Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Resignation Joke

Analyzing humor can be a pretty solemn pursuit. However, I must thank Richard Raskin of the Danish blog 16:9 for researching Groucho's famous resignation from the Friars Club. I am even more grateful that Mr. Raskin produced an English version of his essay. I wanted to use the line "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member," or some variant thereof, in an email. I went searching the internet, and of course found numerous paraphrases of the line Groucho used in a telegram when he decided he had made a mistake in joining the Friars Club. Google led me to the 16:9 blog, and this link will spare me the need to expend any more energy typing.


  1. From the article:

    "Paradoxically, one of the most striking examples of a self-disparaging joke turns out to have been motivated by a wish on the jokester’s part to dissociate himself once and for all from a group of people to whom he felt superior."

    Introverted people would often rather forgo company if too boisterous or uninteresting, and this can be misunderstood as high-hatted. The fact that we are superior is beside the point.

  2. Nice to see someone dedicated as much to the Marxes as I. Do you know where to get the later movies? Already bought the ones featuring Zeppo on DVD and a night in the opera. But the later ones are hard to come by in Europe