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Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel: The Complete Series 1-3

A Recreation of the Marx Brothers’ Lost Shows
Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Summary

A BBC radio recreation of the Marx Brothers’ lost shows, starring Michael Roberts and Frank Lazarus.

First broadcast on America’s NBC network between 1932-33, Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel charted the exploits of shady lawyer Waldorf T Flywheel (played by Groucho Marx) and his dopey assistant, Emmanuel Ravelli (played by Chico Marx). The original recordings were lost, but the scripts were rediscovered and edited by Michael Barson. These were published as Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel: The Marx Brothers Lost Radio Show and licensed for a dramatic adaptation by the BBC.

Between 1990 - 92, BBC Radio 4 recorded the adaptation in front of a live studio audience. Its fast-paced and quickfire gags proved to be a hit, winning a Gold Medal at the New York International Festival in 1992.

In this collection are the three complete radio series, produced by the award-winning Dirk Maggs (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and published together for the very first time. In these eighteen episodes, the duo look after a Rembrandt, try to bamboozle a millionaire, stay in a haunted mansion and join the carnival – along with many other hilarious misadventures.

Michael Roberts takes on Groucho’s role as Flywheel, while Frank Lazarus deputises for Chico as Ravelli. Among the regular cast are Lorelei King, Graham Hoadly and Vincent Marzello, with guest stars including Spike Milligan and Dick Vosburgh.  

©2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd

Critic reviews

"A treasure horde of delightfully crazy humour." (Dirk Maggs)

"For me this BBC version is a flattering improvement!" (Nat Perrin, co-creator of the original 1932 Marx Brothers Radio series.) 

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What listeners say about Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel: The Complete Series 1-3

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Marx brothers, not quite

got to say went in with some doubt about this, but if you are a Marx bros fan it's worth the listen

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Simply Magnificent Marx

As a fan of the Marx Brothers you'll love this Robert's and Lazarus are pitch perfect and the rest of the ensemble dont miss a beat. 10 out of 10

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I wish I were in the Audience - totally enjoyable

I wish I were in the Audience - totally enjoyable The last time I had so much pleasure was when I was in an audience watching hitchhickers guide to the Galaxy in Mold theatre Wales... which believe me was a Long time ago... I can listen to this audiable over and over again - 100% enjoyment. 100% out of 100%

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An absolute gem

This is my best purchase yet. I laughed from start to finish and it’s hard to believe it’s not Groucho.

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  • SingingDesigner
  • 01-07-20

It was good.

First, let me just say, Audible/Amazon needs to switch the third star to a "Good" rating from "Pretty good". I mean, you have "Okay" to "Pretty Good" to "Great"?? Hey, I know most reviews come in either one or five star ratings, but there are still a few of us who still live in the land of Nuance. :^) Anyway (phew!)... so yeah, it was good. I mean that I listened to the whole 8-1/2 hours, wasn't bored, had some chuckles (and eyerolls) and have no regrets for buying it. I thought Frank Lazarus was 5 stars perfect as Chico, while Mike Roberts was 2.5 stars ("pretty good") as Groucho. His was a decent impression but his over the top performance just grew annoying by the end. The shows were pretty fun and, like I said, good for the occasional chuckle, though quite a few of the jokes came from their early movie scripts. A luke warm recommendation.

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  • Bob
  • 07-06-20

If you love the Marx Brothers you will love this collection.

This is one of the best collections I have ever bought. The cast is perfect & it made me feel like I was listening to the real brothers. If you love the Marx brothers than this collection is a must have.

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  • Mencken
  • 24-10-19

A joy to listen to

Delighted this even exists, let alone on audible. Chico and Groucho practically rise from the dead with these performances. Wish I could have seen it live. The music is great, voice talent is top notch. The live audience adds to the experience. Stuffed full of Marx Brothers in jokes, references and easter eggs. Can't recommend highly enough.