Harry Hershfield

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This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Charles Bennett hosts.

Hershfield answers questions about his duties as toastmaster and experience with mayors.

Panelists: Maureen O'Neill, Ursula Mahoney, Robert Krauss, and Martin Birmingham.


James Walker was the NYC mayor with the best sense of humor. The current mayor, Mayor Wagner, has a wonderful form of ad lib. A story about meeting Soviet representatives with Mayor La Guardia at City Hall. La Guardia was murder on toastmasters because he never showed up on time and came up on stage whenever he wanted to - "And you can't give that warmed up soup again." Tells a story about Mayor La Guardia and Commissioner Valentine being stuck in a secret elevator in police headquarters. Story about Harold Hoffman. Comments on his Abie Kabibble comic strips. Al Smith's favorite of his stories.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72022
Municipal archives id: LT2989