With the publication of The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide (Lyons Press) on Jan. 6, I’m publishing more of my research files online. This is a good one that ties Dorothy Parker to her hometown.
In her last months of living in Manhattan before she went West to try Hollywood screenwriting for a second time, Parker was asked to endorse Republican Fiorello LaGuardia and his Fusion Party of independents. LaGuardia was in a bitter three-way race, pitted against Mayor John P. Flynn and Democrat Joseph V. McKee of the Recovery Party. With the city gripped in the Depression, Parker threw her support to the left-leaning LaGuardia, a fellow liberal. He narrowly won the election, and would go onto govern New York City for three terms. Parker was not done with endorsements; she later campaigned for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidential election.
This story appeared Friday, Oct. 27, 1933, in the New York Evening Post. Parker was 40 years old.
Dorothy Parker For LaGuarder
Down on McKee is Coy Ladee—He Might Get Fat—Oh, Think of That!
By James K. Martindale
“That shot was no good, Miss Parker,” said the photographer. “You were squinting.”
“You didn’t look so good yourself,” said Miss Parker.
Then, when the last photographer had used up his last plate, Dorothy Parker turned to the press agent and eight reporters in her apartment at The Lowell, 28 East Sixty-third Street, and said with a sigh, “Now, aren’t you boys supposed to ask me something? Say, Why am I for LaGuardia?”
Press Agent—“Yes, Miss Parker, and now isn’t it your opinion that Tammany ought to go? Haven’t we had enough of political machines, or something?”
Miss P. — “Yes, don’t you think.”
P. A. —“What do you think of Mr. McKee?”
Miss P. —“He’s a very fine gentleman.”
P. A. —“Ah, maybe that’s because of his clean-shaven face.”
Miss P. —“Oh, no. I don’t like his face. It looks like it’s going to get fat any minute… Anyway, Mr. McKee can get plenty of other jobs…What does he do when he works?”
Miss P. (to P. A.) —“Maybe we’d better have another round of drinks. I’ll tell Ivy. This is not going so well. I feel miserable. Least LaGuardia could do for me after this would be make me controller—or something.”
P. A. — (Still hopeful) “You should show more venom toward your opponents.”
Miss P.—“I hate all opponents! How’s that?”
P. A. —(With desperation) “Maybe if you could say what your ideal of a Mayor would be…would be courageous, tolerant, honest—”
Second Reporter—“That’s the Boy Scout code, you’re confused.”
P. A. —“Miss Parker, you mustn’t forget to tell about the Fusion beer and pretzel party at the Astor, Monday night, at 8:30.”
Miss P. —“Oh, yes, there will be a beer and pretzel—”
Third Reporter—“We know about that.”
Miss P. —“Oh, I see. Well, you must all come.”
P. A. —“How about subways, the five-cent fare? Or how about taxes?”
Miss P. “Yes, I’m for taxes. I think rich people should be taxed for being alive.”
P. A. —(To reporters) “Have you fellows any more questions you’d like to ask?”
Reporters—“No, except one…Isn’t Miss Parker’s new book coming out tomorrow?”
Miss P. —“Yes, it is. I forgot. But I’m so sorry you boys have to go. I feel perfectly awful about the interview.”
Last Reporter—“Just one thing…You are for LaGuardia, aren’t you?”
Miss P. —“Oh, yes.”
L. R. —“Thank you. Good, bye.”