“Funny Letters From Famous People” (Charles Osgood)

One of the by-products of planning in advance topics for including here at AnchoredScraps.com are some of the books I have ordered in advance as part of my research that is related to Letter Writing. 

Last week in my blog post #270 – I said I would be pulling from that list of topics in development and getting them into the queue here before reaching blog post #300 in December.

First of all I have to say I have loved listening to Charles Osgood since first hearing him while in Junior High and love his signature closing of “I’ll see you on the radio…” when anchoring “CBS News Sunday Morning.    Today’s blog post is about a book I was lucky to have ordered and have been enjoying reading:  “Funny Letters From Famous People” – Edited and Introduced by Charles Osgood.

Cover “Funny Letters From Famous People” – Charles Osgood from Biblio.com. You can click on the image to be taken to the book.

The book was published in 2003, is almost 5″ x 8″ hardback and over 200 pages.

The dedication for the book to the mail carriers is wonderful:

“This book is dedicated to

Those dauntless men and women who,

Sometimes by truck, sometimes by feet,

In spite of snow and rain and sleet,

And heat of day, and gloom of night,

And dogs that bark and sometimes bite,

And handwriting that’s hard to read,

Complete your rounds with all due speed,

Brave couriers, hats off to you

Who get those funny letters through!

-Chas. Osgood

In his three plus pages of his introduction he makes the case that 200 years from now it will be hard for a biographer to go back through people’s letter exchanges given there aren’t that many of traditional letters anymore – and sure we have their emails but a lot of times with email humor one needs the emoticon to help distinguish if humor is at play or not.  To quote from his book: “But a real letter about a real situation from a real person, especially a real politician, author, or show business celebrity? Now that can be funny!”

The book has three sections, 1: Politicians, 2: Authors, and 3: Denizens of the Fine Arts and Show Business.  Each section begins with a poem written by Charles and they are treasures.

While I am still making my way through the book, I have looked ahead and my impression is the title of the book leads one to believe it may be ha-ha funny all through out type of book.   What I have come across is the humor by some of the letter writers is not obvious while others have you immediately smiling, i.e. the letter from Groucho Marx to his good friend Irving Hoffman while he was an expectant father.  There were some selections I enjoyed but I would not classify as overtly funny.   They are still treasures and a wonderful collection – especially when coming across some that were written but never mailed.  

What also struck me was if you have a ‘well read friend’ or you are ‘that person’ meaning more familiar with some of the authors – and would know their writing style and see the humor more quickly.   And if you do have such a friend or want to be ‘that’ person the book is a treasure full of letters to read and one I would give for Christmas.  I’m glad I got this book in hardback and hope you will consider adding it to your bookcase and/or your friends bookcase.   This does not mean if you are one of my family &/or friends reading today’s blog post that you now know what you are getting for Christmas from me – but then again it could!


Anchors Aweigh,  



Attribution & Thank you to the following who are referenced today —

Image of cover above of “Funny Letters From Famous People” – Edited and Introduced by Charles Osgood (2003) as shown on Biblio.com

TheOsgoodFile   @OsgoodFile

AnchoredScraps.com blog post: #270 daily blog posts  November 22, 2015 written by Helen Rittersporn



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