American humorist Robert Benchley died on November 21, 1945, (born 1889) after a writing career that took him from the Harvard Lampoon to Vanity Fair and The New YorkerAlthough he described himself as not quite a writer and not quite an actor, he enjoyed success as both.  His topical and absurdist essays, particularly at The New Yorker gained him both recognition and influence. He was also one of the members of the group that made up the fabled Algonquin Round Table.

His comic performances began as a Harvard undergraduate impersonating a befuddled after-dinner speaker.   The act made him a campus celebrity and remained a part of his repertoire for the rest of his life. As a character actor, he appeared in such films as You’ll Never Get Rich, Bedtime Story, the Crosby/Hope Road to Utopia, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent.

benchley

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

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.

I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and I have succeeded fairly well.

Most of the arguments to which I am party fall somewhat short of being impressive, owing to the fact that neither I nor my opponent knows what we are talking about.

After an author has been dead for some time, it becomes increasingly difficult for his publishers to get a new book out of him each year.

Dachshunds are ideal dogs for small children, as they are already stretched and pulled to such a length that the child cannot do much harm one way or the other.

New York – The city where the people from Oshkosh look at the people from Dubuque in the next theater seats and say “These New Yorkers don’t dress any better than we do.”

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