Groucho Marx was a pen pal of T.S. Elliot
..Enter Groucho, whose wit was as uniquely Jewish as it was universally comic. Where Eliot was the famous defender of tradition, order and civilised taste, the crux of Groucho’s humour was flouting tradition, fomenting chaos and outraging taste. “I have had a perfectly wonderful evening,” he once said to a host, “but this wasn’t it.” And: “I remember the first time I had sex—I kept the receipt.” And: “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” As for Groucho’s attitude toward Eliot’s exaltation of art and knowledge, he had this to say: “Well, Art is Art, isn’t it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.” What Eliot considered “the waste land” of modern life—the deracination, impudence and profane materialism—was mother’s milk to Groucho.
And a fan/friend of rock performer, Alice Cooper.
They met while dueting on “Lidia the Tattooed Lady” at a Frank Sinatra birthday party.
They became friends while living in Beverly Hills. Groucho had insomnia and would call Coop at 1 a.m. to hang out.
“He had a chair next to his bed with a six pack of Budweiser, and we would sit and watch old movies. And then pretty soon, after about two movies were over, I’d look over and he’d be in his beret and his cigar and he’d finally go to sleep. I’d put out his cigar, turn out the lights and go home. And the next night, one o’clock in the morning: ‘Hey coop, can’t sleep, come on over.’”
Groucho took his friends to Coop’s concert, from George Burns to Jack Benny and Mae West. Ballet dancers in Coop’s show, performing as skeletons, would look over and see Fred Astaire on the side of the stage.
None of them needed earplugs.
“In fact,” Cooper says, “George Burns would say, ‘Guillotine – I remember 1923, Gracie and I were working in Toledo. The great Mahagony did an act like that, except pigeons would come out.’
“There was nothing I was doing on stage they hadn’t seen before, except it was in rock and roll form.”
Those Hollywood comedians got Alice made into a Friar. He’d go to their roasts.
“It was a bizarre time in my life,” he says. “Here I was the weirdest freak in Hollywood. I was this Alice Cooper monster. Every parent hated me. And all the comedians said, ‘He’s a friar, he’s one of us.’”