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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  • 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...
  • People who begin sentences with "I may be old-fashioned but—" are usually not only old-fashioned but wrong. I never thought the time would come when I should catch myself leading off with that cr...
    Robert Benchley (1889-1945), U.S. writer, humorist. Chips Off the Old Benchley, "Writers—Right or Wrong," Harper & Brothers (1949).
  • ''But compared with the task of selecting a piece of French pastry held by an impatient waiter a move in chess is like reaching for a salary check in its demand on the contemplative faculties.''
    Robert Benchley (1889-1945), U.S. writer, humorist. Chips Off the Old Benchley, "Picking French Pastry; A Harder Game Than Chess," Harper & Brothers (...
  • ''Next to a shot of some good, habit-forming narcotic, there is nothing like travelling alone as a "builder-upper."''
    Robert Benchley (1889-1945), U.S. writer, humorist. Chips Off the Old Benchley, "He Travels Fastest—," Harper & Brothers (1949).
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