothers. And every name had a backstory. First coming to Groucho. The name came from a supporting character from a comic strip. And the main reason was that he was good with cards in poker games. 

Chico’s name came from the slang chicken chaser. And Harpo’s name came from harp. There was no proper reason behind the name Zeppo. When asked the names, Gaucho told that the name came from Gummo wearing galoshes. 

Motion Pictures

Motion Pictures
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  • A Night At The Opera (1935)
  • Duck Soup (1933)
  • A Day At The Races (1937)
  • Go West (1940)
  • Room Service (1938)
  • The Big Store (1941)
  • A Night In Casablanca (1946)
  • Love Happy (1949)
  • Animal Crackers (1930)
  • At The Circus (1939)
  • The Cocoanuts (1929)
  • Horse Feathers (1932)
  • Monkey Business (1931)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):-

Here are some interesting questions and answers that people are curious to know about.

Q1. Are The Marx Brothers Real Brothers?

Ans: When it comes to the Marx brothers, most people do become not aware of the fact whether they are real rother or not. So, the answer is yes, they are real brothers. The eldest brother was Chico, who was in 1887.
Then there was Harpo, who was born in 1888. After that, Groucho, who was born in 1890. Gummo was born in 1892, and the youngest brother’s name was Zeppo, who was born in 1901. 

Q2. Did Any Of The Marx Brothers Serve In The Military?

Ans: Gummo started his career in acting. But later, he left that and joined the United States Army and went to serve his country in World War I. Then there were only The Four Marx Brothers. Then Zeppo was recruited in place of Gummo. So, the answer is yes, one of the Marx brothers served in the military.

Q3. What Ethnicity Were The Marx Brothers?

Ans: The Marx family was immigrants and Jewish as well. They were the sons of Sam or Simon Marx. Their family used to be tailors, and they were Germans as well. Marx’s brother’s father was born in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, and Minnie were born in Donum, Germany.

Final Words

So, I hope now you have at least the basics about the Marx brothers. See, the thing is, we can think of doing many things right now. But in the early 20s, it was difficult to start a new genre as there was a possibility that people would not accept it. These brothers did it, and this is what makes them famous.

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Anirban Mallick
Anirban Mallick is passionate about writing since his early age. He comes from Kolkata, which is famous for its rich heritage. This young person loves to write about sports, cryptocurrency, marketing, gaming, and other topics. This is why he loves to call himself the “Jack of all Trades.” He has a PG Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations from IIMC, Delhi. In his free time, he loves to write stories, read books, watch movies and play outdoor games, mostly football.

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