Let's hope they weren't letters to Warner Bros.
December 28, 2002 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Harpo Marx ran secret documents past Stalin. Really.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (20 comments total)
 
It's always the quiet one.
posted by RobbieFal at 7:35 PM on December 28, 2002


Secret message incoming from behind the Iron Curtain: "Honk-honkhonk-honk-honkhonkhonk-hooooooonk!"
posted by agentfresh at 7:55 PM on December 28, 2002


Harpo: Holy crap! J. Edgar Hoover, are you wearing women's clothing?

J. Edgar Hoover: You will never speak of this again.

Harpo: Oh my God! What are you going to do with th.....agahghghghh!!!!

J. Edgar Hoover: NEVER!
posted by willnot at 9:24 PM on December 28, 2002


(splarf) willnot, will you refund me for the coffee that I just spewed on the screen? In hindsight, it does makes perfect sense.

Hail, hail, Freedonia! This new revelation will allow me to view "Duck Soup" in a slightly more nuanced manner, perhaps.
posted by davidmsc at 9:52 PM on December 28, 2002


Not really news: the episode was in Harpo's autobiography Harpo Speaks, which is a great read, BTW...
posted by shecky57 at 9:56 PM on December 28, 2002


Iron Eyes Cody also assisted the fed during the 1940s, while Moe Berg served the Office of Strategic Services.

Ilusioinist Jasper Maskelyne was recruited by the British in thwarting the Gremans.

The grandaddy of "unlikely" spies, however, was Lev "Leon" Theremin.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:58 AM on December 29, 2002


"Germans." Doh.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:59 AM on December 29, 2002


A belated thanks to an American hero, if indeed this is true.

Harp-playing anti-communists and, well, any anti-communists are worthy of adoration, adulation, and remembrance.

Thank you to the Marx that proves the exeption to the rule.
posted by hama7 at 4:45 AM on December 29, 2002


Ahem, exception I mean.
posted by hama7 at 5:12 AM on December 29, 2002


Considering what actress Hedy Lamarr achieved in spread-spectrum technology back in 1941, I have no problem believing an actor simply acted as a courier.
posted by alumshubby at 6:08 AM on December 29, 2002


Dec 23: His widow, Susan Fleming, who married him in 1936, still lives in Los Angeles.

Dec 25: Susan Marx dies in Hollywood.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:29 AM on December 29, 2002


Was anyone else puzzled by this sentence-opener:
The 165cm-tall comedian was inducted into the dark corridors of espionage in the winter of 1933 when ...

Is there something significant about being 165-cm tall? I'll admit I don't think in metric, but I can't imagine -- does that work out to 3' 6"?
posted by argybarg at 10:00 AM on December 29, 2002


KGB Goon: We have ways of making you speak Comrade Marx.

Harpo: *honk* *honk*
posted by nathan_teske at 11:09 AM on December 29, 2002


That's the craziest thing I ever hoid!
posted by waxpancake at 11:25 AM on December 29, 2002


Someday, we'll read about how Carrot Top infiltrated Al-Qaeda...
posted by AccordionGuy at 11:37 AM on December 29, 2002


The 165cm-tall comedian

Well, that's true - when I think of Harpo, I don't think to myself, "was he the 160 or 165cm one? crap, i can never remember..."

but I can't imagine -- does that work out to 3' 6"?

no, 2.54cm per inch. it works out to about 5' 5".
posted by warhol at 11:56 AM on December 29, 2002


If the subject is unlikely secret agents, let's not forget Julia Child.
posted by gimonca at 6:57 PM on December 29, 2002


That's a good one, gimonca, but the most unlikely secret agent of all was Lucille Ball, who (allegedly) during WW II trapped a Japanese spy with her teeth.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:42 PM on December 29, 2002


Here's a more complete version of the Lucy spy story, which the Urban Legends people say might actually be true.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:04 PM on December 29, 2002


The Harpo story has been made into a spec screenplay called "The Amazing Journey of Exapno Mapcase" which pops into the top ten now and then at the screenplay review site Triggerstreet.
posted by Yogurt at 8:19 AM on December 30, 2002


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