This was snipped from Page 171 of Bennett Cerf’s Try and Stop Me: A Collection of Anecdotes and Stories, Mostly Humorous, published in 1945. My copy of the book includes the handwritten name of a previous owner; Doris Klotz. I wonder if Doris laughed when she read Cerf’s little joke about stomach butterflies. If Doris is reading this, please respond and let us know what you think. If Doris is deceased (which is very possible) maybe a surviving family member or acquaintance would like to weigh in. Even if you didn’t know Doris, feel free.
- Cerf’s book contains a substantial supply of funny stuff, but also some humor that isn’t well taken today. He held bigoted views about African-Americans and other ethnic groups that were generally held by whites in the United States in that era. Some people still hold these antiquated views but just don’t articulate them in public.
- But the book contains, as the title suggests, plenty of very interesting anecdotes. Most are about well known people. Here’s one example:
- Cerf was a successful publisher as well as author, but I remember him from my childhood as a member of the panel on
What’s My Line?
- , a TV show whose panel, consisting of four people, were blindfolded while a guest entered the stage and sat next to the moderator, John Daly. The panelists attempted to guess the occupation, or “line,” of the guest with questioning. For more on this game show, which helped form my very personality and outlook on life, see the
I doubt many people read Cerf’s book these days. I picked up my copy at a used book sale somewhere. If you’re interested, you can purchase a copy online at abebooks for $1.00.