They worked rather coldly in one another’s presence for a while, until Crowninshield announced that Robert Sherwood would also be sharing their office. No one knew what Robert Sherwood was supposed to do at Vanity Fair, but apparently he’d showed up to the interview in a kilt, and Crowninshield thought that was funny. He was supposed to be a picture editor, or possibly a drama editor, or something (Sherwood later appointed himself the “maid of all work” at Vanity Fair, and just did pieces for every section.)
This addition made Dorothy and Benchley so uncomfortable that they began having lunch together to discuss how to get him out of their office. Sherwood was 6 ft 7′, and Dorothy was apparently won over by Benchley when he quipped ruefully, “with so much to shoot at, how could the Germans have missed him?”
However, they didn’t all really become friends until Sherwood came to them with a curious request. One day at lunch time he was wanted to know if Dorothy and Benchley could walk protectively on either side of him when he went down 44th street. The Hippodrome, which was located on that same street, had engaged a group of midgets for one of their acts. Every day when he went to lunch they ran after Sherwood taunting him. Dorothy recalled that day they chased him screaming “‘hey Legs!’, warning him to duck under the 6th Avenue El train, and demanding to know what the weather was like up there, until he managed to outrun them.”
Robert Sherwood: Author, playwright, four time Pulitzer Prize winner – a man bullied by midgets.
Dorothy and Benchley felt so badly for him that they all began having lunch together.
That was the beginning of the Algonquin Round Table.