The Algonquin Round Table

Wit's End - Days and Nights at the Algonquin Round Table by James R. Gaines

Kaufman was uniquely placed at the epicenter of the earthshattering theatrical and literary world of New York in the 1920s. As a drama editor for the Times, he had access to every celebrity and it was convenient for him to take his lunches at a hotel in the middle of the newspaper district: the Algonquin. The Algonquin Round Table was the name given to the informal group of New York literati who traded luncheon entrees and verbal sorties right up until the stock market crash.

Its loquacious members included the drama critic and radio personality Alexander Woollcott. Joining him were Kaufman, writers Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley, playwright Robert E. Sherwood, critic Heywould Hale Broun, comedian Harpo Marx, composer Irving Berlin, and many others. The Round Table has entered the realm of American cultural legend and their blend of wit, insouciance, and arrogance made the members of the Round Table the perfect representatives of their age. Their clever anecdotes and witticisms alone, to which Kaufman contributed greatly, are a major part of American humor.