Entering the warped world of SJ Perelman - the Marx brothers' greatest scriptwriter, amongst other things - is a unique comic experience. A satirist and parodist, his celebrated sketches lampoon the screaming absurdities of modern life and bring succour to that most persecuted mirity of all: the embattled sane. The undoubted star of these sketches is Perelman's own put-upon fictional persona: all he craves is a little peace and quiet, yet he is continually pushed closer to the edge by those sent to try him. Written mainly for the New Yorker magazine, the sketches in this volume are a brand new selection of some of his finest pieces, many of which have been unavailable for decades. This collection covers every decade in which he wrote from the '30s to the '70s. His subversive wit seems as fresh today as it did when it first appeared, and to many he is quite simply the most original and funniest humorist of the twentieth century.
Sidney Joseph Perelman (1904-1979) was born into a Russian Jewish immigrant family in Brooklyn. He grew up in Providence, Rhode Island and attended Brown University in 1922 where he became the cartoonist of the college magazine and finally its editor. After publishing his first two books he was invited to Hollywood by Groucho Marx to script two films: Monkey Business and Horse Feathers. A contributor to the New Yorker from 1935, he soon became the magazine's most successful humorist.