Letter: How Chico came home to roost

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The Independent Online
Sir: In response to Brian Mayes' request (letter, 2 October) for firm evidence regarding the naming of 'Chico' Marx, Groucho Marx (in The Marx Bros Scrapbook) says:

Our stage names were given to us by a monologist named Art Fisher. He was in the habit of giving people nicknames and they stuck. He named Leonard Chico because girls were called chicks in those days and Chico loved girls. Arthur became Harpo for obvious reasons, Gummo got his name because he was fond of gum sole shoes, and he named me because I was stern and rather serious. Herbert, who became Zeppo, was too young at that time and wasn't in the act. He got his name later on. . . . I think Fisher got the names from a cartoon that was appearing in the papers. The Monk Family or something like that.

Yours faithfully,


London, NW6

2 October