Julis Henry "Groucho" Marx, star of stage and film, radio and television - and the funniest thing I ever hoid - was born on this day in 1890, in New York City.
I am not the only one to hold in high regard that particular brand of zaniness served-up by Groucho and his brothers. In a 2005 poll, Groucho was voted the 5th-greatest comedy act ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. His glasses, eyebrows and moustache are comic icons. "Groucho Marx was the best comedian this country ever produced," Woody Allen once said. "He is simply unique in the same way that Picasso or Stravinsky are." French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard reportedly described his politics by saying, "I'm a Marxist of the Groucho variety,"
Here is Wikipedia's write-up on Marx, which ends with a number of links where you can find out more about the man, his life and his career. My favorite links include this post by snopes.com about Groucho's famous 'Casablanca' letter to Warner Brothers. There are also a number of wonderful audio/video clips on YouTube, including 7-cent Nickle, Hello, I Must be Going, Stateroom and Hail, Hail Fredonia.