"Why is this man laughing?"

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Jun 29 05:38:00 UTC 2003

   From Saturday's NEW YORK TIMES obituary of David Newman (who wrote the

In 1960 he joined Esquire as an editor, where he and Mr. Benton created
several features, among them the still-surviving Dubious Achievement Award, for
which he coined the phrase, "Why is this man laughing?" The phrase accompanied a
photograph of a mirthful Richard M. Nixon. The two also collaborated on a
column, "Man Talk," which ran from 1964 to 1974 in Mademoiselle magazine, and on
"Extremism: A Non Book" (Viking, 1964).

   "Why is this man laughing?" probably follows "Why is this man smiling?"  I
think the latter phrase was used in a print ad of some sort.  I'll check the
databases tomorrow, but these dubious phrases are probably not worth Fred
Shapiro's recording.

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