Sunday, November 20, 2011

How to fake a fake moustache (and perform a forward and reverse Groucho or die trying)


I found this picture by doing a Google search for 'sexy Groucho'.
Why I was doing a Google search for 'sexy Groucho' is another story and a very unpleasant one, but I think it's fair to say this photo more or less lives up to its promise, despite the presence of that open tin of paint and industrial yellow mop and bucket behind her.
If you are the sexy Groucho in question, why not drop us a line here at the council to let us know why you decided to have yourself photographed as a sexy Groucho in what looks like a disused kitchen, and whether it is something you do regularly or just that once.
And if any of you know of an even sexier Groucho, by all means send me the photos to prove it. (I've added 'Sexy Grouchos' as a label so I'm relying on you all now.)

Yes, it's party season, that's the point, and doubtless you'll all be digging out the Groucho costume, heading off to the office party, and wondering why nobody wants to dance with you. (Unless you're our sexy Groucho here, who was doubtless danced off her feet all night, with and without that wheelie-bucket.)
But as our sexy Groucho ably demonstrates, it's vital to get the look exactly right. There's nothing worse that dressing up as Groucho and having people just assume you're Professor Robert Winston.

So here are some tips, courtesy of ehow.com ("Discover the expert in you").
First, how to have a Groucho moustache.
"Groucho Marx is one of the most recognizable stars from Hollywood's early days," the preamble informs us, "thanks in part to his exaggerated mustache and eyebrows".
Of course you can save time by buying a glasses-nose-moustache combo ready made, and save yourself having to deal with all that messy greasepaint. This link will get you to the relevant page of the 'Just for Fun' online party supplies website, and to a charming photograph of what Groucho might have looked like in the nineteen-seventies if he'd retained his hair, and started smoking carrots.
Meanwhile, back at ehow.com ("Discover the expert in you"), here's how to be really serious and get yourself the whole costume. Full marks to whoever wrote this one for remembering Gummo, but points withdrawn for offering me no assistance whatsoever on how to create a Gummo costume.
A Groucho swing dance move is apparently a real move in swing dancing (hence the name) that is inspired by the famous loose-limbed Groucho dance, but not, obviously, a mere imitation of it. Imagine how silly that would look. The link above will show you how to do both a forward and a reverse one, which is like a forward one, only backwards. Bizarrely, it tells us that "the move may actually be referred to by a different name depending on the person to whom you're speaking".

And while we're on the subject of fake moustaches and their purpose and application in theory and practice for fun and profit, Damian, one of our most esteemed and longest-serving council members has forwarded me the following anecdote and photographic evidence. Make of it what you will...

I was in Berlin at the weekend and went to visit the Film and Television Museum. While passing through the Dietrich archive I came across a picture of her and good old Groucho which made me do a double take. It wasn't the photo itself but the fact that Groucho's 'tache and eyebrows looked like they had been retouched by hand. I don't know if he wasn't wearing his grease paint smear on that day and then the studio put it in afterwards, or if it needed 'thickening' - either way someone got nifty with a .001 paintbrush.
Photography wasn't allowed and I had already been approached twice for taking shots so I couldn't take a snap of the actual photo; I have tracked down a copy on the net and attached it, and even in this version it looks a few shades darker than anything else in the shot!

(That's Groucho on the left.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The added Mustache reminds me-I swear that there are a handful of Marx Bros publicity stills besides the Brecher GO WEST ones where someone else is filling in for Groucho. He looks really weird in one ANIMAL CRACKERS pub. still-the mustache and hair are wrong, even his nose-and in the ROOM SERVICE still with the 3 of them in bed he looks like an imposter with a cardboard rectangle taped to his upper lip. Surely the GO WEST shots were not the only time Groucho wouldn't show up for a few stills.

Ginger Ingenue said...

Sexy Groucho girl, indeed.

Back at Halloween time, I saw a great pair of Groucho glasses and thought about buying 'em for pictures, but didn't...

I do have some shots of me dressed as Chico. Does that count? ;)

All the brothers looked strange to me by GO WEST...

Perhaps Dietrich is the long-lost Marx Sister, Pantso.

Matthew Coniam said...

Yes, OF COURSE shots of you dressed as Chico count.
Hand 'em over, sonny, hand 'em over...