Groucho vs God

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One of our most recent articles is Saul Austerlitz’s fine take on the Marx Brothers, in which he traces their career from their humble immigrant beginnings to the meteoric rise of Duck Soup and their subsequent decline as comedic foils for boring traditional relationship-movie couples like Allan Jones and Kitty Carlisle.

you bet your lifeWhile fact-checking the article, I found this amazing transcript of the time God was on Groucho’s legendary TV show “You Bet Your Life.” In fact, the most remarkable parts of it aren’t even the Almighty’s cameo; it’s just Groucho’s punchy comebacks, razor wit, and lightning-fast command of the English language. To wit:

GROUCHO: I’ll get back to you in a moment, but first, let’s meet your partner here… is it… God? God what?

GOD: It’s just God.

GROUCHO: What kind of a name is that?

GOD: It is a man-made name.

GROUCHO: Because my name is really Julius, but no one calls me that. I don’t want to tell you what they do call me, but they certainly don’t call me Julius.

GOD: I go by many names.

GROUCHO: Is that so? Well, when you get your water bill, whose name is on it?

GOD: Some call me Jehovah, some call me Jesus, some call me Mohammed, some call me Krishna, some call me Vishnu, some call me–

GROUCHO: And I vish you’d stop. Now, tell me God, what do you do for a living? Do you have an occupation — besides having enough names to start your own law firm?

Posted on October 20, 2008

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