Selection from "The Groucho Letters"

To Elaine Dundy, September 30, 1959

Dear Mrs Tynan:
I don't make a practise of writing to married women, especially if the husband is a dramatic critic, but I had to tell someone (and it might as well be you since you're the author) how much I enjoyed "The Dud Avocado." It made me laugh, scream and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm.)
If this was actually your life, I don't see how the hell you ever got through it.

Groucho Marx

23rd October, 1959

Dear Mr. Marx,
I have been carrying your letter around in my handbag for two weeks now, ever so, ever so cleverly working it into conversations ("Hey, guess who I heard from!") so that I can then produce it for my friends with a flourish. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to put it away because it's getting all dog-eared and lipsticked and cigarette-tobaccoed in there and I want to save it for my grandchildren.
Thank you so very much for the delightful things you said in it. You simply cannot imagine what pleasure it gave me. I've seen practically all your pictures at least fifteen times and I even went to Paris to catch the one they wouldn't allow in England for a while because it was scripted by Mr. Ben Hecht with the Song in his Heart.

You don't happen to have an autographed photograph of yourself lying around, do you? I really would adore it! I am working on a book now - a comedy about an American girl trying to kill a middle aged Englishman (as in the first one - only slightly autobiographical) and I know somehow that your photograph would help me keep the right, light, touch.

With great admiration,

Elaine Tynan

November 20, 1959

Dear Elaine:
I was delighted that you were delighted that I was delighted about your book.
I am sending you a photo of myself at the age of seven. You will probably say to yourself, "Why the cigar?" That's a very good question. Actually, the cigar is phony. So is the mustache and, to wrap it all up neatly, so am I.
Yours until John McCarten gives some movie a good review.
I remain,
Abjectly yours,
Groucho Marx

P.S. I hope your old man doesn't get wind of this.

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