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Clapping for the Clapbacks: A Salon about Witty Comebacks

September 17, 2023 at 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT

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When the actress and writer Ilka Chase was asked, “I enjoyed your book, who wrote it for you?”, she responded, “I’m glad you enjoyed it. Who read it to you?” Join this salon on the art and history of sharp retorts, with Daniel Olivieri, a writer, programmer, and rhetoric aficionado, and dive into the world of witty comebacks!

This is a salon about the best moments of verbal sparring from the laconic sayings of the Spartans all the way to the dirty wit of Dorothy Parker and the retorts you’ve seen or delivered yourself. What makes witty comebacks so satisfying? Can a person become witty or does one have to be born that way? What’s the worst moment of l’ésprit d’escalier you’ve ever experienced?

Please bring along one or two witty comeback stories to share. They can come from television shows, history, or (best of all!) your own life. We’ve got two thousand years of clapbacks to review, so grab some popcorn and get ready to discuss the history of verbal bloodsport. The burns will be epic!

Recommended readings:


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September 17, 2023
11:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT
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Debut host ($10)