Tag: Robert Benchley

  • Harvey: Cheers for Booze

    The drama critic and wit Robert Benchley, a notable alcoholic, was allegedly once accosted by a well-meaning friend, who pointed at the drink in the humorist’s hand and said, “You know, that stuff is killing you slowly.” “So,” replied the imperturbable Benchley, “who’s in a hurry?” It’s conceivable that Mary Chase’s 1944 comedy, Harvey (Roundabout […]

  • A Week in the Slow Lane

    It was Assignment Day, which, despite its sound, is not a Calvinist adumbration of the Last Judgment, but rather a weekly occurrence in the arts sections of The Village Voice. And our esteemed culture editor was, naturally, asking me what I wanted to cover this week. The question is always a challenge for me. Robert […]

  • Before There Was ‘Saturday Night Live’

    It’s a lost art—the short comedy talkie, produced by the hundreds during Hollywood’s so-called golden age as nothing more than bonus gifts for audiences still schooled on the packed, bang-for-your-buck vaudeville experience. The definition of skit comedy for several generations, shorts like those written by and starring Robert Benchley seeded the soil for Steve Allen, […]

  • Dispersoned Places

    “If one more of these wonderful natives shows up speaking pidgin,” the drama critic and humorist Robert Benchley muttered on a celebrated occasion, “I leave.” Just then, the story continues, a beautiful native girl rushed onstage and flung herself into the hero’s arms, crying, “Me Nubi. Nubi good girl. Nubi stay here.” Mr. Benchley, who […]