By 1910 vaudeville was full of schoolroom acts. It was natural for a fledgling comedy team like the Marx Brothers to follow a popular trend and led by Groucho they made their own adaption. This was their first show in which comedy and not music was the key ingredient and very soon the Marx Brothers became popular vaudeville comedians. Like virtually everything else in vaudeville, Fun In Hi Skule was just as much "Fun with Ethnic Stereotypes". Groucho portrayed a "Dutch" or German (Deutsch)-accented comic, the stick-carrying Herr Teacher, in frock coat and a scratch wig simulating baldness. He sat at a desk towards the rear of the stage. Either side were doors marked "Boiz" and "Goils". The "Boiz" included Gummo as "Izzy", the Hebrew Boy, and Harpo as "Patsy Brannigan", an Irish-cum-rural type that was a regular character in vaudeville shows. The type was based on a real-life Irish comic of that name active in the 1890s.
Read more about Fun In Hi Skule at Mikael Uhlin's Marxology
|Peasie Weasie |
Music and lyrics by: Charlie Van
|Pease Weasie was the exclusive finale song of Fun In Hi Skule/ Mr Green's Reception. According to Groucho it was written by Charlie Van, half of the Charlie and Fannie Van vaudeville team. The Marxes bought it for $ 27 and it was sung at Marxian family gatherings well into the 1960s. Groucho revived the song for a 1959 TV appearance with Dinah Shore (also included in one of the TV documentaries). Another recording of Groucho performing a verse is also available in a TV documentary and two verses - whether they're accurate or not - are featured in Kyle Crichton's biography The Marx Brothers. Two more verses appear in Jo Adamson's book Groucho, Harpo, Chico and sometimes Zeppo and one of those is also in Simon Louvish' Monkey Business.|