Thursday, April 7, 2011

Boston Benchley Round-up Saturday

The Boston "We've Come for the Davenport" Chapter of the Robert Benchley Society will gather on Saturday afternoon April 9th, all are welcome. The program will begin at 2:00 p.m. with a visit to the Boston Athenaeum to see the "Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey" exhibit. Admission is free for Athenaeum members; $5.00 for non-members. Then at 3:30 p.m. we'll walk around the corner to The Church on the Hill (140 Bowdoin Street) where we have arranged for a room with large screen TV to watch a Benchley movie followed by pot-luck dinner.

If you are interested in attending contact David Trumbull at

The Robert Benchley Society was founded in Boston in 2003. Robert Benchley (1889-1945) was an American humorist in print, in the movies, and on radio. He is best know as one of the founders of the 1920s "Algonquin Round Table" wits in New York. Benchley, who was born in Worcester, attended Harvard College before making his name in New York and Hollywood. The Society has grown to have local chapters in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Ann Arbor, Mich., and Longview, Washington, as well as members in several other states, Canada, Mexico, France, and Australia.

The Boston Chapter took its name "We've Come for the Davenport" from a college prank played by Mr. Benchley on Beacon Hill about one hundred years ago. According to Mr. Benchley's son, Nathaniel, Robert Benchley and a fellow Harvard student knocked on the door of a randomly chosen house on Louisburg Square and told the maid who answered, "We've come for the davenport." When the maid said she knew nothing about the matter, Benchley pointed to a davenport in the hall, said that must be the one, and with that the two college men carried out the davenport, knocked on another randomly chosen door and announced, "We've brought the davenport," leaving the sofa with an equally confused maid at the second house and leaving the families at both houses to try to sort out it out later.

Among the activities of the Society is the Annual Robert Benchley Society Award for Humor Writing. The deadline for submissions for this year's competition is May 1st. Our celebrity judge this year is Mark Russell, whose topical and political humor and music parodies, have pleased us all for more than three decades in personal performances, television shows, and radio broadcasts. For more information about the competition or to enter, go to the Society website

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Robert Benchley Society

For more information about the Robert Benchley Society, local chapters near you, our annual Award for Humor, and our Annual Gathering, visit The RBS Website