Remember when theater critics were so important they were paid to endorse trains?

Me neither.

h/t to Terry Teachout.


Alexander Woollcott... was the inspiration for Sheridan Whiteside in the play The Man Who Came to Dinner.

Alexander Wollcott... was born in an 85-room house in New Jersey that had once been a commune.

Alexander Woollcott... contracted the mumps in his early twenties, "which apparently left him mostly, if not completely, impotent." (More like the man who couldn't come to dinner, amirite?*)

Alexander Woollcott... wrote the original "Shouts and Murmurs" column for The New Yorker.

Alexander Woollcott... had a heart attack while speaking on a radio panel about Adolf Hitler (the listening audience had no idea—they thought he just stopped talking) and died a few hours later.

Says Wikipedia: "He was buried in Clinton, New York, at his alma mater, Hamilton College, but not without some confusion. By mistake, his ashes were sent to Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. When the error was corrected and the ashes were forwarded to Hamilton College, they arrived with 67¢ postage due."

*This joke brought to you by Eric Grandy.