My father introduced me to the Marx Brothers when I was about ten. This would've been in 1975, long after vaudeville and even after the Brothers' heyday in film. Too young to appreciate their puns, satire and wit, I wouldn't truly take notice until decades later when I'd catch a scene or two on some TV special giving tribute to classic comedies or comedians. Several years later I bought a DVD boxed set of their films which included just about everything but “Animal Crackers” and “Duck Soup.” My favorite film in this collection is still “A Night at the Opera.”
A week ago, while cleaning a house I indirectly inherited from my late grandmother, I was going through some old boxes hidden away in a back closet of the garage and found a number of hardbound books I didn't know about. Among them was the aforementioned book. No introduction, forward, afterward, or backward is provided. Nothing but letters, as the subtitle indicates, from and to this then aging comedian.