"Satire is what closes on Saturday night."
"I saw the show at a disadvantage: the curtain was up."
"Skylark, starring Gertrude Lawrence, is a bad play saved by a bad performance."
"I can trace my ancestors all the way to the Crusades - Sir Roderick Kaufman. He went as a spy, of course."
GSK on the much-altered film version of Stage Door:
"They should have called it Screen Door."
GSK telegram to a misbehaving actor:
"Saw your performance tonight from back of house. Wish you were here."
GSK on film directing:
"It's all right, I suppose, if you can stay awake."
GSK in the linen department of Bloomingdale's:
"Have you got any good second-act curtains?"
The Algonquin Round Table
Kaufman was uniquely placed at the epicenter of the earthshattering theatrical and literary world of New York in the 1920s. As a drama editor for the Times, he had access to every celebrity and it was convenient for him to take his lunches at a hotel in the middle of the newspaper district: the Algonquin. The Algonquin Round Table was the name given to the informal group of New York literati who traded luncheon entrees and verbal sorties right up until the stock market crash.
Its loquacious members included the drama critic and radio personality Alexander Woollcott. Joining him were Kaufman, writers Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley, playwright Robert E. Sherwood, critic Heywould Hale Broun, comedian Harpo Marx, composer Irving Berlin, and many others. The Round Table has entered the realm of American cultural legend and their blend of wit, insouciance, and arrogance made the members of the Round Table the perfect representatives of their age. Their clever anecdotes and witticisms alone, to which Kaufman contributed greatly, are a major part of American humor.