Posts tagged as letters

To Whom It May Concern: The Contents of This Email Are Rather Concerning, by Taylor Sade

To Whom It May Concern,

I use that phrase it all of its reality. No seriously, what I am about to say is extremely concerning.  I didn’t just say that introductory phrase because I was unaware of whom to make this letter out to. Truly, the contents of which this letter are going to address are drastically concerning and deserve your concerned thoughts.

I beg you good sir, or madam, to please direct your attention to the proceeding context I will get to in this letter with your upmost attention. Certainly a person in your position of power would be worried about the fact of which [...]

McSweeney’s Cease and Desist, by Jordan Lints

McSweeney’s 849 Valencia St. San Francisco, CA 94110 USA

Sept. 1, 2013


Dear Mr. Lints:

We are writing to notify you that McSweeney’s will no longer be accepting any submissions you send for publication on their website, Quarterly magazine, Believer magazine, Wholphin (we don’t think you know what this is), or any other platforms of publication created in the past, present, or future. Accordingly, you are hereby directed to


The Time When John Cleese Wrote and Bet and Got Angry at a Newspaper

Letters of Note has a exchange from 1982 between John Cleese and the editor of The Sun, which stemmed from a report in that paper claiming that on the set of The Monty Python's Meaning of Life, Cleese got frustrated at the weather and chastised a bunch of extras dressed as Zulu warriors by asking "Which one of you bastards did a rain dance?" Cleese, however, did not agree that he said that so he wrote a strongly worded letter. That ended with:

"I know what happened. I am a zany madcap comic, and your writer thought of the joke and decided to attribute it to [...]

How to Get People to Stop Ignoring You: The Douglas Adams Method

Next time you are trying to work on a project with someone and they aren't giving you any information about how to improve it, just do what Douglas Adams did when he was trying to adapt The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy into a movie in 1999: send them a letter and include a ridiculously long list of ways to contact you. That way, as Adams puts it, "If you manage not to reach me, I shall know you're trying not to, very, very hard indeed." By the way, if you don't like this post, you can contact me at my aunt's boyfriend's florist shop at 22 Main [...]

Read Marge Simpson's Letter to Barbara Bush

Today on the always-excellent Letters of Note, they've got a letter from "Marge Simpson" to Barbara Bush in 1990, sent in response to the then-first lady saying that The Simpsons was "was the dumbest thing I had ever seen." If only she could see how foolish she had been now, 21 years later! I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that, at least in terms of television, The Simpsons was actually one of the smartest things around. In any case, she was nice enough to respond to Marge and apologize. Here are the transcripts of the two letters:

Jane Austen Responds to Spam, by Daniel Hurwitz

Subject: GOOD NEWS TO SHARE WITH YOU!! From: David david@freeipad.org To: Jane Austen

Hi Friend!

OH MY GOSH! I know I shouldn't talk about this here, but I thought I would message you from my new APPLE iPad that I just got for free. Don't tell anyone but there is a website sending out a free iPad to anyone that signs up, www.freeipad.info. That is where I got mine btw follow these steps exactly to get one for yourself, go to www.freeipad.info enter you email, enter your shipping address and wait 3-5 business days to receive your it in the mail! it works!!


Subject: Re: GOOD NEWS TO SHARE WITH YOU!! From: Jane [...]

My Anxiety Sends a Letter, by Andi Sharavsky

Dear Ms. Sharavsky,

It has been brought to my attention that at exactly 11:03 pm, after calling your mother, moisturizing your face, and paying your monthly student loan bill, you folded the final item of your clean laundry. You have therefore temporarily exhausted your list of mundane tasks and concerns, and are undoubtedly eager for a restful night of sleep. Instead, please choose one of the following irrational fears and allow it to consume you. Please keep in mind that you will not be reimbursed for the cost of counseling or marijuana, and your roommates have issued a formal statement that checking you for swollen glands makes them feel [...]

Hillary Clinton Lets Jason Segel Down Easy

A little while back, Jason Segel told Us Weekly that he really wanted to put Madam Secretary Clinton in his next film, saying you can feel her comic chops "from a mile away." Well, it seems like Mrs. Clinton took his offer very seriously and wrote him a letter to say she just doesn't have time right now to star in Forgetting Sarah Marshall 2: More Forgettable, Sarahier and Marshallest but maybe one day:

Groucho Marx Entertained the Troops With Weed Jokes in 1943

Groucho Marx wrote this very sweet letter to U.S. troops in Suriname in 1943, in which he manages to express sincere appreciation for the troops but also include a joke about accidentally eating marijuana from his vegetable garden for an entire month. You know Harpo got him into it, that scallywag. Anyway, that versatility is why Groucho's the greatest. That and the fact that his facial features are distinct enough to be made into a mask.

Graham Chapman's Ridiculous Letters

Today, Letters of Note has two correspondences from Monty Python's Graham Chapman, both of which are totally ridiculous and wonderful for different reasons. One is to his bank manager, and the other is to a female fan. One of them was CC'd to Hugh Hefner; can you guess which one? Hint: the one with the crude drawing of a naked women covering the entire thing.

A FASTidious Credit Report, by Jake Tuck

Dear Landlord,

We at FASTidious Credit Reporting have reviewed the credit history of your prospective tenant, Glen Hodge, and offer this prompt report. First, we should say that Mr. Hodge has an ostensibly stellar credit history. By the standard scoring method, he received an “excellent” score of 830. He pays all his credit cards and bills on time, save one instance when he was hospitalized after attempting to save an elderly man from a burning house. So his credit is, on the surface, largely immaculate. However, we at FASTidious do not like surface impressions, such as that of the sun in a calm lake; underneath, the lake may contain [...]

Steve Martin Wrote Young Judd Apatow a Very Funny, Very Personal Letter

Judd Apatow was once a young, comedy-obsessed boy. As a teenager, he would interview famous comedians for his high school's radio station. But before that he wrote Steve Martin a letter and Steve Martin wrote back with a very personal response. This isn't just some form letter; Martin references Judd twice by name. Surprisingly, he also acknowledges in writing that he once took a young boy to Brazil, just for the afternoon, just to look at "girls!" Read the full letter below and try to imagine the amount of geeking out that resulted from it.

Woody Allen Used to Write Super Endearing Letters to Diane Keaton

Woody Allen has done a pretty good job writing films, books, plays, and jokes but they're nothing compared to his letter. OK, those works are great but read some of these letters he writes Diane Keaton:

From 1969, around when they performed together in Play it Again, Sam:

Beet Head,

Humans are clean slates. There are no qualities indigenous to men or women. True, there is a different biology, but all defining choices in life affect both sexes & a woman, any woman is capable of defining herself with total FREEDOM. Therefore women are anything they choose to be & frequently have chosen & defined themselves greater than men. [...]

This Bill Hicks Letter From 1993 Is Unbearably Sad

Three months before he died of pancreatic cancer, Bill Hicks wrote this letter to The New Yorker's John Lahr to thank him for an article he'd written on Hicks. (The article is a pretty fantastic read as well. I'm definitely gonna start calling the television "Lucifer’s Dream Box.") In his letter, he talks about how following the article, creative possibilities feel "limitless" and says that "the offers finally match my long-held and deeply cherished creative aspirations." Fair warning, you'll probably get a tightening feeling behind your nose while reading this, and then a sour feeling in your jaw, and an itchy feeling in your eyes, and then [...]