Friday, June 15, 2007

A shot of Groucho Marx, with a John Lennon chaser

“How do you tell an inferior train? Does it come from the wrong side of the tracks?”

“I imagine that this place [New York City] is like London must have been in Victorian days when Britain was at the height of its power.... The American empire is now what the British Empire used to be.”

Yup, the ol’ Marx-Lennon gag. It never goes out of style.

I’ve been into Groucho since the age of 13 or so, when Channel 20 in Washington, D.C., showed a bunch of Marx Brothers classics one week. (“Horsefeathers” was my fave.)

There’s a vast mp3 repository of episodes of Groucho’s old radio quiz show, “You Bet Your Life,” at The Internet Archive. You can download them for free.

I’m streaming an episode from March 1950 on my Vox audio stash. Click here to hear it. There are grin-inducing wordplays and ad-libs aplenty.

I also happen to be a huge Beatles fan. So I’m streaming a 26-minute British radio interview with John Lennon from 1975. Click here to listen to that. Lennon talks about being hounded by the U.S. government because he liked to hang around with radicals like and Jerry Rubin and Bobby Seale.

You can purchase a download of this interview via iTunes or eMusic. Just search for artist name “Capital Radio” and the track titled “John Lennon.”

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