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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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I certainly do. The art editor was George W. T. Gillette. The reason we made him art editor was that he not only drew pretty well, but his father was head of the Gillette Safety Razor Company, and we felt this was going to get us quite a lot of advertising. It did, too, but he paid us off in Gillette blades. But anyway at this time there was a dance craze called “the shimmy.” The shimmy was a very interesting dance. You took a girl and you stood in one spot and you bounced up and down. If you had the right girl, it was an exhilarating dance! I wrote a joke, and Gillette drew the picture--a full-page picture--of a couple shimmying on the floor, with a big fat Englishman sitting at a ringside table. The caption was: “Lord Hemingway, what do you think of that couple doing the shimmy over there?" and Lord Hemingway's answer was: “All I can say is: 'I 'opes he marries the girl.'”

This enabled Mr. Gillette and me to meet Nicholas Murray Butler. We went in and he was sitting there behind an empty desk. He looked at us--he was a pompous man--and said, “The first thing I'd like to point out to you two gentlemen is that English lords do not customarily speak with a Cockney accent.”


Well, he must have had some sense of humor.


Well, the two of us said, “Yes, sir:”

And he said, “The second thing I'd like to tell you is: Anymore of that vulgar type of humor and you two gentlemen will follow Mr. Ryskind out of this university so fast you won't know what happened to you.”

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