When the film came out, playwrights George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind had already written the musicals The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers, both Marx Brothers Broadway shows. “Morrie Ryskind and I learned a great lesson in the writing of stage comedy. We learned it from the Marx Brothers,” Kaufman said in a 1939 address at Yale, as quoted on the Library of America blog. “We learned that when an audience does not laugh at a line at which they’re supposed to laugh, then the thing to do was to take out that line and get a funnier line. So help me, we didn’t know that before." Filled with the brothers' trademark banter, A Night at the Opera featured Groucho as business manager Otis B. Driftwood, and Chico and Harpo as stowaways on a ship bound from Italy to New York (see over-crowded stateroom scene and/or the verbal interplay between Groucho and Chico as they go over the details of a singer’s contract).