Monday, November 28, 2011

Limited Time Offer!

Order THE ATHLETIC BENCHLEY between now and Dec 23rd and recieve FREE two rare DOROTHY PARKER pieces, never before published in anthology. Rare Parker items from the height of her wittiest production, unearthed from The DAC News in Detroit.

Algonquin Round Table Walking Tour

Algonquin Round Table Walking Tour, Sunday, Dec. 4, Noon-2 p.m.

Location: Algonquin Hotel, 59 W. 44th St (bet 5th and 6th Avenues)
Cost: $20

Walk in the footsteps of the Vicious Circle in the only walking tour dedicated to the city's greatest literary friends. See the places where the Round Table, lived, worked, played and drank. You'll visit the former homes, theaters and speakeasies associated with Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Franklin P. Adams, Heywood Broun, Edna Ferber, George S. Kaufman and many more. The walk begins and ends in the landmark Algonquin Hotel. The walk is led by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, president of the DPS and author of A Journey into Dorothy Parker's New York. RSVP to

New Book by Kim Goldsworthy, "Lunch at the Algonquin," Features the 1920s Celebrities Known as The Algonquin Round Table

"Lunch at the Algonquin" is a new book by Kim Goldsworthy. A novelette of historical fiction, the book re-creates a dialogue between the group of writers known as "The Algonquin Round Table" or "The Vicious Circle," featuring Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley.

The author, Mr. Kim Goldsworthy of Rosemead, California, describes his historical fiction novelette as a re-creation of a one-hour luncheon attended by the famous Algonquin Wits of The Roaring Twenties or The Jazz Age. Specifically, the dialogue features the wit and sarcasm of Dorothy Parker (writer/screenwriter), Robert Benchley (writer/actor), Harold Ross (editor and founder of "The New Yorker" magazine), George S. Kaufman (Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright), and Marc Connelly (Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright), and others.

Like a fly-on-the-wall, the book records a typical conversation of this group as they eat lunch in the Algonquin Hotel in mid-town Manhattan, one afternoon in 1921, as they gab about the hot issues of the day: Prohibition; women's rights; radio; film; the Red Scare; the Sacco-Vanzetti trial of the century. They likewise converse about the little things, like pets, the theater, and what to do this weekend. In between bites, they spit their venom on each other as they toss off their insults and sexual innuendos between puns, word-play, literary allusions, and quotable quotes.

The author has included historical background to allow the reader to pick up the vibration of post-World War I America as expressed by the most literate New Yorkers living through the Jazz Age. For example, the newest interests of the early 1920s were mainly: the spread of the deadly Spanish flu epidemic; the spreading of jazz music; the propagation of radio as a consumer good; and the two newest Amendments to the U.S. Constitution concerning the right to vote ("women's suffrage") and the banning of alcoholic beverages ("Prohibition").

Popular interest in the Roaring Twenties and The Jazz Age is peaking right now, thanks to recent television shows like HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" and the Ken Burns documentary "Prohibition" which debuted on PBS.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday Sudoku

Complete the grid so that each row, column, and 3-by-3 framed block contains the letters P A R K B E N C H (only once) RATED DIFFICULT

Boston RBS Chapter Enjoys Artists and Models Evening

On Friday, November 18, 2011, the Boston "We've Come for the Davenport" Chapter of the Robert Benchley Society enjoyed an evening of life drawing.

Above -- David shakes the cocktail of the evening, the aviation.

Mr. Benchley, prior to his writing career, was first an illustrator at the Harvard Lampoon and in the 1920s hung out with artists in New York City, so we believe he would fit right in.
Participating in the event were: Michael Coughlin, Stephen Helfer, Will Howitt, Rich Johnson, Danielle Lauretano, Christopher Morgan, Maria Paige, Jeffrey Quinlan, Peter Sheinfeld, David and Mary Trumbull, Lorenzo Wigfall, and Jean Wilson.
More photos are available at WARNING, CONTAINS NUDITY.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

The University of Dayton has announced that registration for the 2012 Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop will open Dec. 6th.

The 2012 workshop at the University of Dayton will kick off with a keynote talk from Alan Zweibel, an original Saturday Night Live writer and author of the 2006 Thurber Prize-winning novel The Other Shulman.

Online registration for the workshop, slated April 19-21, opens at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 6th. The registration fee is $375, the same as in 2010. For more information go to

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Benchley's "Of All Things" Available Free Online

Thank you, Chris Morgan of the Boston, "We've Come for the Davenport" Chapter of the Robert Benchley Society for alerting us that the complete text and illustrations of Benchley's 1921 book Of All Things was, last month, made available on Project Gutenberg. This is the second Benchley book, after Love Conquers All, to be scanned and uploaded to Project Gutenberg which make books in the public domain available free online.

Of All Things and Love Conquers All are also now available on the Robert Benchley Society website at

Sunday Sudoku

Complete the grid so that each row, column, and 3-by-3 framed block contains the letters P A R K B E N C H (only once) RATED DIFFICULT

Photo Captioning Contest at RBS Annual Gathering

WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 12 -- Last evening the Eighth Annual International Gathering of the Robert Benchley Society was kicked off in Washington, D.C. In keeping with the group's tradition, the first evening's dinner was a casual affair. This time it was held at Buca di Beppo in the "Pope Room" where Benchleyites gathered at a round table with a bust of the Pope in the center.
Above and below -- Robert Benchley Society Annual Gathering Friday Dinner.
For entertainment the group competed in writing captions to go along with still photos from La Fea Más Bella, a Mexican telenovela (a sort of "soap opera").

Winning caption: "You just ate my hearing aid." By Jean Keleher of the Washington, D.C. "Lost Locomotive" Chapter.
Winning caption: "Why, yes, I am the minister of silly mustaches." By Matthew Hahn of the Washington, D.C. "Lost Locomotive" Chapter.
Winning caption: "Man, she really let that one rip." By Tim French, member at large from Alabama.
Winning caption: "I don't know! Who should be American idol?" By Christine McCarthy of the Boston "We've Come for the Davenport" Chapter.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New York City Benchley-Parker Round-up

David Trumbull, chairman of the Robert Benchley Society, and Kevin Fitzpatrick, president of the New York City "Fascinating Crimes" Chapter of the RBS and president of the Dorothy Parker Society plan to meet tomorrow. Wednesday, November 3rd, at 5:15 p.m. for drinks at the Lambs Club / Chatwal Hotel (, 132 West 44th Street (btwn 6th Ave and Broadway) New York, N.Y. 10036 and welcome Benchley and Parker fans in Midtown / Theatre District to join them for a brief, informal Robert Benchley Round-up.

A History of the Lambs Club

Before becoming The Chatwal New York and The Lambs Club Restaurant and Bar, this iconic Stanford White-designed building was the epicenter of American for the 20th century. The building originally opened in 1905 as home to the prestigious Lambs, America's first professional theatrical club. Organized in 1874 by a group of actors and enthusiasts, The Lambs occupied a series of rented quarters before settling at 44th Street. The American club took their name from a similar group in London, which flourished from 1869-1879, in the name of drama critic and essayist Charles Lamb.

Stanford White, a partner at prominent architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White, was the original architect of The Lambs clubhouse. His design principles embodied the "American Renaissance," as seen in his work on summer homes for the Astor and Vanderbilt families and such formidable structures as The Washington Square Arch, Madison Square Garden and the New York Herald Building. For The Lambs, he designed a six-story, neo-Georgian brick building featuring a facade ornamented with ram heads. A boisterous grill room and billiard room were on the first floor, a banquet hall on the second floor and a theater on the third floor. The top floors provided space for offices and sleeping quarters, often utilized by members traveling to The Great White Way from Hollywood. The size of the building was doubled in 1915 when an addition was constructed on the west end of the building, a virtual copy of the original. In 1974, the building was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks and Preservation Commission.

Since the club's founding, there have been more than 6,000 Lambs, with an elite roster reading like a Who's Who of American theater and film: Maurice, Lionel and John Barrymore, Irving Berlin, Cecil B. DeMille, David Belasco, Charlie Chaplin, George M. Cohan, Douglas Fairbanks, John Wayne, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Spencer Tracy and Fred Astaire, who was famously quoted as stating, "When I was made a Lamb, I felt I had been knighted."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sunday Sudoku

Complete the grid so that each row, column, and 3-by-3 framed block contains the letters P A R K B E N C H (only once) RATED DIFFICULT

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mark Russell Confirmed to Attend RBS 8th International Annual Gathering

The Robert Benchley Society is pleased to announce that pianist and humorist Mark Russell, 2011 celebrity judge of the Robert Benchley Society Annual Award for Humor, will be attending the RBS Annual Awards Dinner on Saturday, November 12th. The dinner will be the highlight of the Eighth Annual Gathering of the Robert Benchley Society will be Friday through Sunday, November 11-13, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

At the Awards Dinner we'll be giving out two 1st Place Robert Benchley Society Awards for Humor. Tim French of Midway, Alabama will be presented with the 2011 Robert Benchley Award for Humor for his essay The Old Man and the Leaf Blower. Mike Tuck of Eden Prairie, Minn., will be awarded 2010 Robert Benchley humor prize for his essay Story Time with the Children.

Robert Benchley Society

For more information about the Robert Benchley Society, local chapters near you, our annual Award for Humor, and our Annual Gathering, visit The RBS Website