A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Good girls are made of sugar and spice. Country girls are made of whiskey on ice” (3/27)
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Entry from February 05, 2012
“Satire is something that closes on Saturday night” (theatre adage)

"Satire is what closes on Saturday night” is a 1937 quotation of playwright George S. Kaufman (1889-1961). Kaufman co-authored many popular comedies—and satires—but he felt that satire is often lost on an audience and is difficult to write successfully.  Broadway shows often officially open on a Friday, so a Saturday closing means a quick death to a show.

Kaufman “satire” saying has applied to movie satires as well as stage satires.


Wikipedia: George S. Kaufman
George Simon Kaufman (November 16, 1889 – June 2, 1961) was an American playwright, theatre director and producer, humorist, and drama critic. In addition to comedies and political satire, he wrote several musicals, notably for the Marx Brothers. One play and one musical that he wrote won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama: You Can’t Take It With You (1937, with Moss Hart), and Of Thee I Sing (1932, with Morrie Ryskind and Ira Gershwin). He also won the Tony Award as a Director, for the musical Guys and Dolls.
(...)
Even though he was a sometime satirist, he remarked that “Satire is what closes on Saturday night.”

The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 415:
George S. Kaufman
U.S. playwright, 1889-1961
Satire is something that closes on Saturday night.”
Quoted in Current Biography 1941 (1941)

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
8 August 1937, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, “The Sound Track” by Gould Cassal, pg. C3, col. 1:
Hollywood cannot understand this sort of thing, or else it feels that sharp kidding is not good for the box-office. (Mr. Kaufman himself has said that satire is what closes on Saturday night.)

22 August 1937, San Diego (CA) Union, Associated Weekly Magazine Section, pg. 3, col. 5:
“Satire,” says PLAYWRIGHT GEORGE S. KAUFMAN, “is something that closes on Saturday night.”

Google Books
Current Biography
New York, NY: The H. W. Wilson Company
1941
Pg. 456:
He is a satirist, though he refuses to concede the title, (“Satire is something that closes on Saturday night,” he says), ...

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
21 December 1946, New York (NY) Post, “The Lyons Den” by Leonard Lyons, pg. 39 (illegible—ed.), col. 3:
Leonora Corbett addressed the Press Institute about Message plays, quoted George S. Kaufman’s “Satire is what closes on Saturday nights,” and added “And Messages, on Monday.”

Google Books
Fanfare;
The confessions of a press agent

By Richard Maney
New York, NY: Harper
1957
Pg. 280:
They recall George Kaufman’s quip, “Satire is something that closes on Saturday night in Wilmington.”

Google Books
A Companion to Satire
Edited by Ruben Quintero
Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.
2007
Pg. 460:
In dramas and theatrical practices so varied, satire takes equally varied forms, though few plays in the modern dramatic canon are purely satiriccal, partly because satire is hard to market successfully in systems that rely on public patronage. As American playwright George S. Kaufman quipped, ‘’Satire is what closes Saturday night.’’

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • (0) Comments • Sunday, February 05, 2012 • Permalink