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Knock Downs
Scene Stealing


Robert Benchley had been the centre of attention at a New York party and had enjoyed every moment of it until matinee idols arrived late and all the female attention was directed towards them.

'Now that's my idea of real he-men,' one of the young ladies said to Benchley as she left his side.

'He-men,' scoffed Benchley. I'll bet the hair of their combined chests wouldn't make a wig for a grape.'

You wouldn't believe how jealous she is. She even came up the aisle with her brothers as bridesmaids.

On Orson Welles's film, Citizen Kane:

'I loved it, particularly the ideas he took from me.' D. W. Griffith, the first great Hollywood producer-director.

She said she resented the idea that she'd been unfaithful. She said she'd been faithful to him dozens of times.

Not long after his proposal of marriage had been turned down by a dazzling Miss Steel, Robert Hall, the famous Baptist minister, was asked to take tea with a group of admiring ladies. He sat sullenly in one corner and contributed little to the conversation, much to the hostess's disappointment. In the end she commented sourly:

'Dear me, you are dull, Mr. Hall, and we have no polished steel to brighten you up.'

'O madam, that is of no consequence,' he told her, 'you have plenty of polished brass.'

Of course he's concerned about her happiness. In fact he's got a private detective finding out who's responsible for it.

During one of the many tedious gatherings that she was obliged to attend Lady Peel was approached by another titled Lady who had eyed the celebrated Peel pearls with undisguised envy.

'What lovely pearls, Beatrice. Are they real?' she asked.

'Of course,' Miss Lillie replied.

But to make sure the other woman took hold of the string and bit one of the pearls.

They're not,' she jeered, 'they're cultured.'

'And how could you know, Duchess, with false teeth?' came the reply.

The only reason she made it to the top was because her clothes didn't.

When the ravishing leading lady announced triumphantly that when she walked on stage the audience sat there openmouthed, one of the other members of the cast said caustically:

'Rubbish! They never all yawn at once.'

That girl looks as if she was poured into her dress and forgot to say when.

Mme. de Sevigne' was not a great beauty, though many of her friends were. One of these was complaining bitterly to her that she was at her wit's end knowing what to do with all her admirers. Mme. de Sevigne listened to the woman's long-winded complaints for over an hour before suggesting her solution.

'Why, my dear it is easy to get rid of them,' she explained. 'You have only to open your mouth.'

She doesn't trust him an inch. If she doesn't find any strange hairs on his jackets she just accuses him of having an affair with a bald woman.

The famous eighteenth-century Parisian actress, Sophie Arnoud, tolerated no rivals. When she heard that a popular dancer, whose act consisted of little more than elegant arm movements, had broken her arm and been forced to cancel the rest of her highly successful run, her only comment was:

'What a pity it wasn't her leg; then it wouldn't have interfered with her dancing.'


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