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Robert Benchley


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Robert Charles Benchley (September 15, 1889 – November 21, 1945) was an American humorist best known for his work as a newspaper columnist and film actor. From his beginnings at the Harvard Lampoon while attending Harvard University, through his many years writing essays and articles for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and his acclaimed short films, Benchley's style of humor brought him respect ... more »

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  • Nine-tenths of the value of a sense of humor in writing is not in the things it makes one write but in the things it keeps one from writing. It is especially valuable in this respect in serious writin...
    Robert Benchley (1889-1945), U.S. writer, humorist. Life magazine (March 8, 1929). Benchley at the Theater, "Dynamo," Ipswich Press (1985).
  • A great deal of unnecessary worry is indulged in by theatregoers trying to understand what Bernard Shaw means. They are not satisfied to listen to a pleasantly written scene in which three or four cle...
    Robert Benchley (1889-1945), U.S. writer, humorist. Life magazine (December 9, 1920). Benchley at the Theater, "Heartbreak House," Ipswich Press (1985...
  • The way to go to the circus, however, is with someone who has seen perhaps one theatrical performance before in his life and that in the High School hall.... The scales of sophistication are struck fr...
    Robert Benchley (1889-1945), U.S. writer, humorist. Life magazine (April 14, 1921). Benchley at the Theater, "Rustlings of Spring," Ipswich Press (198...
  • Mr. [John] Barrymore's smile was the smile of an actor who hates actors, and who knows that he is going to kill two or three before the play is over. I am not an actor-killer, but I like my Hamlets to...
    Robert Benchley (1889-1945), U.S. writer, humorist. The New Yorker (October 17, 1936). Benchley at the Theater, "Big Names," Ipswich Press (1985).
  • ''Anyone who tries to keep track of what is happening in China is going to end up by wearing all the skin of his left ear from twirling around on it.''
    Robert Benchley (1889-1945), U.S. writer, humorist. Liberty Magazine (c. 1932). Benchley Lost and Found, "A Brief Course in World Politics," Dover Pub...
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