The Marx Brothers
Radio shows and guest appearances

(using Google)

Most information in this list comes from Wayne Boenig. He has also got many radio shows on tape. Email him if you are interested in obtaining copies. Thanks also to Stephan Herschung.
Excerpts of some programs can also be found on regular LPs or CDs. Click here to see what is available.

"During the mid-1930's, radio began to displace movies as the most popular entertainment medium. After all, it was free, it didn't require going out, and a much broader array of show formats was available, most of which did not require the time commitment of the audience that movies required. This boom in popularity saw a scramble to secure available talent for radio shows, and big-name Hollywood movie personalities were a prime target. As luck would have it, the Marx Brothers were on the downhill side of their cinematic careers and were looking to branch out into other areas. Groucho especially sought out radio, which gave him opportunity to exercise his natural wit. Chico pursued a career as a band leader, which landed him occasional air time, as the broadcasting of big band music was a popular use of the airwaves. For obvious reasons, Harpo was at a handicap in this medium, but still found an occasional guest spot. I have attempted here to document several radio appearances by each of the three brothers; however, as record keeping was not viewed as a necessity in this field back then, there is no attempt to present this as a complete list. Particularly difficult to trace to a specific date are Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) broadcasts* of Command Performance, G.I. Journal, and Mail Call broadcasts, which were often recorded on disc only for distribution to military bases, and whose broadcast dates and times varied at each locale." (Wayne Boenig)
* many of the dates of these shows come from "Command Performance, USA! A Discography" by Harry Mackenzie

In this list you find:

Marx Brothers shows or one of the Marx Brothers as host

[1932]  [1933]  [1934]  [1935]  [1940s]  [1943]  [1944]  [1945]  [1946]  [1947]  [1952] 


[Top of list]

28 Nov 1932 - Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel
NBC, 7:30 pm, 30 min
Groucho Marx, Chico Marx.
Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel was the Monday program of the 'Five Star Theater' sponsored by The Standard Oil companies. Groucho was the malpractising lawyer "Waldorf T. Flywheel" and Chico was "Emmanuel Ravelli" his bungling assistant. Harpo did not appear on the show for obvious reasons (or maybe we just cannot hear him), and they also did not need a straight man like Zeppo. The show ran for 26 episodes from November 28, 1932 until May 22, 1933. Fifteen routines from 'Flywheel' were incoporated into 'Duck Soup' which was in preparation at that time. But also some routines from the earlier films are used. This show was first named 'Beagle, Shyster, and Beagle' but it was renamed with the fourth episode because a laywer named Beagle had complained.

For information about the episodes click here.

Visit the "Sounds" page to listen to extracts from this show