[Ads-l] Robert Benchley on jogging

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 13 01:51:55 EDT 2017

Geoffrey Nunberg wrote:
> A number of quotation sites attribute to Benchley the
> line, "Go jogging? What, and get hit by a meteor?”
> Inasmuch as Benchley definitively departed this vale
> in 1945, that feels like an anachronism — was “go
> jogging” used in this sense as early as that?

Based on an annotated bibliography it looks like Benchley wrote a
column in 1935 that was thematically relevant. Does anyone have access
to San Francisco Examiner in 1935? Has this newspaper been digitally

Year: 1995
Book: Robert Benchley: An Annotated Bibliography
Compiler: Gordon E. Ernst
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
Quote Page 74
Database: Google Books Preview

[Begin excerpt]
"Duck, Brothers!"  San Francisco Examiner, February 11, 1935, p. [13].
(How to avoid being hit by a meteor.)  (In B15)
[End excerpt]

Robert Benchley died in 1945. Here is a version of the joke based on
sunbathing instead of jogging in 1957. Benchley delivered the

Date: May 25, 1957
Newspaper: The Ottawa Journal
Newspaper Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Article: An Attic Salt Shaker
Quote Page 44, Column 6
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
One beautiful afternoon in Hollywood, a friend called on him and found
him sunning himself under a lamp.

"What are you doing under that?" demanded the friend. He pointed to
the sun-drenched patio on the other side of the window. "Why don't you
sit out there?"

"What, and get hit with a meteor?" retorted Benchley.
[End excerpt]


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