During the 1920s, the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan was home to frequent meetings of the group known as "The Algonquin Round Table". This group of critics, columnists, and essayists met for acerbic conversation about the daily happenings well-known personalities, of which they counted among themselves. Franklin P. Adams, Harold Ross, Heywood Broun, Alexander Woollcott, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Robert E. Sherwood, James Thurber, Edna Ferber, and George S. Kaufman were among the New York "wits" who held daily lunch meetings to exchange wicked quips and insults, most of which ended up apperaring in print in somebody's column or essay.
There was a movie about the "Vicious Circle" which was released a few years ago..."Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle". While the movie mostly centered around Ms. Parker's destructive personality, it was a pretty good insight into the what Edmund Wilson referred to as the "all-star literary vaudeville".