Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel

Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel

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Author/Contributor(s): Barson, Michael
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Date: 10/22/1988
Binding: Paperback
Condition: USED – Very good. An unmarked copy with tight binding and some moderate shelf wear.

Why is Groucho Marx lecturing at a swank ladies’ club—in his nightshirt? Are those real thugs on the set of this gangster movie? Who kidnapped Chico? And odes anybody care? Will Big Boss Plunkett get ten years in Leavenworth or eleven years Twelveworth? Or five-and-ten in Woolworth?

The answer to these and other questions can be found in Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, the hilarious comedy show broadcast by NBC Radio in 1932-33 as part of its newly launched Five Star Theatre series. The first radio program to feature the Marx Brothers, Flywheel starred Groucho as wisecracking attorney Waldorf T. Flywheel and Chico as his ne’er-do-well assistant Emmanuel Ravelli.

Since these were the days before radio shows were regularly recorded, Flywheel’s crazy courtroom shenanigans and other classic routines were presumed lost once the program stopped broadcasting. But now, the publication of the original episode transcripts (twenty-five in all), Michael Barson presents the first “new” Marx Brothers material to surface in decades.

This collection also includes:

  • an introductory piece on the state of radio (and its stars) at the time;
  • a 1934 magazine piece in which Groucho recounts his astonishing radio exploits, and reveals the secret of how he came to be all five leading news commentators;
  • 21 black-and-white period photos of the Marx brothers.