News & Press

October 31, 2017

The Wall Street Journal Review

The Stage Mom Behind the Marx Brothers In ‘Four of the Three Musketeers’ Robert S. Bader shows that Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo had nothing on Minnie Marx—the booster, nag and agent who set them on their way to fame. By ETHAN MORDDEN Having a relative in the business should give you a good head start. But Uncle Al Sheanwasn’t all that prominent, and he did little to help his nephews find a place in show business while he himself was struggling. In the end, he became half of a duo-act that introduced one of the best-known catch phrases in the culture—“Positively, Mister Gallagher? Absolutely, Mister Shean!” Yet he was all the same completely overshadowed by his wild and crazy nephews: Leonard, Adolph, Julius, Milton and Herbert. Known as the Four Marx Brothers—Milton hated performing and dropped out early on—they hit the big time in the 1920s and, famous as Chico, Harpo, Groucho and Zeppo, made some of the funniest movies in Hollywood’s history, most notably everyone’s favorite, “A Night at the Opera” (1935), and the Central European military spoof “Duck Soup” (1933). How the quartet started, persevered and finally broke through to success on the highest level is the subject of Robert S. […]
October 30, 2017

From the Bookshelf Interview

Listen to an October 30th, 2017 interview with Robert S. Bader on From the Bookshelf with Gary Shapiro (KSCO, Santa Cruz, California):
August 18, 2017

The Paul Harris Show – KTRS St. Louis

The Paul Harris Show – KTRS St. Louis – August 11, 2017
May 15, 2017

Hear Robert Bader on Gilbert Gottfried Podcast

On May 15th’s episode, Gilbert and Frank talk with producer, archivist and fellow Marx Brothers fanatic Robert S. Bader about his lifelong obsession with the boys as well as his fascinating (and meticulously researched) new book, “Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers On Stage.” Also: Gummo goes to war, Harpo “courts” Amelia Earhart, Grouchocashes in on “Skidoo” and Gilbert hangs with Chico’s daughter. PLUS: Swain’s Rats & Cats! The real-life Sunshine Boys! BugsySiegel buys the farm! Dennis Hopper plays Napoleon! And the mystery of the disappearing Marx Brother! Listen Here!
February 15, 2017

Interview on WBZ Boston

Listen to Robert Bader on Boston’s WBZ, November 20th, 2016
February 7, 2017

Montreal Times Review

Montreal Times Review Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage by Robert S. Bader I have been a fan of the Marx Brothers (in its three- and four-brother incarnations -Four of the Three Musketeers) for over 40 years. I have seen all of their movies, watched countless reruns of Groucho’s TV game show “You Bet Your Life”, and on the book front, have read practically every book written by them and about them, from such memoirs as Groucho and Me and Harpo Speaks!, to oral histories like The Marx Brothers Scrapbook, to collective biographies such as Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Sometimes, Zeppo – Four of the Three Musketeers. …At least that what I thought, until I got my hands on the latest addition to the Marx Brothers canon, Robert S. Bader’s Four of the Three Musketeers. Practically every book written about the brothers always had a chief focus on the 13 movies they did as a quartet and trio between 1929 and 1949, including such classics as “Animal Crackers”, “Duck Soup” and “A Night at the Opera”. A lesser portion of those books (starting with the first published collective biography by Kyle Crichton in 1950) mentioned the […]
February 2, 2017

The Carson Podcast with Dick Cavett

The Carson Podcast (with Dick Cavett) January 5, 2017 In celebration of the 100th episode Dick Cavett joins Mark and co-host Dan Pasternack. Cavett discusses Johnny Carson, Jack Paar, Groucho Marx, Woody Allen, Jonathan Winters, Mae West, Marlon Brando, and Muhammad Ali. Listen to a clip below: You can listen to the whole show here: http://carsonpodcast.com/dick-cavett-2/
February 2, 2017

Nick Digilio Show – WGN

Nick Digilio Show – WGN – February 1, 2017 Years before they became movie stars the Marx brothers honed their crafts at vaudeville theaters including a few here in Illinois. Learn more when Nick Digilio visits with Robert S. Bader, author of “Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage.”
February 2, 2017

By the Book with Matthew Worley – KPFK

By the Book with Matthew Worley – KPFK – December 24, 2016
January 11, 2017

Interview – FilmWeek

Magnum Opus on Marx Brothers illustrates their influence on modern-day comedy A new tome on the Marx brothers offers a comprehensive history of the comedy legends. “Four of the Three Musketeers” by Marx devotee Robert S. Bader traces the origins back to Groucho’s debut in 1905, through their vaudeville years, to their final live performances of scenes from “A Night in Casablanca” in 1945. Film critic Leonard Maltin says of the book, “I have read virtually every book ever published about the Marx brothers. I have even written about them myself. Robert Bader’s book is a revelation.” On AirTalk, Larry Mantle and Robert Bader will look at what shaped the Marx brothers and, in turn, how they shaped comic performances and late-night television.
January 4, 2017

ABC News Interview (Video)

Interview with Author Robert Bader – ABC World News Now (12-30-16)(CLICK TO WATCH)
January 4, 2017

CultureCrash Interview

On Stage with the Marx Bros December 16, 2016 by Scott Timberg ONE of the glories of American culture is the cinematic ensemble known as the Marx Brothers. But before Chico, Zeppo, Harpo, and Groucho became anarchic movie stars in film like “A Day at the Races” and “Duck Soup,” they were an anarchic vaudeville troupe that traveled the nation. And they performed and socialized with my grandfather, a Tin Pan Alley songwriter, and his siblings, though I have never quite been clear on the details.I corrsponded with Robert S. Bader, the author of a new book, Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage, on Northwestern University Press. I’ll try to fill this in a bit as I get time. The MarxBros are best known for movies like Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera. What made you want to look into the lesser-known chapter of their vaudeville years?  I discovered the Marx Brothers when I was around eight years old, and a few years later when I was starting to learn more about them it occurred to me that they were not exactly kids when they made their first movies. I was just curious about […]
January 4, 2017

Crescent City Jewish News Review

New Marx Brothers book is definitive By ALAN SMASON, Special to the CCJN Robert Bader grew up in New York City, where there were constant reminders of the Marx Brothers of stage and screen fame. He often caught their features on the small TV screen inside his home. Their zany and over-the-top comedies for Paramount Pictures proved to be the ones he most enjoyed and he would often cajole his favorite uncle into taking him to local revival movie houses, where Groucho, Harpo, Chico and straight man Zeppo would turn the real into the surreal and make the fiction of film a hilarious reality. He would squeal with glee inside the darkened theaters as the four brothers romped from the ridiculous to the outlandish. By the time he was 12 years old, Bader had seen all but one of the Marx Brothers films including the more formulaic ones released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer like “A Night at the Opera” and “A Day at the Races.” His love for the Marx Brothers in all their permutations – from the Four Nightingales to the Six Mascots (featuring their famous stage mother and manager Minnie Marx) to the Four Marx Brothers and on to the […]
January 4, 2017

PLAYBILL

11 Must-Read Theatre Books of 2016 7. Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage by Robert S. Bader A detailed history that brings to light the part of the Marx Brothers’ career we know the least about: the hardscrabble early years honing their act in front of live audiences in vaudeville and on Broadway, and how they developed their well-known characters and routines before their arrival in Hollywood. The book covers their professional journey from Groucho’s debut in 1905 to their final live performances of scenes from A Night in Casablanca in 1945. Read the Original Article at Playbill.com
December 9, 2016

Den of Geek Interview

The Marx Brothers Early Career Explored in Fascinating New Book Attention Comedy historians: I know you’re out there, binge-watching season 3 of Seinfeld for the umpteenth time, studying Lenny Bruce Without Tears for clues to the mysteries of life, or scouring YouTube for the earliest Richard Pryor videos you can find. Maybe you are obsessed with that one out-take from M*A*S*H or can’t get two of George Carlin’s seven words you can’t say on TV out of your head. You know which ones, the assault of the letter K. None of this would have been possible without the Marx brothers and this book details exactly how four or five brothers from the Upper East Side changed comedy. See related The Case for Duck Soup and the Greatest Monologue in Movie History Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage by Robert S. Bader is the first comprehensive history of the Marx Brothers’ “hardscrabble early years honing their act in front of live audiences,” according to a press release. “From Groucho’s debut in 1905 to their final live performances of scenes from A Night in Casablanca in 1945, the brothers’ stage career shows how their characters and routines evolved […]
December 9, 2016

A Book and a Chat with Barry

Listen to Robert Bader on “A Book and a Chat with Barry” from November 29, 2016.
December 4, 2016

Best Films Books Of 2016

Best Films Books Of 2016 One of the finest books of the year is Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage (Northwestern University Press) by Robert S. Bader, a recognized authority on the famed band of brothers. Thoroughly researched and highly readable, this 500+ page book tells the story of the foursome’s hardscrabble early years honing their act in front of live audiences. Beginning with Groucho’s debut in 1905, Bader traces the origins of the characters and situations that would later come to be beloved by film goers around the world. In doing so, Bader vividly sketches the world of 1920’s vaudeville as the comedy act was on the brink of fame.  There have been many books on the Marx Brothers. Bader’s book is one of the best. As Dick Cavett said, “Who would have dreamed that there could be much, much more to learn in still another book about the Marx Brothers? Not I. And yet, Robert Bader—focusing on the under-researched vaudeville days of the hilarious siblings—has gone where no man went before, discovering a treasure trove of Marxiana to delight the hearts and minds of those of us who can never get enough.” Read the Original Article […]
November 22, 2016

Interview – America Weekend

Listen to Robert Bader on America Weekend, November 20th, 2016
October 27, 2016

Interview – KABC’s McIntyre in the Morning

Listen to Robert Bader on KABC’s McIntyre in the Morning, October 26, 2016
October 24, 2016

American Cinematheque Interview

I Am a Devout Marxist by Susan King Before you think I’m going into a political diatribe, it’s not Karl Marx that I love, but Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo Marx.  It took a while to warm up to them, but once I became addicted to repeats of Groucho’s TV game show, You Bet Your Life, when I was I college I was hooked on their wild and anarchic comedy.   I even saw Groucho in person just about six months before he died in 1977 at the play The Royal Family of Broadway at the then-Huntington Hartford, and over the years I’ve had the opportunity to interview Groucho’s late son Arthur, his daughter Miriam and Harpo’s son, Bill Marx. Just this week alone, I got a cool new Marx Brothers T-shirt and the new Blu-ray restoration of The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection, which features restored versions of their best movies produced by Paramount: The Cocoanuts, (1929) Animal Crackers, (1930) – which features newly discovered footage that was cut from the film in 1936 – Monkey Business, (1931) Horse Feathers (1932) and Duck Soup (1933).   The American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood is screening the restored Animal Crackers […]
October 24, 2016

Leonard Maltin Review

It’s a bit awkward reviewing projects in which I am involved. I’ve always made a practice of stating it up front, even though in most cases I’m only a contributor and not responsible for the documentary, book, or DVD as a whole. That doesn’t mean I can hide or ignore my enthusiasm for some of these endeavors, and that’s true of these new releases. I am quoted in the promotion of Robert S. Bader’s massive new tome Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers On Stage (Northwestern University Press). Robert is a friend who has been obsessively pursuing this project for years, documenting little-known (and often unknown) facts about the brothers’ early years in vaudeville and eventual move to Broadway. It’s amazing to ponder how long they worked together before they ever set foot in front of a camera. I call Robert’s book “a revelation” because that’s exactly what it is. One of the services he has rendered for posterity is debunking many fanciful but usually fictitious stories that Groucho, Harpo and Chico spun about themselves for years. He also provides eye-popping illustrations I’ve never seen before. Visit his website HERE   I am happy to be an interviewee […]
October 24, 2016

Listen to Robert Bader on the Stuph File Podcast

Listen to Robert Bader talk to Peter Anthony Holder on the Stuph File Podcast episode #0375.
October 22, 2016

Radio Interview with Robert Bader

Listen to Robert Bader on The Jim Craine Show, October 15, 2016. WOND – News Talk 1400 AM South Jersey’s News Talk Leader
October 14, 2016

Los Angeles Times

A new box set offers a fresh look at some of the Marx Brothers comedy classics By: Donald Liebenson The Marx Brothers are having a moment — again. Some of the funniest films of the legendary comic family have been restored to their original glory in a new Universal Studios Blue-ray box set “The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection,” which is being released this month. It features the complete version of “Animal Crackers” — including racy scenes and suggestive dialogue that had been cut by censors  — and four of the brothers’ great Paramount comedies from the 1920s and ’30s,  “The Cocoanuts,” “Monkey Business,” “Horse Feathers” and “Duck Soup.” “Animal Crackers” is the unearthed gem. A complete print of the film found in the archives of the British Film Institute yields bits of monkey business long thought lost, including this digression in the classic Groucho-Zeppo “Take a letter” exchange: Groucho: Dear Elsie. No, never mind Elsie. Zeppo: Do you want me to scratch Elsie? Groucho: Well, if you enjoy that sort of thing, it’s quite alright with me. “Horse Feathers” too has benefited from the aural and visual upgrade, though it still contains the jarring jump cuts in the frantic scene that takes place in the apartment of […]
September 29, 2016

The Projection Booth Podcast

The Projection Booth Podcast Episode 290: Duck Soup (1933) Special Guest: Robert S. Bader, Robert Weide, Joseph Adamson Guest Co-Host: Rob St. Mary, Jon Cross Directed by Leo McCarey, Duck Soup (1933) was the last of the four Marx Brothers’ run at Paramount. A send-up of politics and warmongering, Duck Soup is an anarchic collection of sight gags, wordplay, and surrealism in which Groucho Marx plays Rufus T. Firefly, the man who will save Freedonia from disaster, despite the efforts of Chicolini (Chico Marx) and Pinky (Harpo Marx), two Sylvanian spies. Guest this week include Robert S. Bader (author of Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage), Robert Weide (producer of Marx Brothers in a Nutshell) and Joseph Adamson (author of Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Sometimes Zeppo: A History of the Marx Brothers and a Satire on the Rest of the World). Rob St. Mary and Jon Cross join Mike to discuss Duck Soup and the Marx Brothers. Download Episode Now: Or, listen to the clip from the episode here: Read the original post here
September 29, 2016

Interview with Robert S. Bader, Editor of Groucho Marx and Other Short Stories and Tall Tales

Interview with Robert S. Bader, Editor of Groucho Marx and Other Short Stories and Tall Tales have had the pleasure of interviewing Robert S. Bader, the editor of the book Groucho Marx and Other Short Stories and Tall Tales (read my review of the book here). He shared a lot of wonderful insights on Groucho Marx’s writing career. Enjoy! 1) How did you become interested in Groucho Marx? The Marx Brothers were going through a bit of a revival when I was growing up, so in the late 1960s and early 1970s I discovered them on television. I was an inquisitive kid and after seeing a couple of the films I checked out everything I could find on them in the local library and was surprised to learn that Groucho had written several books. So I became interested in him as a writer and a performer almost simultaneously. And his writing was as enjoyable to me as everything else he did from the beginning. 2) What would you like people to know about Groucho’s writing career? Groucho was mostly self-educated and sought acceptance from writers more than film critics. Writing was very important to him. He wasn’t just a movie […]
September 28, 2016

‘Marx Brothers on Television’ shows wide range

‘Marx Brothers on Television’ shows wide range Classic Hollywood ‘Marx Brothers on Television’ shows wide range By SUSAN KING AUGUST 9, 2014 When the Marx Brothers made their final film comedy, “Love Happy” in 1949, they found a new outlet for their outrageously funny shenanigans on the new medium of television. “We have game shows, sports shows, variety shows, talk shows and sitcoms,” said DVD producer Robert S. Bader, who also produced the DVD sets of “You Bet Your Life.” There’s a great 1955 episode of “The Jack Benny Show” in which Benny tries to win money on “You Bet Your Life”; Harpo’s sweetly comedic final performance in the long-forgotten 1962 ABC sitcom “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”; the only surviving episode of Chico’s 1950-51 ABC comedy series “The College Bowl”; Marx Brothers home movies, which feature the earliest known footage of Groucho and Harpo briefly in the nude; a “You Bet Your Life” stag reel that’s quite “blue”; and the only surviving episode of “Groucho,” a short-lived 1965 British version of “You Bet Your Life. Perhaps the most fascinating piece in the set is actually a drama — “A Silent Panic,” a 1960 episode of “The DuPont Show with […]
October 2, 2013

From the Bookshelf Interview

Listen to a September 1, 2013 interview about the book with Robert S. Bader on From the Bookshelf with Gary Shapiro (KUSP, Santa Cruz, California):
September 28, 2012

Groucho Lives! (In Two Places)

Opinionator Groucho Lives! (In Two Places) By DICK CAVETT MARCH 30, 2012 For the Groucho Marx fans of this column who continue to plead for more, the information contained herein, if new to you, might just make your day. There are two very different books out, both of which are musts to grace the bookshelves of the Groucho addict: Robert Bader’s “Groucho Marx and Other Short Stories and Tall Tales: Selected Writings of Groucho Marx” and Steve Stoliar’s “Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House.” Those who may have read these books when they first appeared need not feel left out. Both are updated and expanded editions. Both contain abundant new stuff.   Woody Allen has said that of the greats, Groucho had the richest number of gifts. He could sing, dance and act, and beyond those fairly common gifts, when you add the distinctive voice, faultless instinct for wording, genius wit, hilarious physical movement, rich supply of expressions and physical “takes” — and the list goes on — it arguably adds up to the most supremely gifted comedian of our time. And there’s one thing more. He could write. A born scribe. And many a Groucho fan is unaware […]
September 25, 2004

NPR Interview with Robert Bader

Listen to Robert Bader discuss “You Bet Your Life” on NPR in 2004.