Way back in the Animal Crackers annotated guide, I wrote the following on the subject of the tune Chico plays (and cannot stop) that also reappears in a number of later movies:
48:34 - Sugar in the Morning
The first appearance of what became Chico's unofficial theme tune, also known as Sugartime, reappearing in different contexts in Monkey Business, Horse Feathers and elsewhere. But there's some confusion here. The IMDB does not list this piece, and refers instead to Chico's "trademark song" I'm Daffy Over You, written by Chico and Sol Violinsky. So: huh? Perhaps some musicologist could explain...
It's almost like someone up there was listening. I've just received the following from Mikael Uhlin, of the Marxology site (http://www.marx-brothers.org/marxology/):
Regarding Chico's theme song, this is what the late Frank Bland found out:
(from http://www.marx-brothers.org/whyaduck/sounds/midi.htm)- - - -
Motion picture audiences first heard what I call The Chico Motif (TCM) in the film version of Animal Crackers in 1930. This is the tune most people confuse with the McGuire Sisters' 1958 hit, Sugartime. While Sugartime bears a strong resemblance to TCM, the fellow who wrote the former wasn't even born when Chico began playing this theme.
Over the years, this theme became closely associated with Chico and was often used to introduce him on radio and television. Always a solid businessman, Chico knew a good thing when he saw (or heard) it. By 1933 Chico had published at least two separate songs using TCM. The first is a song credited (words and music) to Chico Marx and Sol Violinsky, and called I'm Daffy Over You.
(Note: There is a published version of the script from Monkey Business that erroneously refers to this song as Sugar In The Morning, further confusing the issue. This script was published after Sugartime [aka Sugar in the Morning - MC] was released, and was probably someone's attempt to identify the tune without doing the research necessary.)
The second tune to utilize TCM is the Chico Marx, Benny Davis, Sol Violinsky collaboration, Lucky Little Penny. While there is a very slight difference in the melody during the introduction and bridge (and the introduction is much shorter), the feel and structure of this tune is identical to I'm Daffy Over You.