Monday, January 05, 2015

Carl Rose Illustrations from TRY AND STOP ME by Bennett Cerf

Here's a rather dog-eared edition of TRY AND STOP ME, a collection of Bennett Cerf's newspaper columns. It's copyright 1944 by Mr. Cerf. The dust jacket tells us the book has

"the most amusing anecdotes of the theatre, the book world, movies and sports and the most interesting ghost stories. One chapter contains thirty-two anecdotes, in which various pigeons, herrings and mere people furnish the deliciously crazy brand of humor known as Shaggy-Dog. Some of the stories are more than a page long. Some are only a few lines, There are hundreds of them, all flavors."

Bennett was a force, and this was arguably his best-selling book. The go-to guy to illustrate this book was cartoonist Carl Rose.

Carl Rose was the cartoonist who drew the 1928 New Yorker magazine cartoon in which the mother tells the child at the dinner table, "It's broccoli, dear." And the kid responds with "I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it." Mr. Rose drew this, Mr. E.B. White supplied the gag line.

Rose was a busy cartoonist, and here's a small sample of a few of the dozens of drawings he did for TRY AND STOP ME. I like his line. It's bold and inky. I'm guessing a crow quill or bowl dip pen. Regardless, it's pretty pliant and Rose is a master. 

The Marx Brothers:

Tennessee Williams:

Kaufman and Hart:

Charles MacArthur and Helen Hayes:

George M. Cohan:

W.C. Fields:

Harold Ross:

Heywood Braun:

Alexander Woolcott:


Gary said...

One of the books I adored as a child was Bennett Cerf's "Book of Laughs," a Random House Beginner Book that is also wonderfully illustrated by Rose.

Murdoch Matthew said...

Eugene O'Neill, not Tennessee Williams.