Hooray for Captain Spaulding!

"Hear them wisecrack about Tuscaloosa!"

Tuscaloosa News Sept. 11, 1930
Click on the pictures for a closer look

Animal Crackers 1930

Why Animal Crackers?
"Eet ees veree simple, explained dapper little Chico Marx who plays the part of an Italian musician in the picture, and has grown attached to his accent. "Eet ees because animals they make such funee cracks. The horse laugh has become synonymous for boisterous humor. If there ees anything funnier than a cat, that wild beast of the jungle, pretending to be chummy with men so she may get free meals and a warm place to sleep, I have not seen eet."
"That's not the reason at all," grumbled Groucho, who is the voluable and irrelevant Captain Spaulding of the piece. "It is because 'Animal Crackers' fits so nicely into the electric signs in front of theatres. We thought at first of calling our play 'The Mystery of the Missing Masterpiece,' but that would have been too long for the signs, and we would have had to change it to 'Haunted Love.' We took no chances.
Harpo, the silent brother, was interrogated next. He made no verbal reply, but began imitating a small boy taking something out of a sack and cramming it into his mouth.
"He means," explained Chico, "that real animal crackers, the kind made of dough, are his favorite confections. Ever since he was a lettla kid he like dem. So he insist our show be named after de lettla cake."
"That's partly right," interrupted Zeppo, the serious member of the quartet. "Did you ever see anything more ridiculous than a box of animal crackers? Shake the box and anything may come out, from a giraffe to an iguana. We figured the title would intrigue people so they would fight to get into the theatre just to find out what the play was about. We were right."The Calgary Daily Herald Aug. 9, 1930.

Groucho and Margaret Dumont (about a week before she died) recreated a scene from Animal Crackers in 1965, when Marx hosted The Hollywood Palace.