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The Benchley Roundup

A Selection by Nathaniel Benchley of his Favorites

Robert C. Benchley’s sketches and articles, published in periodicals like Life, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, earned him a reputation as one of the sharpest humorists of his time; his influence—on contemporaries such as E. B. White, James Thurber, and S. J. Perelman, or followers like Woody Allen, Steve Martin, and Richard Pryor—has left an indelible mark on the American comic tradition. The Benchley Roundup collects those pieces, selected by Benchley’s son Nathaniel, "which seem to stand up best over the years"-a compendium of the most endearing and enduring work from one of America’s funniest and most penetrating wits.

"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by then I was too famous."
—Robert Benchley

359 pages | 5.25 x 8.00 | © 1983

Literature and Literary Criticism: Humor

Table of Contents

"Take the Witness!"
How to Get Things Done
The Social Life of the Newt
Football Rules or Whatever They Are
The Tortures of Week-End Visting
From Nine to Five
Shakespeare Explained
Christmas Afternoon
Family Life in America
Do Insects Think?
The Stranger Within Our Gates
Opera Synopses
Malignant Mirrors
How to Understand International Finance
Kiddie-Kar Travel
Uncle Edith’s Ghost Story
French for Americans
Is This the Missing Link?
The Mystery of the Poisoned Kipper
"Ask That Man"
Editha’s Christmas Burglar
What Does it Mean?
A Talk to Young Men
Paul Revere’s Ride
Throwing Back the European Offensive
More Songs for Meller
Compiling an American Tragedy
Inter-office Memo
Fascinating Crimes
Back to the Game
The Typical New Yorker
Carnical Week in Sunny Las Los
Another Uncle Edith Christmas Story
If These Old Wall Could Talk!
Happy Childhood Tales
The Sunday Menace
Can We Believe Our Eyes?
The King’s English: Not Murder but Suicide
"One Minute, Please!"
Looking Shakespeare Over
How I Create
First-Catch Your Criminal
The Noon Telephone Operatir
Fall In!
"Could You Tell Me...?"
The Wreck of the Sunday Paper
What—No Budapest?
Mind’s Eye Trouble
How to Understand Music
The King and the Old Man
The Real Public Enemies
Matinees—Wednesday and Saturdays
The Chinese Situation
Saturday;s Smells
Route Nationale 14
Naming Our Flowers
Down with Pigeons
Contributors to This Issue
No Pullmans, Please!
Mysteries from the Sky
Isn’t It Remarkable?
Do Dreams Go by Opposites?
New from Home
The Children’s Hour
Baclk to Mozart
Spy Scares
Artist’s Model Succumbs!
Ladies Wild
Cocktail Hour
Why We Laugh-or Do We?
Weather Records
Home Made Jokes
Men of Harlech!
Summer Shirtings
Word Torture
"I Know of It"
The Card
How Long Can You Live?
My Face
Easy Tests
Hey, Waiter!
Sporting Life in America
Why I am Pale
The Menace of Buttered Toast
Do I Hear Twenty Thousand?

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