Martin and Lewis appear 31:40. The guest stars are The Andrews Sisters, Joan Davis, Judy Garland, Gordon MacRae, and Groucho Marx.The banter between Dean and Jerry with Tallulah Bankhead in this episode is always pretty great! Jerry and Groucho Marx had some good comedy moments here as well. Interesting to listen to, as they would later become enemies. I think this would later affect Groucho's son Arthur's view on Jerry in his book Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime Especially Himself.
I would say your statement that because Jerry and Grouch became in your word later on "enemies" would affect Arthur Marx (who I met) feels false to me because I read Arthurs book on his dad and boy not only was it a really good read but he bared no punches-ie "why do you think his nick name was Groucho. He was not a good dad. I think Arthur Marx tratment of Jerry at the time was based on interviews with folks who worked with him, not his personal opinion. On the other hand thank you so much for posting.
In contrast to how he portrayed Dean, he portrayed Jerry in a different tone, even when talking about their later work. He clearly didn't like Jerry. I don't see how one can be really fair in writing about someone's career, if one doesn't like their work? I think it was decent book. I'm not sure if I can believe every conversation in the book to be true, even if he got these quotes from legitimate sources that were present when these private conversations took place, memories change over 10-20 years. Also there are glaring errors in the book. I forget what they were exactly offhand, but I recall it being very basic stuff that there shouldn't have been errors on. Also Jerry did talk about Arthur Mark in his recorded interview with James Neibaur and Ted Okuda, and did assume that Arthur was out to smear him in that book, because Groucho and Jerry hated each other. That dislike was mostly because Groucho said some insulting things about Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin in Cannes. Jerry defended his idols, and took off on Groucho, and said Harpo was the one with the talent and should have been getting more credit in Marx Brothers, etc. Both Ted Okuda and James Neibaur thought Arthur ripped into everyone including Dean in the book. Jerry said afterwards that Arthur Marx never talked to him or Dean, or other important people in the book, so he didn't know where he got some of his information from. That's partly why I am saying, if he didn't talk to Dean or Jerry, then how does he know like what happened in private conversations between the two of them? This happens several times in the book for Dean and Jerry alone.
i’m also of the opinion that arthur marx had a very negative opinion of JL. if you haven’t already watched it, his interview for his book on tom snyder’s show really shows it. marx was so biased that snyder repeatedly interrupted him and finally defended JL. marx admitted he interviewed neither dean or JL and it really showed. classickat is right, there were some glaringly obvious errors, that even ‘mere’ fans such as ourselves know of. he frankly spilled venom. i wasn’t aware JL and groucho were on bad terms at some point, but i can easily see it...groucho said JL was nothing more than making faces and JL probably told him to ‘eff’ off.
my guess is JL figured by providing footage and input he could have some control over the outcome. dean’s kids also were advisors and the movie portrayl of him was distant and boozy so who knows? perhaps the project started with the book as a foundation but altered in process. or maybe because JL was still alive they couldn’t portray him too snarky or he could sue. all conjecture.
One of the most devastating parts to me of the book was the story of Dean ad-libbing a joke in rehearsal for "Colgare Comedy Hour" which got a laugh and then for the live show Jerry steals it. To me that said allot about Lewis at the time. That was in the movie. I remember Sean Hayes saying at the time that they weren't sure of Jerry's reactionsince it was pretty honest and he hadn't seen it. I guess they had a screening of it for him and he said afterwords that it brought it all back for him. Did it ever occur to you folks that the movie was based On Arthur Marx book because it was a true retelling
Post by anarchistemma on May 14, 2018 15:07:15 GMT
well, it’s a true retelling in marx’s opinion. he didn’t like lewis before he started the book and the book reflects it. and true in what way? he wasn’t there for the events, only the retelling of it by his father and other people, who also had axes to grind, like norman lear. it’s no secret JL was tempermental and developed an ego with success. and whatever else but it feels like a hatchet job. i put the link to the ‘tomorrow’ interview. watch it for yourself. marx is bad-mouthing JL and snyder rebuts him with his own personal experience of JL. whatever.
Talking about retelling-you said Marx admitted that he did not like Lewis -totally false. Where do you get your facts from? Snyder asks he if he had any animosity towards either of them-Marx answers no and he wrote the book because he thought it was a good story. Just curious -have you ever read the book? if the book is so wrong (as you claim) why was the Martin and Lewis book based on it? Snyder defending Lewis? If anything I thought the opposite. Snyder is the one who basically says Lewis career is in the pits. I could not find anything that Marx had said in this interview that is incorrect.
ok. i went back an rewatched it because i had seen it a while ago. in the first 5 minutes: TS first question: dontcha like these guys? marx admits he never met either of them but knew all their writers incuding normal lear. well, we know lear was no fan of JL once JL fired him. then he insinuates patti was somehow upset and whispering in JL’s ear about why he didn’t have first billing. then he says JL was making so much less than dean when they first met and not doing well on his own, where TS interrupts. and that JL ‘horned in on dean’s act’ . all of that is very biased language and none of it accurate. sure dean was making more money, he was 9 years older and had been on the circuit many years longer. the fact he was playing the same clubs as JL, a newcomer actually says JL was doing fine. plus dean had been rejected for a screen test in hollywood so was going nowhere. also JL didn’t ‘horn in’ on deans act, they used to kibbitz around at each others acts for fun. JL never asked lou perry if he ccould clown around with dean. JL tried it and dean went with it because it got laughs and crowds and money, good for both of them. at this point TS interrupts again, again asking if he was doing the book out of animosity. then marx needlessly repeats a story defaming JL and MDA, insinuating something about JL’s reasons for being involved with MDA, like he’s selfish and exploitive. when TS says he received a call from JL to discuss that charge, marx immediately snidely remarks JL mustive yelled at him with ‘explictives’ to which TS says, no it was a very nice, normal, polite call. i dont need to watch any further. ....if TS first two questions are if he even liked these guys and if he wrote it out of animosity, it’s obvious he detected a mean-spirited about it, a sort of tabloid nastiness. i dont think he liked them and i do think it was out of animosity but he smelled a best seller like mommie dearest.
if you can’t see his dislike for JL that fine. as for why the movie was based on the book i can only conjecture that someone had the idea to do a movie about M&L and why not, great team, popular, loved, tragic and if you look around for source material, marx’s book is the only thing out there. so rights are bought and then they reach out for other sources like deans kids and JL. and btw, yes, i read the book. i admit it was a while ago so i don’t remember ver batum.
lets see, after that point he all but stated outright that JL was on the payroll for MDA, although too cowardly to say it himself, he attributed the slander to other people ‘in the midwest’ (?). then said JL’s whole career at that point was only the MDA, ignoring all the touring JL did in europe and vegas, and tried to make the day the clown cried (i’m sure he would’ve found a way to blame him for that failure as well). then he got in a dig about how JL never ‘matured’. then he admitted he tried to get an interview with dean but never attempted to talk to JL, again showing hostility to the subject. he betrayed his own bias, how he felt, based on nothing, that JL doesn’t like writers. again ridiculous, as JL is a writer himself. this again speaks to the norman lear baggage. and i have not heard anything but good things about how JL treated his crews and his co-writing partners. next he clearly didn’t know the timeline, and starts talking about rock-a-bye-your-baby as though JL recorded that while still together with dean, and how it was a source of the friction between them. (and even though JL isn’t a singer in the same class as dean, he did have a gold record and his other records sold well and should be respected on that merit alone) then he went back to the begining yarn about how dean rescued jerry’s career by taking JL into his act. all dean to the rescue, no mention that JL came up with the idea for the act or wrote any of their material.
it’s obvious he sure knows a lot of second hand gossip from the entertainment circles he grew up and travelled in, perhaps in contact with norman lear for whom he wrote tv scripts. i still maintain he didn’t like or respect JL going into the project and his book reflects that point of view. i’m not saying he had to idolize or even be a fan, but i would expect anyone writing a biography-like book to have some sort of compassion or understanding for that persons life experience. instead he seems to relish JL’s misfortunes and embellish the negatives without investigating for the truth. that’s a hatchet job. pretty much the only nice thing he said about him was you couldn’t fault JL, like bob hope, for raising money for charity. although its still a backhanded complitment as he questioned JL putting his name in the title of the telethon, (again, he didn’t say it, he was compelled, without being asked about it, to repeat others’ opinions), as if it were inappropriate for JL to get credit in lieu of pay for the hours of production and performance work and technical co-ordination it takes to put on a national telethon, or the fact the reason so many celebrities agreed to go on the show was due to JL’s reputation and entertainment history.
aajjgg This interview made me dislike Arthur Marx even more. He basically said that he didn't even care for Dean either. He really danced around the question that Snyder gave at the beginning. He didn't want to give a definite no, though his body language gave away that he didn't. Finally when asked again a few minutes later, he said that they were a good story. That still doesn't answer whether or not he likes them or not.
Also Dean and Jerry would borrow bits from each other all the time. The King Of Comedy discusses that a little bit, and about them upstaging each other. I will point out that the dramatic nature of The Colgate Comedy stealing Dean's ad lib scene, never happened. Dean never reacted to Jerry in the actual footage the way he did in the movie, There was barely a reaction from Dean, besides agreeing with Jerry and continuing on with scene? They also used that same joke, if this was indeed the one ad libbed by Dean, in other sketches. Usually if a joke went really well they would attempt it again on another show. Also the ridiculousness of the scene where Dean is singing That's Amore, and Jerry brings in the cameras up close, was false. The film portrayed it as Jerry purposefully getting revenge on Dean and planning it on the spot, with him waiting in the wings and glaring at Dean. No such thing happened, and clearly it was a pre-planned bit. Jerry said he was going get revenge on Dean as a joke in the dialogue with each other before Dean started singing, similar to the episode where they threw and spit water at each other. Obviously it was all a planned bit, with Jerry bringing the camera men close to Dean. I do think Jerry got carried away with the hair pulling, but then again he was talking about stuff with whips and chains in their conversation leading up to that so....
Anyway I also really disliked the cracks Arthur Marx made about Jerry's career at that time, and also saying MDA was his career now. Clearly he didn't or like The Nutty Professor, which isn't hard to like. He did manage to talk to Don Maguire for the book, who was one of the people who told Jerry he could do without Dean. He didn't like Dean, and didn't think he was a good actor or much less one that could talk properly. Maguire was part of the writing mess that happened on Three Ring Circus, with cutting Dean's scenes/giving him one solo song, etc. Maguire also wanted to cut Jerry's singing number in The Delicate Delinquent, because he thought Jerry was a bad singer. Marx made a crack about Jerry's singing also that I didn't like, because he implied that his interest in singing was a sudden thing in the M&L films when it wasn't. Jerry had always been singing in the M&L act in a comedic way, and sometimes in a serious way (even then he would occasionally sing off key for comedic effect). But the point is, he was always singing in their act, and from their very first film. This was not stealing songs from Dean in any way. The only time Jerry started singing straight, was in his own films. Arthur Marx acted like he did this in the later M&L films because he decided that he was a good singer suddenly. No such thing happened. Even on Colgate Comedy Hour when Jerry supposedly cut one of Dean's songs, for time, it wasn't for anything of Jerry's that replaced it. Jerry made a mistake there, but it wasn't to give himself like a skit or song, like Arthur Marx was implying.
I just don't think Arthur Marx did enough accurate research, on some stuff. I still would've liked to have heard where he got his information on a private conversation between Dean and Jerry, if he didn't interview either of them. Also possibly the material for Colgate Comedy Hour wasn't there for him to view at that time, so he was basing his research on 20-30 yr old memories of events that can occasionally be faulty. I honestly think me and some of my fellow M&L historians could do a better job, of putting together a more accurate portrayal of Dean and Jerry's careers, because we have more available resources and articles, along with video and print interviews given by Dean and Jerry themselves.
Also Marx only seemed to have interviewed those who were on bad terms with both Dean and Jerry like Lou Perry, Don Maguire, etc. Betty Martin's stories I believe to be true, even though her and Dean weren't on good terms. Lou Perry and Don Maguire I don't trust.
anarchistemma I agree with all your previous points about Marx's interview.