Quotations

Fred Allen

Television is a new medium. It's called a medium because nothing is well done.

Television is a device that permits people who haven't anything to do to watch people who can't do anything.

Imitation is the sincerest form of television.

English coffee tastes like water that has been squeezed out of a wet sleeve.

My father never raised his hand to any one of his children, except in self-defense.

A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.

Advertising is 85% confusion and 15% commission

I have just returned from Boston. It is the only sane thing to do if you find yourself up there.

A committee is a group of men who individually can do nothing, but as a group, decides that nothing can be done.

If I could get my membership fee back, I'd resign from the human race.

What's on your mind, if you will allow the overstatement?

The vice-president of an advertising agency is a bit of executive fungus that forms on a desk that has been exposed to conference.

I can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.

Imitation is the sincerest form of television.

California is a fine place to live—if you happen to be an orange.

Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns; he should be drawn and quoted.

Hollywood is a place where people from Iowa mistake each other for stars.

You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a firefly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart.

Woody Allen

In California, they don't throw their garbage away—they make it into TV shows.

The baby is fine, the only problem is that he looks like Edward G. Robinson.

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy next to me.

I'm very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for it.

His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your future plans.

How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?

As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree'—probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.

How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given my waist and shirt size?

Another good thing about being poor is that, when you are seventy, your children will not have you declared legally insane in order to gain control of your estate.

Some guy hit my fender the other day, and I said unto him, "Be fruitful and multiply." But not in those words....

I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.

I'm such a good lover because I practice a lot on my own.

Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying.

It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.

Man cannot live by bread alone. Sometimes there must be beverage.

Lady Nancy Astor

The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything... or nothing.

Women have got to make the world safe for men, since men have made it so darned unsafe for women.

W. H. Auden

Thank God for books as an alternative to conversation.

Russell Baker

Is fuel efficiency really what we need most desperatelly? I say that what we really need is a car that can be shot when it breaks down.

Inanimate objects are classified scientifically into three major categories: those that don't work, those that break down, and those that get lost.

People seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of other people have been left out of the pleasure.

People who say you're just as old as you feel are all wrong, fortunately.

The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him.

Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.

Tallulah Bankhead

It's one of the tragic ironies of the theatre that only one man in it can count on steady work — the night watchman.

Dave Barry

Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.

The metric system did not really catch on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the nine-millimeter bullet.

You can only be young once. But you can always be immature

Sir Thomas Beecham

A musicologist is a man who can read music but can't hear it.

Brass bands are all very well in their place—outdoors and several miles away.

The sound of a harpsichord: two skeletons copulating on a galvanized tin roof.

There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn't give a damn what goes on in between.

Why do we have to have all these third-rate foreign conductors around when we have so many second-rate ones of our own?

[To a musician during rehearsal] We cannot expect you to be with us all the time, but perhaps you could be good enough to keep in touch now and again.

Try everything once, except folk dancing and incest.

[Warning his conducting students never to glance at the trombones:] It will only encourage them.

No opera singer ever dies too soon.

In the first movement alone, I took note of six pregnancies and at least four miscarriages. [On Bruckner's Seventh Symphony.]

What can you do with it? It's like a lot of yaks jumping about. [On Beethoven's Seventh Symphony.]

[When asked if he had played any Stockhausen] No, but I have trodden in some.

[Displeased with a female cellist:] There you sit with one of God's greatest creations between your legs and all you can do is scratch it!

Robert Benchley

A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down.

Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.

Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.

Except for an occasional heart attack, I feel as young as I ever did.

Defining and analyzing humor is a pastime of humorless people.

It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.

The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him.

Ingrid Bergman

Happiness is good health and a bad memory.

I have no regrets. I wouldn't have lived my life the way I did if I was going to worry about what people were going to say.

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.

Ambrose Bierce

Absurdity: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.

Abstainer: A weak man who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.

Acquaintance: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.

Admiration: Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.

Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.

Cabbage: A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.

Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.

In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.

Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.

Pray: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessed unworthy

Politeness: The most acceptable hypocrisy.

Quotation: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

Religion: the daughter of Hope and Fear, expaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

History is an account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools

The world has suffered more from the ravages of ill-advised marriages than from virginity.

Mary Bly

Dogs come when they're called. Cats take a message and get back to you.

Erma Bombeck

If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.

Victor Borge

I only know two pieces; one is Clair de Lune and the other one isn't.

Laughter is the closest distance between two people.

Santa Claus has the right idea—visit people only once a year.

The difference between a violin and a viola is that a viola burns longer.

Jimmy Breslin

[The cardinals in Rome] are fourteen old, white-haired men in dresses telling people over here how to live.

Mel Brooks

Humor is just another defense against the universe.

If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets.

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.

Bill Bryson

Germans are flummoxed by humor, the Swiss have no concept of fun, the Spanish think there is nothing at all ridiculous about eating dinner at midnight, and the Italians should never, ever have been let in on the invention of the motor car.

George Burns

First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down.

When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.

At my age, flowers scare me.

You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there.

I'm very pleased to be here. Let's face it, at my age I'm very pleased to be anywhere.

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending and having the two as close together as possible.

Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.

Be sure to wear a good cologne, a nice aftershave lotion, and a strong underarm deodorant. And it might be a good idea to wear some clothes, too.

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.

I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty.

Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation. The other eight are unimportant.

I'm going to stay in show business until I'm the last one left.

Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.

Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair.

It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.

There's nothing wrong with making love with the light on. Just make sure the car door is closed.

Barbara Bush

And who knows? Somewhere out there in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president's spouse. I wish him well! [Commencement address to Wellesley College]

Clinton lied. A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is.

George W. Bush

I think we agree, the past is over. [click for more]

Red Buttons

Never raise your hands to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.

Sure, I've gotten old. I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees.... I've fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, and take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. I have bouts with dementia, poor circulation, hardly feel my hands or feet anymore, can't remember if I'm 85 or 92, but... thank God, I still have my Florida driver's license.

Mariah Carey

Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be  skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff.

Dick Cheney

It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.

Tom Clancy

I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy.

Winston Churchill

Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.

Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.

Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed.

When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.

Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

John Ciardi

A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students.

The Constitution gives every American the inalienable right to make a damn fool of himself.

You don't have to suffer to be a poet; adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.

Early to bed and early to rise probably indicates unskilled labor.

It is easy enough to praise men for the courage of their convictions. I wish I could teach the sad young men of this mealy generation the courage of their confusion.

Bill Clinton

When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the Worldwide Web.... Now even my cat has its own page.

Our paradigm now seems to be: something terrible happened to us on September 11, and that gives us the right to interpret all future events in a way that everyone else in the world must agree with us. And if they don't, they can go straight to hell.

Geoffrey Cottrell

In America, only the successful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in England no writer is important, and in Australia you have to explain what a writer is.

Ann Coulter

God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, "Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours."

The backbone of the Democratic Party is a typical fat, implacable welfare recipient.

To a disabled Vietnam vet: "People like you caused us to lose that war."

My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.

Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America's self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.

Quentin Crisp

The trouble with children is that they're not returnable.

When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?"

Rodney Dangerfield

Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.

I have good looking kids. Thank goodness my wife cheats on me.

I don't get no respect. My wife will French-kiss the dog, but she won't even drink out of the same water glass as me.

Janet Evanovich

The reason I switched from writing romance novels to mysteries is because I ran out of sexual positions.

W. C. Fields

A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.

The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.

Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.

There comes a time in the affairs of a man when he has to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.

I always keep a supply of stimulant handy in case I see a snake—which I also keep handy.

A woman drove me to drink, and I hadn't even the courtesy to thank her.

I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.

I never vote for anyone; I always vote against.

I've never struck a woman in my life, not even my own mother.

Last week, I went to Philidelphia, but it was closed.

Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.

Some weasel took the cork out of my lunch.

Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.

John Nance Garner, former US Vice President

You have to do a little bragging on yourself, even to your relatives — man doesn't get anywhere without advertising.

Samuel Goldwyn

A hospital is no place to be sick.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.

I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until after they're dead.

I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth, even if it costs them their jobs.

I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn't like it.

I never put on a pair of shoes until I've worn them at least five years.

If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive.

Let's have some new cliches.

You've got to take the bitter with the sour.

Spare no expense to save money on this one.

Television has raised writing to a new low.

For crying out loud—every Tom, Dick, and Harry is named Sam!

We've all passed a lot of water since then.

Laurell K. Hamilton

The head of my college writing program had lectured the class that all science fiction and fantasy were garbage. And, of course, that's all I wanted to write. So I said, "What about C. S. Lewis?" And she said, "Well, not him." I said, "What about Tolkien?" And she said, "Well, no, not him." I said, "How about Dickens?" And she said, "What do you mean?" I said, "A Christmas Carol is a ghost story." I said, "There's also Shakespeare, like A Midsummer Night's Dream." And about the time I said that Moby Dick was really just a monster story, she told me to shut up and sit down.

Anne Hathaway

A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.

Bob Hope

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.

People who throw kisses are hopelessly lazy.

Middle age is when you still believe you'll feel better in the morning.

Middle age is when your age starts to show around the middle.

I don't generally feel anything until noon; then it's time for my nap.

If you watch a game, it's fun. If you play at it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf.

Erica Jong

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.

Jean Kerr

The real menace in dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old.

Marrying a man is like buying something you've been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it doesn't always go with everything else in the house.

Steve Jobs

My girlfriend always laughs during sex—no matter what she's reading.

Joan Konner

Procrastination gives you something to look forward to.

Lynn Lavner

There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL.

Fran Lebowitz

Don't bother discussing sex with small children. They rarely have anything to add.

All God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.

I must take issue with the term "a mere child," for it has been my invariable experience that the company of a mere child is infinitely preferable to that of a mere adult.

I never took hallucinogenic drugs because I never wanted my consciousness expanded one unnecessary iota.

No animal should ever jump up on the dining-room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation.

Remember that as a teenager you are in the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear the phone is for you.

In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.

My favorite animal is steak.

Dennis Lehane

I'm a revision fanatic; the early drafts are just pasta on the wall, trying to see what sticks. I find the book through a honing process, going back through the pages and making myself look a lot smarter than I am. [Author of Mystic River]

Jay Leno

President Bush has refused to declassify portions of the congressional 9/11 reports about the Saudis because he says it will help the enemy. Not Al Qaeda, the Democrats.

President Bush's economic team is now on their "Jobs and Growth" bus tour all across America. I think the only job they've created so far is for the guy driving the bus.

President Bush held his first full press conference in over five months this week. He announced that the war on terrorism is continuing, much more work needs to be done on the economy, and Saddam Hussein has not yet been captured. And then he said, "I'm going on vacation for a month."

The White House released a videotape of President Bush meeting with his cabinet and today Iraqi officials say they believe the tape is authentic.

The United States is putting together a Constitution now for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It's served us well for 200 years, and we don't appear to be using it anymore, so what the hell?

David Letterman

Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.

I'm just trying to make a smudge on the collective unconscious.

New York now leads the world's great cities in the number of people around whom you shouldn't make a sudden move.

Sometimes when you look in his eyes you get the feeling that someone else is driving.

There's no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting.

Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines.

USA Today
has come out with a new survey - apparently, three out of every four people make up 75% of the population.

Well, we're all excited because President Bush has started his 35-day vacation. He's down there in Crawford, Texas, and on the first day of his vacation he went fishing. He didn't find any fish, he didn't find any lakes, but he believes they're there and that his intelligence is accurate.

President Bush is leaving for his 35-day working vacation. This should go over big with all the people who're taking a can't-get-work vacation.

Rush Limbaugh

Feminism is just a way for ugly women to get into the mainstream of America.

Our armed forces shouldn't be over there. They’re good at killing people and blowing things up, not peace-keeping. [On Clinton’s deployment of troops to Bosnia.]

Liberal Democrats are inexorably opposed to tax cuts, because tax cuts give people more power, and take away from the role of government.

The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit.

Enraging liberals is simply one of the more enjoyable side effects of my wisdom.

One of the things I want to do before I die is conduct the Homeless Olympics. [Events would include] the 10-meter Shopping Cart Relay, the Dumpster Dig, and the Hop, Skip and Trip.

On NAFTA: If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people— I'm serious, let the unskilled jobs, let the kinds of jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do— let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.

[Speculating on why a Mexican national won the New York marathon:]
An immigration agent chased him for the last 10 miles.

When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it's an invitation.

Why is it that whenever a corporation fires workers it is never speculated that the workers might have deserved it?

The Gore team isn't trying to steal the election behind closed doors – they're doing it right in public! What did— where’s that quote from Stalin that's all over the Internet... (rustling of papers)... Here it is: "Those who vote decide nothing, those who COUNT the votes decide everything."

Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up.

Oscar Levant

Behind the phony tinsel of Hollywood lies the real tinsel.

Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something you remember.

I am no more humble than my talents require.

I envy people who drink. At least they have something to blame everything on.

I once said cynically of a politician, "He'll doublecross that bridge when he comes to it."

I'm going to memorize your name and throw my head away.

So little time and so little to do.

The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.

There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.

Underneath this flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Many critics are like woodpeckers, who, instead of enjoying the fruit and shadow of a tree, hop incessantly around the trunk pecking holes in the bark to discover some little worm or other.

Steve Martin

You know "that look" women get when they want sex? Me neither.

Groucho Marx

A man is only as old as the woman he feels.

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.

She got her looks from her father. He's a plastic surgeon.

A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five.

Women should be obscene and not heard.

Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped.

From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.

Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.

Go, and never darken my towels again!

My mother loved children — she would have given anything if I had been one.

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.

Those are my principals. If you don't like them, I have others.

I sent the club a wire stating, PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER.

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.

It isn't necessary to have relatives in Kansas City in order to be unhappy.

Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.

Jackie Mason

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.

It's no longer a question of staying healthy. It's a question of finding a sickness you like.

Maxine

I'd get my tongue pierced, but I still have a little bit of brain left in my head.

The key to a nice-looking lawn is a good mower. I recommend one who is muscular and shirtless.

All I'm looking for is a guy who'll do what I want, when I want, for as long as I want, and then go away. Or wait nearby, like a Dust Buster—charged up and ready when needed.

Take every birthday with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a large margarita.

Never give yourself a haircut after three alcoholic beverages of any kind.

You need only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use the duct tape.

Living well really is the best revenge. Being miserable because of a bad or former relationship just might mean that the other person was right about you.

Be really nice to your friends and family. You never know when you are going to need them to empty your bedpan.

Frank McCourt

When you enter a Faulkner sentence, wave goodby to friends and family. You won't be seeing them for a long time.

H. L. Mencken

A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.

We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.

A politician normally prospers under democracy in proportion, as he excels in the invention of imaginary perils and imaginary defenses against them.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.

In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule— and both commonly succeed, and are right.

For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the not-worth-knowing.

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.

It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.

It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

Pat Metheny

When you first wake up in the morning you don't really think about what you're doing, and maybe you write your best stuff. You're not in the way. When talking about writing, I often use the analogy of archaeology. There are these great tunes all around. Your skill as a musician allows you to pick them out without breaking them.

Bette Midler

Rap is poetry set to music. But to me it's like a jackhammer.

The worst part of success is to try to find someone who is happy for you.

I wouldn't say I invented tacky, but I definitely brought it to its present high popularity.

Flannery O'Connor

Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.

P. J. O'Rourke

A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.

Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs.

Very little is known of the Canadian country since it is rarely visited by anyone but the Queen and illiterate sport fishermen.

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.

With Epcot Center, the Disney corporation has accomplished something I didn't think possible in today's world. They have created a land of make-believe that's worse than regular life.

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

George Orwell

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.

All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics." All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.

Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.

The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.

War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.

War is a way of shattering to pieces... materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable and... too intelligent.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.

Camille Paglia

Sex at age 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.

Today, the ideal male is the gay man, and the ideal female is the worker female, the woman who can work in a coal mine just like all the other men.

Dorothy Parker

You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think.

I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true.

If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised.

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.

The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant— and let the air out of the tires.

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: "Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment."

Guns are unlawful, nooses give, gas smells awful, might as well live.

She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.

Louis Pasteur

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Sylvia Plath

Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.

Dan Quayle

I understand the importance of bondage between parent and child.

A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.

I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican.

I have made good judgements in the Past. I have made good judgements in the Future.

I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix.

If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.

People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.

Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.

The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make.

The future will be better tomorrow.

We don't want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward.

We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe.

Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.

What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.

When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame.

It's time for the human race to enter the solar system.

Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.

One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is "to be prepared."

Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.

I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy—but that could change.

The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century.

Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.

We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world.

We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.

I stand by all the misstatements that I've made.

Will Rogers

It ain't what people don't know that bothers me, it's what they know that ain't so.

Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.

Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.

If you're riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around.

Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

There's two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither one works.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.

Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.

Don't squat with your spurs on.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

When you're throwing' your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.

Rita Rudner

I don't plan to grow old gracefully. I plan to have face-lifts until my ears meet.

I admire the Pope. I have a lot of respect for anyone who can tour without an album.

Before I met my husband, I'd never fallen in love, though I'd stepped in it a few times.

I got kicked out of ballet class because I pulled a groin muscle. It wasn't mine.

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

I was a vegetarian until I started leaning toward the sunlight.

I was going to have cosmetic surgery until I noticed that the doctor's office was full of portraits by Picasso.

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.

In Hollywood a marriage is a success if it outlasts milk.

Most turkeys taste better the day after; my mother's tasted better the day before.

My husband gave me a necklace. It's fake. I requested fake. Maybe I'm paranoid, but in this day and age, I don't want something around my neck that's worth more than my head.

My grandmother was a very tough woman. She buried three husbands and two of them were just napping.

Donald Rumsfeld

I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past— I think the past was not predictable when it started.

The dumbest thing anyone could do would be to stand up here and start previewing things that somebody's thinking about or not thinking about or starting to disabuse you of each thing somebody tells you that we're thinking about, because then the first time we don't disabuse you, you'll say "Aha— that's what they're going to do!"

If I know the answer I'll tell you the answer, and if I don't, I'll just respond, cleverly.

If I said yes, that would then suggest that that might be the only place where it might be done which would not be accurate... necessarily accurate... it might also not be inaccurate, but I mean... I'm disinclined to mislead anyone.

It's like, you know, stirring for troubled waters.

The threats are real, and the lethality is multiples of what we have previously experienced.

Near my office is an American flag done in... origami... that's one of those words that I haven't mastered yet."

We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead.

Well, um, something's neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so, I suppose— as Shakespeare said."

I believe what I said yesterday... I don't know what I said, er, but I know what I think, and... well, I assume it's what I said.

The message is that there are known knowns— there are things that we know that we know. There are known unknowns— that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns— there are things we do not know we don't know. And each year we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with "Guess" on it. I said, "Thyroid problem?"

Doc Searles

I don't dislike President Bush. I do, however, regret that the man cannot, as Johnny Carson once said of a lesser comic, "improvise a fart at a bean party." Without a script, he's lost, able only to churn and rechurn some carefully rehearsed talking points.

Sharon Stone

Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake whole relationships.

William Strunk, Jr.

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.

James Thurber

Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?

I used to wake up at 4 A.M. and start sneezing, sometimes for five hours. I tried to find out what sort of allergy I had, but finally came to the conclusion that it must be an allergy to consciousness.

Early to rise and early to bed makes a male healthy, wealthy, and dead.

I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed.

The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself.

Lily Tomlin

Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.

No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.

Reality is a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.

Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.

We're all in this alone.

Mark Twain

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.

What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.

Familiarity breeds contempt—and children.

Faith is believing what you know ain't so.

Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.

The critic's symbol should be the tumble-bug; he deposits his egg in somebody else's dung, otherwise he could not hatch it.

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said, "I don't know."

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody has read.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

Last week I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister and now wish to withdraw that statement.

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.

I am not opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.

No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

There is no distinctly native American criminal class save Congress.

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

Solly Violinsky

My pawnbroker had my violin so much that he played it better than I did.

I'm the only actor who ever gave the landlord [of the Edison Hotel] a Christmas present. I gave him his room back so he could make some money on it.

Do you suppose I could buy back my introduction to you?

I'm Jewish only on my father's and mother's side.

The British have appreciative audiences. They never forget an act. That's why I'm never going back.

[Said to comedian Joe Frisco:] I'd gladly lend you the $50 but all my money's tied up in cash.

[Said to Oscar Levant, who accused him of cheating at cards:] Oscar, with you I don't have to cheat.

[His ad in Variety:] Wish to borrow $1000, but party must be reliable.

Voltaire

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

If God created us in His image, we have certainly returned the compliment.

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

The first clergyman was the first rascal who met the first fool.

Bill Watterson

Talking with you is sort of the conversational equivalent of an out-of-body experience.

People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children.

Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.

Mae West

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet.

Too much of a good thing is wonderful.

Whenever I'm caught between two evils, I take the one I've never tried.

Rebecca West

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is. I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.

Oscar Wilde

The difference between journalism and literature is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.

The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

I am not young enough to know everything.

I think that God, in creating Man, somewhat overestimated his ability.

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.

Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.

It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.

When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.

Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event.

Music makes one feel so romantic—at least it always gets on one's nerves, which is the same thing nowadays.

No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.

One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.

I love acting. It is so much more real than life.

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

Ah, well, then I suppose I shall have to die beyond my means. [His dying words.]

Robin Williams

Ah, yes, divorce—from the Latin word meaning "to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet."

Reality is just a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.

God gave men both a penis and a brain, but unfortunately not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.

Cocaine is God's way of saying you're making too much money.

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.

James Wright

[To his son Franz] I'll be damned. You're a poet. Welcome to hell.

Steven Wright

Borrow money from pessimists—they don't expect it back.

I used to live in a house by the freeway. When I went anywhere, I had to be going 65 MPH by the end of my driveway.

I was born by Caesarean section, but you really can't tell—except that when I leave my house, I always go out the window.

I have the world's largest collection of sea shells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over the world. Maybe you've seen some of it....

I broke a mirror in my house. I'm supposed to get seven years of bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.

There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

Ever notice how irons have a setting for PERMANENT press? I don't get it.

There's a pizza place near where I live that sells only slices. In the back you can see a guy tossing a triangle in the air.

When I was a child we had a quicksand box in the backyard. I was an only child... eventually....

I was walking down the street and all of a sudden the prescription for my eye-glasses ran out.

I used to work at a factory where they made hydrants; but you couldn't park anywhere near the place.

I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.

Henny Youngman

I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places.

I told the doctor it hurts when I do this. He said "Don't do that."

What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money.

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.

My wife just wants to get out of town—any town.

Take my wife—please!

Thoughts on the Government

We need a president who's fluent in at least one language. —Buck Henry

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. —Winston Churchill

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. —Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. —George Bernard Shaw

There is one sure way of telling when politicians aren't telling the truth: their lips move. —Felicity Kendall

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. —G. Gordon Liddy

>Asking an incumbent member of Congress to vote for term limits is a bit like asking a chicken to vote for Colonel Sanders. —Bob Inglis

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. —James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

Nothing can so alienate a voter from the political system as backing a winning candidate. —Mark B. Cohen

People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election. —Otto von Bismarck

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. —Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850).

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. —Clarence Darrow

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases. If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. —Ronald Reagan

The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. —Ronald Reagan

If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate. If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist. —Joseph Sobran, Editor of the National Review (1995)

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. —Voltaire (1764)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. —Pericles (430 B.C.)

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. —Edward Langley, Artist 1928-1995

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away. —Barry Goldwater, U.S. Politician

Every country has the government it deserves. —Joseph de Maistre, French monarchist (1753-1821)

The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment. —Robert Hutchins

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies. —Groucho Marx

Politics have no relation to morals. —Niccolo Machiavelli

What luck for the rulers that men do not think. —Adolf Hitler

Talk is cheap—except when Congress does it. —Anon

I like actors and actresses so much more when they stick to what they do best and stay out of politics. They should leave the lying and cheating to the professionals in Washington. —Anon

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