Bibliography of Robert Benchley

I've included here all the books I've found by and about the humorist, as well recordings, and references to his many movies. More details can be found in:

Robert Benchley: An Annotated Bibliography

compiled by Gordon E. Ernst, Jr.

Greenwood Press 1995

Books by Benchley


In addition to scripting and starring in many film shorts, drawn from his essays, Benchley also acted in and wrote for many full length feature films, occasionally uncredited. See the books by Redding or Gehring for a complete list. A number stills from six of his shorts can be found the book by Hornsby. (if it can in fact be found). I have not checked whether Benchley's entry in the Internet Movie DataBase is complete.


Gehring lists the following recordings by Benchley.

The Magic Key of RCA


at The Museum of Broadcasting, NY, NY

Robert Benchley Special Audition


Audition for CBS radio program.

at MoB, NY, NY

The Undecided Molecule


episode of Columbia Presents

includes Groucho Marx and Vincent Price.

at MoB, NY, NY

Benchley's Best

c. 1955

(audio rarities LPA 110)

Selections from the radio program?

Other recordings of Benchley's work

World of Benchley
(a.k.a Benchley's Best )

Originally Listening Library, LL 3316/17R, LL 3316/17CX (1985)

Cassette Bookshelf Service CB 121Cx

Essays read by Henry Morgan

Introduction by Nathaniel Benchley.

Distributed by Newman Communications.

The Best of Benchley

Caedmon TC 1731, CP 1731 (1983)

Essays read by Bob Elliot. (Bob of Bob & Ray ).

Directed by Ward Botsford.

Program notes by Heywood Hale Broun.

American Humorists

includes Ladies Wild , read by Henry Morgan.

Humor on Wry

Audio Partners (1991)

includes something read by Henry Morgan.


Although the serious fan will want to read all three, there is a great deal of overlap between these books.

Robert Benchley, a Biography

Nathaniel Benchley

(McGraw-Hill - 1944 )

Written by Benchley's first son, with an introduction by his longtime friend and playwright Robert Sherwood.

Robert Benchley: His Life and Good Times

Babette Rosmond

(Doubleday - 1970 )

Laughter's Gentle Soul: The Life of Robert Benchley

Billy Altman

( Norton - 1997)

This was recently reviewed by John Updike in The New Yorker (April 7, 1997).

"It is less good on the Worcester background than Nathaniel Benchley, and less good on the writing than, in her bouncy way, Rosmond; but Altman is excellent on Hollywood."

Other books about the humorist

Robert Benchley

Norris W. Yates

(Twayne - 1968)

Discussion of major themes in Benchley's works.

Starring Robert Benchly: Those magnficent Move Shorts

Robert Redding

( University of NM Press - 1973 )

Discusses Benchley's film career, concetrating on his shorts. Includes a filmography.

"Mr. B." Or Comforting Thoughts about the Bison,
A Critical Biography of Robert Benchley.

(Contributions to the Study of Popular Culture, number 35)

Wes D. Gehring

(Greenwood Press - 1992)

Includes a biography section, noteworthy because of conversations with Marjorie Benchley (Nathaniel's widow, and current 'keeper of the archives'). Also includes annoted bibliography and filmography.