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Session:         Page of 1029

LH
Interview #6
Interviewee: Bennett Cerf
Interviewer: Robbin Hawkins
New York City
October 23, 1967

Q:

In 1934 you went to--

Cerf:

By 1934 we were really signing up playwrights. Besides publishing O'Neill, which gave us our start in publishing plays, we decided we were going to do many more. This was my love, my secret love. It was a way to get my foot into the back door of the theater. We signed up George Kaufman. I don't think he had even started yet with Moss Hart.

Q:

Now, I know you'd known Hart vaguely.

Cerf:

No, no, that was Larry Hart. Moss came much later. Moss was years younger than me.

Q:

How did you meet Kaufman?

Cerf:

When I was at Liveright. Mrs. George Kaufman was there. Didn't I tell you that it was she who took me around to the Swopes many a night? I met George through Mrs. Kaufman.

Q:

Had he ever had anything published before?

Cerf:

No. Plays weren't published much in those days, except for O'Neill and Clifford Odets‘first play, “Waiting for Lefty.”



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