MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann reads a James Thurber story every Friday on his MSNBC show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann. After a lifetime of reading Thurber, Olbermann hopes to narrate audiobook versions of Thurber’s writings.
At the Thurber Awards on Wednesday, Olbermann said he avoided the library at Cornell unless it was to borrow the works of Thurber. He began to read Thurber’s short stories on his show in March 2010 at the suggestion of his then-dying father, Theodore. He talks about this at the seven-minute mark in the above embedded video. That night, he read The Peacelike Mongoose from Thurber’s 1956 second volume of fables, Further Fables of Our Time.
Thurber’s only daughter, Rosemary, wrote the MSNBC journalist after one reading. He explained: “I said to my father, ‘You know, these sorts of things are copyrighted and there is a small chance that a fee may be required.” What at first looked like a bill was in fact Rosemary’s approval to continue the readings.
At the ceremony, Olbermann announced that he will perform a Thurber reading at the 92Y on Father’s Day 2011.