On Broadway

Walter Winchell

Spartanburg Herald/March 21, 1940

(By Their Idiosyncrasies Shall Ye Know Them)

If she dances on a crowded night club floor with a lighted cigarette in her hand five’ll getcha twenny her name is Elaine Barrie.

If he’s a trim little guy in a dark blue suit and he’s drinking orange juice at a Broadway stand, look again. It may be Irving Berlin.

If nobody recognizes him except the columnists when he ankles into a night club at about closing time—he is F. D. Roosevelt, Jr.

If she’s round-faced and seated at a ringside table, she’s Mrs. Postmaster Farley, and if the pal with her is wearing earrings she doesn’t necessarily have to be Liz Waitney—she’s more likely Beth Leary. The one at the table who isn’t wearing any earrings is probably Cholly Knickerbocker.

If she says: “Hullo Stuff, are yuh mellow?” she’s Frances Faye.

If she’s tall and blonde and beautiful but has her mother with her—don’t argue about it—she’s Cobina Wright, Jr.

If he has meat gravy on his paws and wipes it off on his hair, you can safely lay odds that his name is Oscar Levant.

If he tips the hat check girl a dime, he’s a playboy; if he tips her a quarter, he’s a columnist, if he tips her $1 he’s M. Hellinger.

If he tells you he has six pockets and he has $1,000 in each of them, he’s no gang chief—he’s Balmy Manville.

If you see a lad bouncing a golf ball as he strolls along the street—he’s not crazy. His name is Fred Astaire.

If he introduces every gal in his night club to you as his wife—he’s Barney Gallant. If his nose is red and his face is powder white, he’s Paul Hartman. If he’s under a table, he isn’t drunk. He’s Jack Dempsey giving a customer the hot-foot.

If he says “Joad Louis is a maximum, grade courage interim, and off the record you can quote me, g’bve”—he’s not giving you any double-talk. He’s General Phelan of the Boxing Board.

If he signs your autograph book thus: “Thanks for asking me” he’s George Raft. If he talks baby-talk his name is Victor Moore.

If it’s spelled Gypsey Rose Lee, that’s the 1940 World Almanac.

If he’s a big guy and bumps into you on the dance floor and then meekly begs your pardon—he’s a gangster.

If she’s sitting at a corner table at The Stork Club looking wan and interesting she’s Julia Haydon—and he’s George Jean Nathan.

If she looks like a movie star and skates like Sonja Henie on the Rockefeller ice rink her name is Eleanor Holm.

If he wears a monocle and covers his face when the photogs try to take his picture, he’s not an international fortune-hunter—he’s Erich Maria Remarque, the book-writer. A touchy lad.

If he leaves his table to play the drums and he’s tall and red-headed and looks like Don Budge, you’re right that’s right!

If one night her hair is long and blonde and the next black and bobbed, don’t quit drinking. That’s Sally Rand, a wig-lover.

If she hisses the villain and applauds the hero at a movie, and if you can hear her 14 tables away in the Stork, that’s T. Bankhead.

If she’s in the first row at the Paramount at the opening matinee throwing kisses at the orchestra leader—she’s Broadway Rose. If she grabs your wing while you’re walking with your wife near Lindy and bellows: “Hullo, Darling, I miss you terribly!” that’s her again!

If he refuses to pay his night club cheek until the minimum is removed (which he considers a racket) his name is Peter Arno.

If she’s a tiny sepian doll on a big white horse in Central Park—she’s Maxine Sullivan. If he sounds like Popeye—he’s Nick Kenny.

If you see him walking through the Biltmore lobby in the daytime wearing a top hat, he’s not an undertaker. He’s Mr. Justice Murphy.

If he’s drinking milk in a nightclub he’s Detective J. Broderick. If she eats macadamia nuts from her handbag she’s Doris Duke.

If he leaves a tip on the Automat table he’s Bob Benchley. If he wears a nightgown he’s George S. Kaufman. If while he is talking he looks over your shoulder into the wall mirror he’s James Cannon.

If he stops you and thunders: “What comes after 75?” And you reply “76”! and he yells: “That’s the spee-ritt!” its Jimmy Durante.

If he’s in the front row of the press section at the fights and his mustached kisser is a head taller than all the other fellows—he isn’t Ernest Hemingway. He’s Dan Parker—the bridegroom.

If he looks terribly bored and his collars don’t fit and you can’t understand his mumbling, his name is Lucia’s Beebe.

If the opening night is swinky and a little guy saunters in wearing a brown suit that needs pressing and his hat is typical of the average newspaperman—he’s no critic. He’s Burgess Meredith.

If the very tanned man looks like Confucius in modern clothes, he’s Lee Shubert. If he has a cigar in his mouth incessantly he’s Ben Bernie, Lou Holtz, Abe Lyman, George Jessel or Jack Benny. If you heard the gag before, he’s Milton Berle.

If someone in Moore’s is saying “Well, we’re still running despite Mr. Winchell,” it’s either Wm. Saroyan or a DuBarry attache.

If he’s the one guy everybody in the place is glad to see and chat with for a few moments, his name is Dick Merrill. If she calls anybody (with a newspaper connection): “Darling,” she’s Peggy Joyce.

If she’s a brunette and her face is as pale as a ghost’s—she’s either B. Frazier, D. Kilgallen or the Stork bar cashier.

And if he looks at you as though he wonders what your racket is—and what you really want from him—and whyinell don’t you get to the point—his name isn’t Billy Rose—he’s a Broadway columnist.

(Source: Google News, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=SFOYbPikdlgC&dat=19400321&printsec=frontpage&hl=en)