Friday, July 21, 2017

Do You Want Flies With That?

Live spiders and flies, he demands
He eyes one, and sighs when it lands
No ifs, ands, or buts,
Dwight Iliff is nuts
Surprising these guys with jazz hands!

Dwight Frye-Days celebrates actor Dwight Iliff Frye. Here he is (as Renfield) with Charles K. Gerrard and Edward Van Sloan, in Dracula (Tod Browning; 1931). Title by Donald B. Benson, lord of the open flies.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bride Sharing

We pause at these matches risqué
Drop jaws at attachments four-way
No honeymoon's sweeter
(How fun! A three-seater!)
But the law's gonna catch them someday.

Thelma Todd, Chico and Groucho Marx in Horse Feathers (Norman Z. McLeod; 1932). Title by Donald B.Benson, always a bridesmaid.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ladies Man-iac

Some people find Harpo endearing
They leap to their feet and start cheering
He's sweet and angelic
Not some heated old relic
A creep who at starlets keeps leering.

Harpo Marx is the center of attention in this still from The Cocoanuts (Robert Florey, Joseph Santley;1929).

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

He and Shenanigans


Each son has been taught since a lad
That fun, though it's naughty, ain't "bad"
If you fool with a tart
After school, play it smart
Or one day a snot calls you "Dad".

Surly Hack and Donald B. Benson

David Landau, Thelma Todd, and the Marx Brothers in Horse Feathers (Norman Z. McLeod; 1932).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Saddle Score

And never would censors endorse
Endeavors intended as coarse
No couples abed
Sans nuptials, unwed
How clever this then, with a horse!

Harpo Marx beds down with his steed in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Violent Greens

When his muscles pop out like balloons
Popeye busts all those loutish great goons
All this winning is due
To the spinach he'll chew
It's more trusty than sprouts, peas or prunes.

David Cairns

Popeye pumps up in Beware of Barnacle Bill (Dave Fleischer; 1935).

Friday, July 14, 2017

Meatless Frye-Day

Three dummies, one's merely a relic
All keep mum, one looks queerly angelic        
One man's back has a crook
One hangs slack from a hook
So in sum, they are weird, psychedelic.

David Cairns

Dwight Frye-Days meets the Marx Brothers: Frye and Harpo in Frankenstein (1931) and Horse Feathers (1932). Title by meaty Donald. B. Benson.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Friendly Firefly

Bullets struck! The gun's rat-a-ta-tat!
What a ruckus! This thunderous gat!
Firefly's friendly fire's fraught
It's his men that he's shot
Here's five bucks, keep it under your hat.

David Cairns

Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) shoots his own soldiers and--at least momentarily--attempts to pay to cover it up: Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933). Firefly slips the bribe to his assistant, Bob Roland (Zeppo Marx).

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ruthless T. Firefly

When his generals' course proves too tame,
At the enemy's forces he'll aim
It's brutal, but, oops!
He shoots his own troops
Oh, the men and the horses he'll maim.

In one of the edgiest moments of Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933),.Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx), the president of Freedonia, mows down his own soldiers.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The War to Send Up All Wars

Why the deuce are they going to war?
What excuse? Who can know just what for?
Who needs rhyme or a reason
With high crimes and high treason
Plus, a truce is a low-ratings bore.

The four Marx Brothers whip up patriotic war fervor in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).

Monday, July 10, 2017

Duck Soup to Nuts

On blowhards, pretension, and pomp 
These lower class menaces stomp
As their antics provoke
Those who can't take a joke
It's the Bros most commendable romp.

Freedonia's going to war! The Brothers Marx send up patriotic fervor in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Oyl Crisis

That mean bully Bluto, his foil,
Bugs lean beanpole beauty, his goil   
But chopped and canned veg
Gives Popeye an edge
And greens save that cutie Miss Oyl!

Popeye and Bluto square off in a frame from Bridge Ahoy! (Dave Fleischer, Seymour Kneitel; 1936).

Friday, July 7, 2017

Spine Chiller & Rib Tickler

The nearness of skeletons bony
Strikes fear in Frye's hell-raising crony
For the mute on the right
the acute case of fright
Is clearly just deli baloney.

Dwight Frye-Days meets the Marx Brothers: Frye and Harpo attend anatomy class in Frankenstein (1931) and Horse Feathers (1932). Title by ampersandy Donald B. Benson.