Photo, Finish

This photo of S.J. Perelman was shot by the great photographer Irving Penn, who died yesterday at the age of 92. Perelman, who died in 1979, displayed a dazzling command of the English language in his humor pieces, which appeared in The New Yorker for 45 years, starting in 1930. He also contributed to the scripts of two of the Marx Brothers' best movies: Monkey Business, which was released in 1931, and Horse Feathers, which came out a year later. Woody Allen once called him "the single funniest human of my lifetime." The Paris Review interviewed Perelman in 1963; that interview can be read here.