Groucho Makes An Exception To His Policy
Groucho Marx was a member of Hillcrest, even though he once famously proclaimed that he would not want to be a member of any club willing to have him as a member. (When one club offered to waive its no-Jews rule for Groucho, provided he abstained from using the swimming pool, he remarked, "My daughter's only half Jewish, can she wade in up to her knees?") Groucho once noted: "As you may recall, the Hillcrest is the only country club in all of Greater Los Angeles that will accept Talmudic scholars such as myself as members."
His ad-libbing and joking with the staff at Hillcrest became legendary. Alistair Cooke told of having lunch with Groucho at Hillcrest Country Club. There were many others sitting at the famed Hillcrest Comedians Round Table, and when the waiter came to take the dessert orders, he could not keep track of who was having what. "Two éclairs and four coffees—no, four éclairs and two coffees—no, wait a minute—..." Groucho interrupted, "Four eclairs and seven coffees ago, our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new na- ... oh, skip the rhetoric and bring the dessert!" After lunch, Groucho lined up to pay his bill behind a fat, fussy lady fiddling around in her bag for change. The impatient comedian instructed the young cashier: "Shoot her when you see the whites of her eyes!" The woman turned around and was thrilled that her abuser was none other than Groucho. "Oh!" she said. "Would you be Groucho Marx?" The quick-as-a-flash response: "What do you mean 'would I be Groucho Marx'? I am Groucho Marx! Who would you be if you weren't yourself? Marilyn Monroe no doubt. Well pay your bill, lady, you'll never make it."
Ultimately, Groucho considered his Hillcrest membership precious enough to pass on to his son in his will.
Read more about this topic: Hillcrest Country Club (Los Angeles)
Famous quotes containing the words policy, groucho and/or exception:
“Men must learn now with pity to dispense,
For policy sits above conscience.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“Youre a woman whos been getting nothing but dirty breaks. Well, we can clean and tighten your brakes, but youll have to stay in the garage all night.”
—S.J. Perelman, U.S. screenwriter, Arthur Sheekman, Will Johnstone, and Norman Z. McLeod. Groucho Marx, Monkey Business, a wisecrack made while trying to woo Lucille Briggs (Thelma Todd)
“It has no share in the leadership of thought: it does not even reflect its current. It does not create beauty: it apes fashion. It does not produce personal skill: our actors and actresses, with the exception of a few persons with natural gifts and graces, mostly miscultivated or half-cultivated, are simply the middle-class section of the residuum.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)