As I’ve remarked in a couple of my other books on sales, I’m a fan of the Marx Brothers. Their insane routines turned the staid and formulaic comedy of the 1930s on its head. Each of them created a distinctly different character, and by playing these characters rather than the situation, they created timeless gems of comic genius.
Among their most hilarious routines are the exchanges between Groucho and any hapless bystander foolish enough to get in his way. Consider this conversation between the mustached comedian and a ship’s captain from Monkey Business:
Groucho: I want to register a complaint.
Captain: Why, what’s the matter?
Groucho: Matter enough! Do you know who sneaked into my stateroom at three o’clock ...