Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wolf in Cheap Clothing

Store detective Wolf Flywheel's afoot
He's expecting to pry loose some loot
From Margaret Dumont
But he's far from gallant
He'd collect if his wisecracks were cute.

David Cairns

Wolf J. Flywheel (Groucho Marx) romances store owner Martha Phelps (Margaret Dumont) in The Big Store (Charles Reisner; 1941).

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Curly Burly

These stars make a fair-haired film pair
It's hard not to stare and compare
Both fond of their tops
Two blonde curly mops
Only Harpo can carry a spare.

Thelma Todd and Harpo in Horse Feathers (Norman Z. McLeod; 1932).

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Axe and Ye Shall Receive

A harmless, naïve, blonde buffoon?
An alarming and devious goon?
Harpo acts like a child
But, in fact, he's just wild
And he's armed with a cleaver, the loon!

Harpo takes it literally in Horse Feathers (Norman Z. McLeod; 1932). Title received from David Cairns.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Marxist Dogma

With his strawberry thatch, vacant gaze
His job is the catching of strays
Dogs, monkeys and parrots
Luring donkeys with carrots
Plus a bobby he'll snatch in a daze.

David Cairns

Harpo Marx plays an overzealous dogcatcher in Horse Feathers (Norman Z. McLeod; 1932).

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Black and White and Red Hot All Over

Not sinner in pre-code hot drama.
Nor pinup in 3D-o-Rama.
The steamiest dame?
Our dreamiest flame,
Akin to the Feline's Pajama.

Donald B. Benson

Betty Boop sizzles in Red Hot Mamma (Dave Fleischer; 1934). The film was banned on release in the United Kingdom because it depicted Hell in a humorous manner, which was deemed blasphemous.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Fritz a Wonderful Life

I'm an oddball, both sweaty and vile!
Playing God, brain roulette, make me smile!
Near a graveyard I lurk
And behave like a jerk
Oh, the bodies I get to defile!

Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and Fritz (Dwight Frye) unearth a coffin in Frankenstein (James Whale; 1931). It's Dwight Friday at LimerWrecks.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


A horribly snooty star singer
Puts poor blonde haired mute through the wringer
Rodolfo Lassparri
Is awfully sorry
When floored by a brutal bell-ringer.

In A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood; 1935), Tomasso (Harpo) knocks out his physically abusive boss, tenor Lassparri (Walter Woolf King). Title by off-coloratura Donald B. Benson.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Stateroom Obscene?

An innocent, breezy, mute jester?
Or insolent, sleazy molester?
When getting some Zs
He'll pet, paw, and seize...
He'd pin down and squeeze Lady Esther!

Harpo plays tackle in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). Who is Lady Esther, you ask?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I'll Seize You in My Dreams

When Groucho's a man on the make,
We frown on the randy old rake,
He can't get a pass
To plant hand on -- lass.
But Harpo can, when unawake.

Donald B. Benson

Harpo gets away with pre-code groping in the code-approved A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). Quips Groucho, "Y'know, he does better asleep than I do awake."

Monday, August 21, 2017

Somnambulist to Starboard

Never doze with this lout on a trip
In repose, he spreads out on the ship
Though he isn't awake
Harpo's still on the make
And so's his redoubtable grip.

Harpo gropes his way through the stateroom scene in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). Title by bored-to-sleep David Cairns.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

My Bare Lady

Miss Betty is more than eye candy
Her mettle's top drawer, she's just dandy
But what she does best
Is strut while half-dressed
And get the boys torrid and randy. 

Betty Boop cycles through Red Hot Mamma (1934). Title by naked ladies man Donald B. Benson.

Friday, August 18, 2017


He's weary, can't open an eye
Stand near him, you hope he'll pass by
In repose he's a lech
While dozing he'll stretch  
From the rear he will grope on the fly.

Harpo is half-asleep and all hands in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Defendant Rests

Declared a big-name legal scholar:
"Is Harpo fair game for a collar?
By law he's a creep
But ah, he's asleep.
His lullaby! Blame it on Mahler!"

Donald B. Benson

Harpo manhandles the help in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Flunky's Paw

Harp glissandos imparted dexterity
Now his hands swiftly dart with celerity
He gets octopoid quickly
You'll be shocked! Are you tickly?
'Cause this randy upstart has temerity!

David Cairns

Harpo Marx is all over the ladies in Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). Harpo plays Tomasso, "dresser" of opera singer Rodolfo Lassparri.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

All Hands On Deckhands

A steamship's small cabin, congested
Its teeming inhabitants nested
But asleep where he stands
Is a creep who's all hands
So some females are grabbed as he's rested.

Surly Hack and David Cairns

A somnambulant Harpo Marx mauls the maids in Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Wolf at the Store

Don't call on this flop, though he's famous
Walk tall when you shop for a shamus
Give the go-by to Flywheel
He's nobody's i-deal
If you fall for his slop, well, don't blame us!

David Cairns

Harpo photobombs Groucho and Margaret Dumont in a still from The Big Store (Charles Reisner;1941). Groucho plays private eye Wolf J. Flywheel.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

She Boops to Conquer

Though our Boop girl is monochromatic
She's a trouper, hand-drawn, charismatic
When the images flicker
Our limbs tremble quicker
She's so super, we've gone quite ecstatic.

David Cairns

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Skinny on Aunt Minnie

In this scene they keep jamming 'em in
Like sardines one might cram in a tin
And speaking of feeds
What this cheek-to-jowl needs:
Lean Cuisine, so the famished stay thin.

A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

In Like Fins

As stowaways barreled like herring
Each bro had a berth without sharing.
But this time, with means,
They're packed like sardines.
It's fishy how foully they're faring.

Donald B. Benson

Buster Keaton contributed to the visual comedy of the stateroom scene in the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). The Marxes were "stowaways barreled like herring" in Monkey Business (1931).

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Contents Under Pressure

Three Marxes, a tenor, and then
A girl who does nails, plus some men
To look at the plumbing --
Now waiters are coming
An aunt-hunter? Time to say when.

Donald B. Benson

The Marx Brothers fill the bill in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Shove Boat

A cruise should be restful and quiet
A snooze-fest, not overfilled riot
So make sure your trunks
Aren't quaking with punks
Who choose hard boiled eggs for their diet.

James Finn Garner

The Marx Brothers run a tight ship in A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935). Jim Garner is still pitching Bardball, the site dedicated to reviving the art of baseball doggerel.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bum Steerage

Didn't rate room where four could unpack.
In a stateroom, like cordwood they stack.
But before they admit
Many more than will fit
Tempting fate, they all order a snack.

Surly Hack and Donald B. Benson

The Marx Brothers crowd into A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935).

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Betty Behind the Ears

Here's the awesome and super Ms Boop
Who would often say "Boop-Oop-A-Doop"
As a dog she debuted
Quite a slog for her dude
Who, by law had to scoop up her poop.

Norm Knott

Betty Boop began life as a cartoon dog, an anthropomorphic French poodle with floppy ears, ears which over time evolved into hoop earrings as Betty became fully human. Image: Betty with Bimbo, who remained a dog, in Bimbo's Initiation (Dave Fleischer; 1931).

Friday, August 4, 2017

No Intel Inside

With bodies "donated" we screwed
Playing God, we created a...dude
But without a sound mind
It's a lout, unrefined
A big clod in a hateful bad mood.

Fitz (Dwight Frye) looks down as Doctor Waldman (Edward Van Sloan) and Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) subdue the Monster (Boris Karloff) in Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931). Title by LimerWrecks insider Donald B. Benson.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Apocalypse Dowager


She's a classy, respectable lady
He's a sassy detective, and shady   
But this gumshoe and dame 
Can summon a flame
To surpass that of Mrs. O'Grady.

Margaret Dumont and Groucho Marx flirt in The Big Store (Charles Reisner;1941). Groucho plays private eye Wolf J. Flywheel.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Now, Dowager

She'd act matronly, playing a part 
But the haters won't say she was smart
Far from clueless old bag
Maggie knew from a gag
Playing "straight" for this lady was art.

Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont in At The Circus (Edward Buzzell; 1939). In a 1940 interview, Dumont said, "Scriptwriters build up to a laugh, but they don't allow any pause for it. That's where I come in. I ad lib—it doesn't matter what I say—just to kill a few seconds so you can enjoy the gag. I have to sense when the big laughs will come and fill in, or the audience will drown out the next gag with its own laughter. ... I'm not a stooge, I'm a straight lady. There's an art to playing straight. You must build up your man, but never top him, never steal the laughs from him." --Wikipedia

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Par For the Coarse

This berserk and combative "front-stabber" 
Began work for the chief pussy grabber
But the crude Scaramucci
Went and screwed his own poochie
When the jerk was removed for lewd jabber.

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci got the kiss-off after just 10 days on the job.

Temple of Dumont

We all worship at Margaret's feet
Feel nourished, not starved but replete
This lady prestigious
Has made us religious
With a flourish her heart we entreat.

David Cairns

Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont in At The Circus (Edward Buzzell; 1939). Dumont was comic foil to the Marx Brothers in seven of their films. Groucho called her "practically the fifth Marx brother."