Press Agents I Have Known by Groucho Marx


The New Yorker Archives – 1929

For all you Groucho Marx fans out there, a wonderful piece of New Yorker history from 1929.

And, for “You Bet Your Life” devotees,  as an added incentive only from Around the Block, “Say the Secret Word and divide a hundred dollars — it’s a common word, something you always have with you, you see every day or you can find around the house.” 

Who knew Groucho was a magazine contributor?

Oops, “Magazine,” that’s the Secret Word. I guess I was never good at playing games. So, never mind about dividing that 100 bucks!

But enjoy Groucho’s essay. It’s a treasure.


Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

5 thoughts on “Press Agents I Have Known by Groucho Marx

  1. Ted,
    “Thanks for the memories”…..I used to enjoy watching Groucho …his zany comedy was entertaining and fun to watch!
    “You Bet Your Life” I did enjoy his show! In particular, in these stressful times we sure do need opportunities for comedic relief……..things that might provide bring us together!


    1. Jay, as kids we only knew the crotchety, TV, You Bet Your Life Groucho. It wasn’t until we were older and started seeing the Marx Brothers movies, classics all, that we began to really appreciate his and the brothers’ genius. There’s a line in his essay, “G. Merks, of the Three Merks Brothers, vaudeville acrobats, climbed the Paramount flagpole last month to pay an election bet.” In the show about the Marx Brothers, Minnie’s Boys, when they’re just getting famous, they want to call themselves the “Four Marx Brothers.” Minnie, their mother, has one of the great lines in Broadway history when she says, “Whats the matter? The audience can’t count? What’s wrong with just the MARX Brothers?” And then, not from the show, but a great line as well…”Imagine how great the world would have been if it wasn’t Karl Marx, but Groucho Marx!


  2. Thanks Ted, that was fun to read. He was always a favorite of mine and my family. Hope that you have had some good latkes or are about to have them. I expect that I will be making them in Las Vegas along with some spaghetti sauce and meatballs and maybe a huge pot of chili con carne. Give Sharon my love and stay well. Hugs, Toni


    Liked by 1 person

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