For those of you who look for unicycles in the media, “The Big Store”
starring the Marx Brothers, will be on TCM (Turner Classic Movies)
Thursday morning, 9 AM EDT, 6 AM PDT.
There is a scene in “The Big Store” where Groucho’s character is being
chased around a department store by the bad guys. Eventually he jumps
onto a bicycle to help get away faster. After a few close calls he
crashes into a wall, the bicycle falls apart and “Groucho” rides away
from the debris on a unicycle. The unicycle riding is done by a stunt
man (perhaps John Foss can tell us who he is.) Just as he crashes into
the wall there are a few frames that show the “bike” that will fall
apart to be one like the old Schwinn “swing” bike. I know there are a
couple other recent versions of these vehicles that have been available
including one that David Stone rode last year on the Today show, or some
other network TV morning show. On this bike the back half is a unicycle,
the front half is a regular front fork, and each part can turn freely on
the frame that connects the two.
“The Big Store” isn’t one of the better Marx Brothers movies, but it is
worth watching for the unicycle scene.