Groucho Marx played Waldorf T. Beagle (later renamed to Waldorf T. Flywheel), while Chico played Emmanuel Ravelli, the same Italian character he played in the film Animal Crackers (1930). Mary McCoy played secretary Miss Dimple, and it is thought that Broderick Crawford also appeared as various characters. Groucho and Chico shared a weekly income of $6,500 for appearing in the show. During the Great Depression, this was considered a high sum for 30-minutes' work, especially since radio scripts required no memorization and only a few minutes were needed for costume, hair and makeup. By comparison, Greta Garbo's weekly salary from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer during the same period was also $6,500, though this was for a 40- or 50-hour week. Wynn was paid $5,000 a week for Fire Chief. In contrast, almost two-thirds of American families were living on fewer than $26 a week. In a classic Marxian twist, Harpo was paid a weekly salary for not appearing on the show, even though his mute character would have little to do in a radio program anyway.
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