335 • Minnie’s Boys

335 • Minnie’s Boys

Holed up in a comedy depôt
In fascist-held downtown Aleppo:
While Chico and Harpo
Bewitch the Gestapo,
Watch Groucho bewildering Zeppo.

Even the sharpest satire will eventually be blunted and rendered obscure by tectonic shifts in the Zeitgeist. But the Marxes’ exuberant indifference to hierarchy, dismissal of propriety, and unravelling of logic make them uniquely vibrant mentors for dissidents down the ages. Marvellously the ostensible cipher Zeppo (who died on today’s date in 1979) was, in their Vaudeville heyday, the most giftedly insidious of the four, depping on stage with seamless, imperceptible brilliance no matter which of his heterogenous siblings was indisposed or unavailable.

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