The Algonquin Round Table was this legendary rendezvous for witty playwrights, columnists, authors, and actors. They would meet for lunch at the Algonquin Hotel in New York on a regular basis from 1919 to 1929. Out of these fabled luncheons would come classic quotes like Dorothy Parker's -- “Let me get out of these wet clothes into a dry martini.” I’d list the names of the participants but you’ve probably never heard of most if not any of them. I only bring it up because these lunches have become so storied that you would think they were the Justice League of Comedy.
I’m sure witty zingers would be uttered from time to time. And pithy lines. Pith was very big back then. But I bet, for all the hoopla, the Algonquin Round Table was no funnier (and probably less funny) than any six TV comedy writers getting together at a deli. Or comedians for that matter.
If you love to laugh (and kill yourself with fatty meats), there is no greater way to spend a couple of hours. The following topics are always discussed:
Actors who are monsters that we’ve worked with. And trying to top each other with our actor’s horribleness. It's not a fair fight when Roseanne writers join.
House repairs as a result of a natural disaster. Retaining walls only collapse on comedy writers.
Other comedy writers who are funnier than we are.
Shows we hate. (This can take up half the lunch.)
Vacation horror stories. (which usually includes lost luggage and more natural disasters.)
Cars we’ve sold.
Ex-wives, ex-husbands, child support, private school tuition, orthodontia.
Jury duty (ways to get out of it).
Former writer/crazy man Pat McCormick stories. None I could repeat here.
Projects that we’re working on – real and imagined.
The upcoming WGA strike. There’s always an upcoming WGA strike.
Who else died.
Stupid network notes we’ve received.
And new this year…
How fucked we all are with Trump in the White House.
I bet for every laugh they got at the Algonquin we get four (although our pith level is shamefully low). Never has anger been so hilarious. It truly is an honor to sit at a table with great comic minds. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been doubled over… although that’s probably the pastrami.