Jeremy Butler wonders:

> Had a colleague pose the following question about the origin of the Marx
> Brothers' joke about Tuscaloosa (where I reside):
> >wondered if you knew
> >anything about the origin of Groucho's "Tusks-a-looser" joke from
> >"Animal Crackers." I seem to remember reading that the Bros. performed
> >here back in '27 (or thereabouts), which might explain where they
> >picked up on the name, but I can't find the source.

The quote goes:
""When shooting elephants in Africa, I found the tusks very hard to remove, but in Alabama, the Tuscaloosa."

I seem to recall that the Marx Bros. would make up jokes playing off
local venues where they played, but that was not unique on the
vaudeville circuit.  The joke seems like a fairly obvious one (it
follows the "I shot an elephant in my pajamas.  How he got in my
pajamas I'll never know!" line).  And the script was co-written by
George S. Kaufman, of the ever-punning Algonquin Round Table.  There
might be more in Stefan Kanfer's recent bio. of Groucho or one of the
many other books on the bros.

Don Larsson

Donald F. Larsson
English Department, AH 230
Minnesota State University
Mankato, MN  56001

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