"Say, who are you anyway?": clowns, childhood and madness in the character of Harpo Marx

Richard Niland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A literary criticism of the book "Harpo Speaks!," the autobiography of American comedian and actor Harpo Marx, also known Adolph or Arthur Marx, is presented, focusing on depictions of Marx's childhood. It comments on growing up in New York City, the bullying and intimidation Marx faced as a Jewish child, and the idea of childhood madness. Aspects of Vaudeville in Marx's acting are also considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-845
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Popular Culture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • clowns
  • childhood
  • madness
  • harpo marx
  • vaudeville
  • comedy
  • cinema
  • jewish child
  • bullying
  • intimidation
  • childhood madness
  • new york city

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