Noël Coward (1899-1973) was an English playwright known for his trademark wit and flamboyance. He published more than 50 plays, composed hundreds of songs, wrote dozens of musicals, and published short stories, poetry, a novel and autobiographical works.
During the Second World War, Coward ran the British propaganda office in Paris. He also worked with the Secret Service and tried to rally American support for the war effort. He won an honorary Academy Award in 1943 and was knighted in 1969.
Roger's dislike of Coward's work appears to reflect Pynchon's own view; a similarly disparaging reference to the playwright is found in his story 'Lowlands'.