Tag Archives: Irv Brecher

I didn’t recognize you standing up.

Hank Rosenfeld spent the better part of six years interviewing Irving Brecher, one of the last of the old Hollywood writers.

The result of their escapades is the as-told-to memoir “The Wicked Wit of the West” (a nickname Groucho Marx gave Brecher). Brecher died last November at 94, two months before the book was published.

Rosenfeld is all L.A., but while interviewing him for my article about him and Brecher,  “Boy Wonder,” I learned that not only did he grow up in Detroit like I did, he also lived one street over from me, on Fairway Drive. There was more. In addition to sharing a crazy adulation for Groucho, we both had E. Bryce Alpern as a pediatrician.

Irv had an adulation with Groucho as well as a friendship. He wrote the Marx Brothers movies At the Circus and Go West, where he gave Groucho this line: “Lulubelle, it’s you! I didn’t recognize you standing up,” and as his brothers try to revive him after a fight: “Forget the water. Force brandy down my throat.”

Rosenfeld is touring to back the book, mostly in California, but I’m sure he’d love you to bring him to your favorite book store, watering hole or house of worship. Perhaps all three are the same place.

For more on Rosenfeld and Brecher (or is it Brecher and Rosenfeld?), click here.

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