Which author said "A Random House is Not a Home"?

I have a vague feeling that it was Harlan Ellison, but the Google knows it not. I think I read it in the forward to something.

Benjamin Franklin said “a house is not home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body” without the “random”. Maybe you misremember?

The use of “random” to mean (roughly) arbitrary is, I think, a fairly recent innovation, and still, I should think, counts as young people’s slang rather than standard English. I don’t think a writer would be likely to use it unless it were something written quite recently, and the author were either very young, or affecting the voice of someone young.

Was it a punny complaint about the publisher Random House?

Yes, it was a complaint about his publisher. I think they were declining to publish a book that they had contracter him to write, after reading it.

For some reason I am remembering Oscar Leavant (sp) saying it on the old Jack Parr Tonight Show.

Sounds like something Gore Vidal might say. He was very cynical and witty.

Foreword. Words at the front of the book. Foreword.

My first thought was Bennett Cerf, who in 1927 was one of the co-founders of that publishing company and eventually wrote a book about it. He was quoted as saying the inspiration for the name was that, after he and Donald Klopfer acquired Modern Library, “We just said we were going to publish a few books on the side at random.” However, the memoir detailing the experience was titled At Random: The Reminiscences of Bennett Cerf. Guess he thought a Random House was a home, after all.