Art Buchwald with David L. Wolper

by Art Buchwald

I know a lot of people are going to say they gave David Wolper his start in business, so I'd like to get my claim in early. David Wolper worked for me as my business manager on the University of Southern California's humor magazine the "Wampus" in 1947 and 1948. I was managing editor of the "Wampus" and when I spotted David I knew immediately he had the talent and the drive to be a great business manager. For one thing he had a car which no one on the staff did. For another thing he seemed to know more pretty girls than the rest of us, and for a third he wore a tie to school which gave our publication a great deal of class.

Our operation was very small and our sales staff onsisted of about ten sorority girls all selected by David. We also ran a "Co-ed of the Month" and since David was the only one who owned a camera, he got to pick and photograph her. I'm not telling how David posed his girls, but had he stuck to publishing, Hugh Hefner might never have gotten off the ground.

David was also a publicity man for the USC Varsity show which I wrote, and his greatest stunt was crashing the Academy Awards Presentation at the Shrine Auditorium with a man dressed as a gorilla. The gorilla had a sign on him saying, "If you think this is good see "No Love Atoll". No one bothered to stop David or the gorilla at the door, and they had about ten minutes walking up and down the aisles before someone decided to throw them both out. It was David's finest hour at USC.

In 1948 I decided to go to Paris. I asked David what he was going to do. "I'm going into television," he said. "You're crazy,'1 I said, "It's just a fad. You'll never make a go of it."

But David was determined. "Maybe I'll never make any dough at it," he said, "but it's a great art form and besides I hear it's a swell way to meet girls."

Well I went off to Europe and David went off into television and that's the last I ever heard of him. I guess to this day he's sorry he didn't take my advice.

David L. Wolper Center at USC
David L. Wolper Center at USC
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