Cecil Adams is the pen name of the author of The Straight Dope since 1973, a popular question and answer column published in The Chicago Reader, syndicated in thirty newspapers in the United States and Canada, and available online. Billed as the "World's Smartest Human Being", Adams responds to often unusual inquiries with humor (often directed against the questioner), and at times exhaustive research into obscure and arcane issues.
Adams is noted for his researching of urban legends. There are also legends concerning Adams himself, such as his claim that he has "never been photographed", and the identity of Ed Zotti, Adams's "assistant and editor", who fulfills Adams's publicity engagements, and has appeared in at least one photo captioned, "Cecil Adams".
His columns are archived at the Straight Dope website, which also hosts one of the most popular message boards on the Internet. In 1996, A&E briefly aired a show hosted by comedian Mike Lukas based on the column called, of course, The Straight Dope.
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