AUSTIN, TX–Despite repeated attempts to gain an appreciation of the legendary comedy team, area graphic designer Craig Logan confessed Monday that he still can't get into the Marx Brothers.
"I realize they're extremely important, and I very much want to enjoy them," Logan, 29, said. "But I just don't find them funny at all."
"It's not because it's old and in black and white, either," Logan added. "I'm not some sort of philistine."
Over the years, Logan has rented numerous Marx Brothers movies in his efforts to like the seminal stars of vaudeville, Broadway, radio, and TV. Each attempt, however, has ended in failure.
"A couple years ago, I rented the 1935 screwball comedy A Night At The Opera, considered by many to be their masterwork," Logan said. "The whole movie, all they were doing was running around like idiots and using funny voices. It was like some annoying Adam Sandler movie. I thought I missed something, so I read about it in the Leonard Maltin video guide, then watched it again, but I still couldn't pick up on the 'brilliant subversiveness of this anarchic laugh riot.'"
Last December, Logan's longtime desire to like the Marx Brothers even resulted in his purchase of a used copy of Duck Soup, a move he called "a big mistake."
"I saw a copy of Duck Soup for cheap," Logan said. "Critics are always saying it's such a great film, and it was ranked number 85 on that AFI 100 Greatest Movies list. So even though I thought A Night At The Opera was pretty stupid, I figured I should give it another try with Duck Soup. Let's just say it wasn't a radical departure."
"All the jokes were corny puns or lame wisecracks," he continued. "After about 20 minutes, I was ready to turn it off, but I knew if I did I'd feel really guilty and uncultured, so I slogged it out."
Logan said his least favorite Marx brother is Harpo.
"That fucking horn of his," Logan said. "What's funny about that? Harpo was always getting some beautiful woman, as if a gorgeous girl would actually be impressed by a mute blowing some stupid horn. Then, right in the middle of these so-called comedies, he'd always break out into a sappy harp solo. What was up with that? I know it's not supposed to be realistic, but come on. Do you think there's something wrong with me that I don't get it?"
In an effort to understand the Marx Brothers, Logan has decided to learn more about early film comedies.
"I've decided to watch a bunch of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton movies," he said. "I'm hoping that will help put the Marx Brothers in more of a context. My fear, though, is that I'll just find those really stupid, too."
Added Logan: "Don't tell anyone I said that about the Marx Brothers being like Adam Sandler. I'm sure it's different. I'm just not sure how."