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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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all to play in it. He got them all sitting as an audience. “When I give the signal,” he said, “I want you to all cheer.” They all played it as a gag. He got the picture of them all cheering. Then he said, “I want you all to applaud madly.” They all applauded madly, and he had a lot of these shots, too. He said, “I'll show you the picture when it's completed.” Then he bought the filthiest movie in the world, some underground pornographic film, and he spliced in the shots of his friends cheering and applauding. Then he had them all back to see the finished product. Well, he lost about half of his friends this way. They threatened to sue him or punch him in the nose. Of course he never released it. Nothing was ever done with the picture, but that was the length that he would go to for a joke! It must have cost him thousands of dollars to do this, but it was worth all of the bother to him because of the shock of showing the picture. You can imagine a staid society matron suddenly seeing some filthy thing on there and the next thing--she's cheering and applauding.


Well, it's amazing what people do to get pleasure.


In those days, people would go to any lengths. Those were the days of Ben Hecht and Charlie McArthur and Gene Fowler, and these people would do anything for a joke. They would spend an infinite amount of time, trouble, and money for a practical joke. People just haven't got time for this

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