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More Groucho

Posted by Bruce Kahl on November 20, 2002

In Reply to: Meaning? posted by Bob on November 20, 2002

: : Im not English speaking - could somebody please help me with the exact meaning of " you are only as old as the lady you feel" ? Thanks

: It's an old (but reliable) joke from Groucho Marx. The cliché is "you're only as old as you feel," meaning your actual chronological age is less important than your health and vigor, which keep you young. Groucho turned the phrase to "you're only as old as the women you feel," (and you have to waggle your eyebrows and wave a cigar as you say it) which means, um, well, a gentleman of mature years can keep himself young (at heart) in the company of younger women.

GEORGE FENNEMAN: Here he is, the one, the only...

AUDIENCE: Groucho!

(Theme music.)

GROUCHO MARX: Thank you, thank you, and welcome to "You Bet Your Life." Say the secret word and a duck will come down and give you fifty dollars.

(The duck appears.)

FENNEMAN: And the secret word tonight is: clock.

GROUCHO: Okay, duck, scram. Fenneman, earn your salary and bring out the first contestants.

FENNEMAN: Groucho, please greet a Sioux City housewife, Mary McCracken, and her partner Joe.

GROUCHO: Welcome to "You Bet Your Life," say the secret word and the duck will come down and give you each fifty dollars. It's something you see every day... Now, you are... Mary McCracken... any relation to Jimmy Crack Corn?

MARY: No, Groucho.

GROUCHO: Have you ever heard of "Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don't Care?"

MARY: Yes.

GROUCHO: Well, I don't care either... It says here you're from Detroit, Iowa. I always thought Detroit was in Michigan.

MARY: I was born in Detroit, Groucho, and I live in Iowa.

GROUCHO: I owe a few bucks to my brother Chico. So, what do you do in Iowa, Mary, besides shuck corn?

MARY: I'm a housewife.

GROUCHO: A housewife. So you're home a lot?

MARY: I have to be.

GROUCHO: Why? Are you under house arrest?

MARY: I have thirteen children.

GROUCHO: Oh, well...