The Algonquin Wits: Beatrice Kaufman

“George Oppenheimer, while an editor at Viking Press, was once assigned to collect material for a question-book called Ask Me Another. As a promotional gimmick the editors were advised to first test the questions on various celebrities. Covering the ‘famous authors’ section, Oppenheimer asked Beatrice Kaufman: ‘Who wrote The Virginian?’

‘Owen Wister,’ Beatrice answered.

Oppenheimer’s next question read: ‘Who wrote The Virginians?’

Reacting against the gimmicky pattern of the questions, Beatrice answered, ‘Owens Wisters.’”

Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.

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