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Why Round Table? [43001]

By September 1, 1981July 11th, 2023Articles

All of us on the staff of ROUND TALBE are happy to see this first edition finally in print and we welcome all our readers.

            We’re quite proud of this publication, and we unashamedly wish ourselves much success. You’re welcome to join the good wishes if you like.

            We feel that ROUND TABLE is a unique periodical written by comedy writers and humorists for comedy writers and humorists. But then why the mysterious name, ROUND TABLE, a gathering place for comedy writers and humorists? Why not simply COMEDY WRITERS MONTHLY or the COMEDY WRITERS JOURNAL? Is it because the comedy writers who put the first edition together simply can’t bring themselves to use such trite, hackneyed, expected titles? That’s part of it. We humorists always think we can top anything

that’s been done before. But that’s not the real reason.

            We wanted the title to reflect the purpose and the content of the publication. Years ago, the finest humorists of America would meet periodically for lunch at the Algonquin hotel in New York. People like Alexander Woolcott, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and others would exchange ideas and insult across what became known as the Algonquin Round Table. It was at the meeting place that Robert Benchly once said, “It took me 15 years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.”

            We want this publication to have the same relaxed and friendly atmosphere as the original Round Table.

            This journal is not intended to be merely a fact finding and news reporting bulletin. It’s intended, rather, to be exactly as the subtitle says, a gathering place for comedy writers and humorists. It’s really an instrument for you readers and subscribers to exchange ideas. We solicit and welcome your input.

            Writing is supposed to be a lonely profession. That’s especially true for the comedy writer. Even the most popular writers magazines virtually ignore this specialized field. In every city that I visit I invariably meet at least one comedy writer who wants to know “Who do I show my material to?” “How do I sell my material?” and similar questions.

            ROUND TABLE is designed to take some of the loneliness out of comedy writing.

            Through this publication, writers and humorists will meet on these pages. They can ask questions of the experts, the experienced writers and humorists, or of each other. We want to know of your successes and how you achieved them, because others can learn from your innovations and gather some residual confidence in your achievement.

            We’ll provide a showcase for your writings. We’ll provide interviews with successful performers and some accomplished writers will pass on their experience to you. Notice, we don’t say “expertise,” but experience. A long-time writer isn’t necessarily more skilled than the beginner. He just has learned how to use those skills more effectively. (Go back and reread the Robert Benchly quote. It has as much truth as humor in it.)

            One advantage this ROUND TABLE has over the original…they only had room for the elite of the world of humor. We’re grateful that we have plenty of room for everyone.