George S. Kaufman: Dramatist and Master of Human Relations!

Do you have people in your life with poor personal boundaries? Do they approach you and seek to retail what my students have designated (from texting usage, I must assume) “TMI”–too much information? Do these people–even worse–elicit your advice, or, heaven forfend, presume to offer you advice? The legendary dramatist George S. Kaufman dealt with these people, and, as this hilarious anecdote from Jon S. Winokur’s The Portable Curmudgeon (New York: Plume, 1992) shows, Mr. Kaufman didn’t suffer them gladly:

“On the television show This Is Show Business, a youthful Eddie Fisher complained that girls refused to date him because of his age, and he asked Kaufman’s advice. Kaufman replied. ‘Mr. Fisher, on Mount Wilson there is a telescope that can magnify the most distant stars up to twenty-four times the magnification of any previous telescope. This remarkable instrument was unsurpassed in the world of astronomy until the construction of the Mount Palomar telescope, an even more remarkable instrument of magnification. Owing to advances and improvements in optical technology, it is capable of magnifying the stars up to four times the magnification and resolution of the Mount Wilson telescope.

“Mr. Fisher, if you could somehow put the Mount Wilson telescope inside the Mount Palomar telescope, you still wouldn’t be able to detect my interest in your problem.'”

2 responses to “George S. Kaufman: Dramatist and Master of Human Relations!

  1. Hilarious!! Thank you!

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. I thought you’d like it….


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