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Sweathogs, Groucho, et al.

The Marx Brothers had a big effect on the comedy we were making. We started off as "The Blackboard Jungle," and eventually became "Duck Soup."

The network (ABC) was really angry that Jimmy Komack presented the show as a fun high school romp, but the script was written as a hard-edged, drama comedy. We were even banned in Boston on the premiere night because it was too controversial. Just the fact that a black and an Hispanic (me) were in the same show was too touchy due to race relations there.

So Jimmy came to us during the last week of rehearsals and said, "Please dear G_d guys..... be FUNNY!" And I said, why don't you just let us be the Marx Brothers... wacky and funny instead of frightening."

The next day we got pages that Groucho, Harpo, Zeppo, and Chico could have done. The show was called "The Debate." We immediately climbed into the top ten by the second week, and didn't leave for three years.

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