Good Story, Never Mind the Facts

Fact Checked
  • Bennett Cerf, right
  • Richard Rabicoff responded:
  • This is rather curious. I do not find a book by Bennett Cerf titled Living to Laugh, though Amazon lists some 80 titles of his with the word laugh. Is Mr. Adler referring to a book or an article; or is the anecdotist someone other than Cerf?

    Watson's The Double Hook came out in 1959 and was an experimental fiction of the type O'Hara would never read, much less admire, especially at age 54.

    In 1959 O'Hara was happily married to his final wife and was notoriously faithful to her. While such an orgy could have taken place during his various bachelorhoods, or especially in Hollywood, it is terribly unlikely he would have partied like this in 1959 or thereafter. (He died in 1970.)

    That said, it is a delightful anecdote delightfully told. But is sure sounds spurious.

  • Richard Carreño responded:
    Philadelphia::1 May 2008
    Rubbish, of course. Facts don't square. Never mind. Good story.

    Richard Carreño
    John O'Hara Society

  • Styron was a Random House author, But hardly a friend of O'Hara.

  • Cerf was a prude. I doubt that he'd be relating stories like this.

  • Watson at the time would be more than 50 years old.

  • The train from Toronto connects in New York. Allentown?????

  • Cerf never wrote anything called Living to Laugh.

1 comment:

jamesmacdonald7 said...

I agree with you, Richard, and then some. In 1959 William Styron was 34ish. Is it conceivable that he'd go with a woman nearly 20 years his senior? Anybody who would must have a sexual kink somewhere...and I seriously doubt this applied to Styron. And he and O'Hara moved in different circles anyway.