NEW YORK — Fifty years ago Friday, the late Groucho Marx played Carnegie Hall, capping a magnificent career of hit movies, radio and TV shows, and stage appearances.
Actor Frank Ferrante told CBS2’s Dave Carlin how he’s making sure new generations get to know the great Groucho.
Groucho Marx appears to have taken over CIVILIAN Hotel in the Theater District.
Ferrante takes just a minute or two to become the legendary comedian, writer and star of vaudeville, film, radio and television.
Marx, who was was born in 1890 and died in 1977, had charisma, wit and a lovable “grouchiness” that made him a superstar of Hollywood’s Golden Age and beyond.
For three and a half decades now, Ferrante has been transforming into Marx for a show full of joking, singing and improv that he’s taken to 500 cities worldwide. It’s now a new film titled “Frank Ferrante’s Groucho.”
“I fell in love with him as a kid,” Ferrante said. “He gave me confidence. He’s brave.”
“Why is Groucho Marx still so vital and important right now?” Carlin asked.
“He matters because he’s a truth teller. He calls it like he sees it,” Ferrante said. “There is a brashness to Groucho that I love that is very New York.”
“What is it about New York and Groucho?” Carlin asked.
“Groucho Marx was born in New York City. He was raised in New York City. He came from a poor family,” Ferrante said. “He never made it past the sixth grade, and he was self-educated.”
This is the 50th anniversary of a career milestone for Marx.
It was May 6, 1972, when an 81-year-old Groucho Marx played to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall.
But there’s no checking out for Groucho. His talent endures through his art and artful recreations from super fans like Ferrante.