Groucho to Chico Marx, in Monkey Business
This is a joke that `s even funnier when you realize that in real life they were brothers, both born in America, the sons of "Frenchy" Marx, who had emigrated from Alsace after the Franco-Prussian war.
So where Chico did learned
to speak Italian dialect (to play clip, click
here)? Reverse assimilation - he developed
it as a survival skill in the streets of New
York, to blend in if he accidentally encountered
a gang of Italian
boys who would beat
him up for not being part of their ethnic
"While the Marx family had assimilated to the larger American culture, Chico was assimilating (for camouflage purposes) to the immigrant culture of Hell`s Kitchen."
March 03, 2001