Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 1029

Gerswin. I knew that you knew him, and I was wondering if...


Well, George Gershwin. I valued our friendship very highly. As I think that I've told you anyhow, to me all theater people are heroes. Just walking backstage still gives me a thrill. Even the little chorus girl to me is important because she is in the theater and I've always loved it.


You were pretty good friends with George and Ira Gershwin?


George and Ira were already famous when I met them. I don't remember who introduced me. Probably it was Beatrice Kaufman. I told you, it was through her that I met most of the important people in the early part of my career. We became very, very close friends. George and I went on several winter vacations together. We went down to Havana and we went on a cruise together. Another winter we went to Florida together.

George was an enchanting man. He was unbelievably conceited, but it was such an engaging conceit! Instead of getting you angry, you'd sit back and laugh at him. He would meet you on the street and he'd take it for granted that anything that had to do with him was of vital interest to you and everybody else. Once he greeted me with, “Would you believe it, Bennett? I haven't been to the bathroom in four days.” He couldn't understand why I burst out laughing.

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help