Sunday, August 20, 2017

My Bare Lady

Miss Betty is more than eye candy
Her mettle's top drawer, she's just dandy
But what she does best
Is strut while half-dressed
And get the boys torrid and randy. 

Betty Boop cycles through Red Hot Mamma (1934). Title by ladies man Donald B. Benson.

Friday, August 18, 2017


He's weary, can't open an eye
Stand near him, you hope he'll pass by
In repose he's a lech
While dozing he'll stretch  
From the rear he will grope on the fly.

Harpo is half-asleep and all hands in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Defendant Rests

Declared a big-name legal scholar:
"Is Harpo fair game for a collar?
By law he's a creep
But ah, he's asleep.
His lullaby! Blame it on Mahler!"

Donald B. Benson

Harpo manhandles the help in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Flunky's Paw

Harp glissandos imparted dexterity
Now his hands swiftly dart with celerity
He gets octopoid quickly
You'll be shocked! Are you tickly?
'Cause this randy upstart has temerity!

David Cairns

Harpo Marx is all over the ladies in Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). Harpo plays Tomasso, "dresser" of opera singer Rodolfo Lassparri.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

All Hands On Deckhands

A steamship's small cabin, congested
Its teeming inhabitants nested
But asleep where he stands
Is a creep who's all hands
So some females are grabbed as he's rested.

Surly Hack and David Cairns

A somnambulant Harpo Marx mauls the maids in Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Wolf at the Store

Don't call on this flop, though he's famous
Walk tall when you shop for a shamus
Give the go-by to Flywheel
He's nobody's i-deal
If you fall for his slop, well, don't blame us!

David Cairns

Harpo photobombs Groucho and Margaret Dumont in a still from The Big Store (Charles Reisner;1941). Groucho plays private eye Wolf J. Flywheel.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

She Boops to Conquer

Though our Boop girl is monochromatic
She's a trouper, hand-drawn, charismatic
When the images flicker
Our limbs tremble quicker
She's so super, we've gone quite ecstatic.

David Cairns

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Skinny on Aunt Minnie

In this scene they keep jamming 'em in
Like sardines one might cram in a tin
And speaking of feeds
What this cheek-to-jowl needs:
Lean Cuisine, so the famished stay thin.

A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

In Like Fins

As stowaways barreled like herring
Each bro had a berth without sharing.
But this time, with means,
They're packed like sardines.
It's fishy how foully they're faring.

Donald B. Benson

Buster Keaton contributed to the visual comedy of the stateroom scene in the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). The Marxes were "stowaways barreled like herring" in Monkey Business (1931).

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Contents Under Pressure

Three Marxes, a tenor, and then
A girl who does nails, plus some men
To look at the plumbing --
Now waiters are coming
An aunt-hunter? Time to say when.

Donald B. Benson

The Marx Brothers fill the bill in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Shove Boat

A cruise should be restful and quiet
A snooze-fest, not overfilled riot
So make sure your trunks
Aren't quaking with punks
Who choose hard boiled eggs for their diet.

James Finn Garner

The Marx Brothers run a tight ship in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). Jim Garner is still pitching Bardball, the site dedicated to reviving the art of baseball doggerel.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bum Steerage

Didn't rate room where four could unpack.
In a stateroom, like cordwood they stack.
But before they admit
Many more than will fit
Tempting fate, they all order a snack.

Surly Hack and Donald B. Benson

The Marx Brothers crowd into A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Betty Behind the Ears

Here's the awesome and super Ms Boop
Who would often say "Boop-Oop-A-Doop"
As a dog she debuted
Quite a slog for her dude
Who, by law had to scoop up her poop.

Norm Knott

Betty Boop began life as a cartoon dog, an anthropomorphic French poodle with floppy ears, ears which over time evolved into hoop earrings as Betty became fully human. Image: Betty with Bimbo, who remained a dog, in Bimbo's Initiation (Dave Fleischer; 1931).

Friday, August 4, 2017

No Intel Inside

With bodies "donated" we screwed
Playing God, we created a...dude
But without a sound mind
It's a lout, unrefined
A big clod in a hateful bad mood.

Fitz (Dwight Frye) looks down as Doctor Waldman (Edward Van Sloan) and Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) subdue the Monster (Boris Karloff) in Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931). Title by LimerWrecks insider Donald B. Benson.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Apocalypse Dowager


She's a classy, respectable lady
He's a sassy detective, and shady   
But this gumshoe and dame 
Can summon a flame
To surpass that of Mrs. O'Grady.

Margaret Dumont and Groucho Marx flirt in The Big Store (Charles Reisner;1941). Groucho plays private eye Wolf J. Flywheel.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Now, Dowager

She'd act matronly, playing a part 
But the haters won't say she was smart
Far from clueless old bag
Maggie knew from a gag
Playing "straight" for this lady was art.

Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont in At The Circus (Edward Buzzell; 1939). In a 1940 interview, Dumont said, "Scriptwriters build up to a laugh, but they don't allow any pause for it. That's where I come in. I ad lib—it doesn't matter what I say—just to kill a few seconds so you can enjoy the gag. I have to sense when the big laughs will come and fill in, or the audience will drown out the next gag with its own laughter. ... I'm not a stooge, I'm a straight lady. There's an art to playing straight. You must build up your man, but never top him, never steal the laughs from him." --Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Par For the Coarse

This berserk and combative "front-stabber" 
Began work for the chief pussy grabber
But the crude Scaramucci
Went and screwed his own poochie
When the jerk was removed for lewd jabber.

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci got the kiss-off after just 10 days on the job.

Temple of Dumont

We all worship at Margaret's feet
Feel nourished, not starved but replete
This lady prestigious
Has made us religious
With a flourish her heart we entreat.

David Cairns

Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont in At The Circus (Edward Buzzell; 1939). Dumont was comic foil to the Marx Brothers in seven of their films. Groucho called her "practically the fifth Marx brother."

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fiancé Footwork


This spoofster's hips thrust in a groove
Aloof bluebloods just don't approve
But Teasdale's a freak
Her knees go all weak
When Rufus starts busting a move.

Vera Marcal (Raquel Torres) and Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) are amused by the wacky dance steps of Rufus T. Rirefly (Groucho Marx) in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933). Title by off-the-hoofer David Cairns.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mind over Mattress

Our thoughts are a little like wishes
This couple both wish for hot dishes
If she only knew
What he had on view,
He'd soon be asleep with the fishes.

Can anyone help us identify these characters or the cartoon?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Ham on Frye

Overacting is Frye's bread and butter
With bent back, rolling eyes, constant mutter
Playing warped, mad or freaky
Stealing corpses, all sneaky
A slack-jawed, unwise little nutter.

David Cairns

Fritz (Dwight Frye) goes brain-hunting in Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931). Dwight Frye-Days is a weekly feature here at LimerWrecks.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Doctor is Incensed

This "doctor" can't get to first base
One knock and forget an embrace
For soon it's a crowd
Both loony and loud
Two blockheads now pet in his place.

Chico and Harpo Marx interfere with Groucho's tryst with Esther Muir in A Day at the Races (Sam Wood; 1937). Groucho playes Hugo Z. Hackenbush, a veterinarian posing as a doctor.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Raise the Rufus

On this wild man this broad took a chance
Even smiled at his bawdy romance
What gets Teasdale excited,
Has her pleased and delighted?
She's beguiled by his vaudeville style dance!

Rufus T. Rirefly (Groucho Marx) entertains Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) and Vera Marcal (Raquel Torres) in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Harpe Diem

On strings so divinely he'll float
No zingers, one-liners to quote
Though simple, no child
He's impish and wild!
The things you will find in his coat!

Harpo plucks the strings in Monkey Business (Norman McLeod; 1931).

Monday, July 24, 2017

Atsa Entertainment

His bit's hitting notes with a "gun"
His wit he devotes to the pun
With accent unreal
He attacks them with zeal
Faux Italy's quotable son.

Chico Marx, jauntily playing piano in Monkey Business (Norman Z. McLeod; 1931).

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Spin-ach Cycle

On Popeye's big chin baddies beat
But he'll stop 'em, beginning tout suite
He'll grow buff, and pack power
From this stuff he'll devour
Nothing tops the canned spinach he'll eat.

Popeye downs his spinach in Beware of Barnacle Bill (Dave Fleischer; 1935).

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.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Sermon on Dumont

Mrs. Teasdale believes he's the best
The bee's knees -- she's deceived, it's a jest
Firefly cannot be trusted
This man should be busted
For treason, the devious pest.

David Cairns

In Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933), Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) insists that Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) lead the nation of Freedonia.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

State of Head

They trumpet Freedonia's ruler
He's jumped-up, a phony, a fooler
He's jeering and tainted
And appears to be painted
They should dump him alone in the cooler.

David Cairns

Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) arrives at his gala reception in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Eyes Wide Nut

Harpo's eyes, when a chick is in sight,
Open wide with a wicked delight
And then seeing his leer
The poor female knows fear
No surprise that they quickly take flight.

Harpo Marx gives Verna Hillie the eye in Duck Soup (Leo McCarey; 1933).

Monday, July 3, 2017

There's No Business Like Stow Business

This motley crew's tossed on a ship
They're not at a loss for a quip
No esprit d'escalier
They flee as Chevalier
And the plot gets impossibly flip.

David Cairns

The four Marx Brothers are stowaways in Monkey Business (Norman McLeod; 1931). From Wikipedia: "The most famous sequence from this film involves the four brothers attempting to get off the ship using a passport stolen from famous singer (and fellow Paramount star) Maurice Chevalier."

Monday, June 26, 2017

We're on vacation!

Driving to the coast to sit on a beach for a week. What could possibly go wrong? We'll see you when we get back--if we get back.

Barbara Stanwyck and Ralph Meeker in Jeopardy (John Sturges, 1953); Ann Savage and Tom Neal in Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer; 1945).