Groucho Marx first enjoyed the pleasure of smoking a cigar at the age if 15. He was playing on Vaudeville and from the advice of another vaudevillian he started using a lit cigar as a stage prop. The reason for this was because Groucho felt if he forgot his lines he could puff on his cigar and take a second to regain his composure and remember his lines.
Groucho started out smoking the cheap 5 cent cigars, however when the financial chance provided itself he moved up to the 10 cent cigar called the Cuban La Preferencias. This was advertised as a 30 minute cigar, so when Groucho smoked his first one he completed the task in 20 minutes and demanded another cigar. This happened again for the second, third, fourth and fifth cigars before the salesman realized he was being duped and kicked Marx out of his tobacco shop and into the street.
By the end of the 1940’s Marx had made a little $$ in the movie business and started smoking the Dunhill cigars 410’s. Most people believe Groucho was a heavy smoker but he really wasn’t. He would have a cigar twice a day, one after lunch and the other one after dinner.
There were times when Marx’s cigar smoking would get him into trouble like the time his third wife Eden complained about his cigars. She had suggested that he choose between her and the cigars and Marx said in return, “A woman is just a woman, but a cigar is a smoke”.
Of course Eden was not amused and banished Groucho to the guest bedroom for six months. He sure did love to relax and have an after dinner cigar in peace. Groucho lived to be 86 years old passing away on 19 August, 1977.
Greg Elam –
Content Writer – Windy City Cigars