The book of great funny.., p.5

The Book of Great Funny One-Liners, page 5


The Book of Great Funny One-Liners

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  Michael Billington, British drama critic

  A day away from Tallulah Bankhead is like a month in the country.

  Anonymous comment on the American actress

  Bette and I are very good friends. There’s nothing I wouldn’t say to her face—both of them.

  Tallulah Bankhead on Bette Davis

  Mr Lorre’s idea of playing a he-man was to extend his chest and then follow it slowly around stage.

  Heywood Broun, American journalist

  This film cost $31 million. With that I could have invaded some country.

  Clint Eastwood, American actor and director

  It’s great to be with Bill Buckley, because you don’t have to think. He takes a position and you automatically take the opposite one and you know you’re right.

  J.K. Galbraith, Canadian American economist

  William F. Buckley looks and sounds not unlike Hitler—but without the charm.

  American writer Gore Vidal on the politically conservative television personality

  Anyone who lies about Gore Vidal is doing him a kindness.

  William F. Buckley Jnr, American critic

  With the collapse of vaudeville new talent has no place to stink.

  George Burns, American comedian

  British broadcaster Gilbert Harding was to interview American actress Mae West on the radio. During preparations Mae West’s manager asked Harding to try to sound ‘sexier’ when he interviewed her. To which end Gilbert replied:

  If, sir, I were endowed with the power of conveying unlimited sexual attraction through the potency of my voice, I would not be reduced to accepting a miserable pittance for the BBC for interviewing a faded female in a damp basement.

  The best that can be said about Norwegian television is that it gives you the sensation of a coma without the worry and inconvenience.

  Bill Bryson, American writer

  Joan Collins unfortunately can’t be with us tonight. She’s busy attending the birth of her next husband.

  John Parrott, British presenter

  He directed rehearsals with the airy deftness of a rheumatic deacon producing Macbeth for a church social.

  Noel Coward, British actor and dramatist

  Most of it is so slowly paced you could not only pour yourself a drink between lines of dialogue, but add ice too.

  Evening Standard on Shaft’s Big Score

  A first night audience consists of the unburied dead.

  Orson Bean, British actor

  Me no Leica.

  Critic Caroline Lejeune on I Am A Camera

  A.E. Matthews ambled his way through the play like a charming retriever who has buried a bone and can’t quite remember where.

  Noel Coward, British actor and dramatist

  Edward Woodward—his name sounds like someone farting in the bath.

  Noel Coward, British actor and dramatist

  In Hollywood, writers are only considered the first drafts of human beings.

  Frank Deford, American journalist

  My favourite comedian is Frank Carson. Over the years I have enjoyed his joke very much.

  Ken Dodd on a fellow British comedian

  He played the king as if afraid that at any moment someone would play the ace.

  American writer Eugene Field reviewing an actor’s performance

  Dear Ingrid Bergman—speaks five languages and can’t act in any of them.

  British actor John Gielgud on the Swedish-American actor

  Barrett: You don’t think that you are the only actor who can play Hamlet, do you?

  Irving: Not at all. But you are the only actor who can’t.

  American actor Wilson Barrett response to Sir Henry Irving’s questioning of his suitability to play Hamlet on the American stage.

  Some of the greatest love affairs I have known have involved one actor, unassisted.

  Wilson Mizner, American playwright

  Before television, people didn’t know what a headache looked like.

  D. Fields, American critic

  He emits an air of overwhelming vanity combined with some unspecific nastiness, like a black widow spider in heat. But nobody seems to notice. He could be reciting ‘Fox’s Book of Martyrs’ in Finnish and these people would be rolling out of their seats.

  British playwright Roger Gellert on British comedian John Cleese

  My dear chap! Good isn’t the word!

  British librettist W.S. Gilbert greeting an actor in his dressing room after a particularly bad performance.

  A script of Brideshead Revisited needs an intravenous dose of syrup of figs or just a bullet.

  A.A. Gill, British columnist

  The plays of Samuel Beckett remind me of something Sir John Betjamen might do if you filled him up with Benzedrine and then force-fed him with Guinness intravenously.

  Tom Davis, British journalist

  You always knew where you were with Sam Goldwyn. Nowhere.

  F. Scott Fitzgerald, American writer

  It’s greater than a masterpiece—why, it’s mediocre!

  Samuel Goldwyn, American film studio director

  There is less to this than meets the eye.

  American actor Tallulah Bankhead commenting on a play

  Modesty is the artifice of actors, similar to passion in call girls.

  Jackie Gleason, American comedian

  Any picture in which Errol Flynn is the best actor is its own worst enemy.

  Ernest Hemingway, American writer

  He gives her class and she gives him sex.

  Katharine Hepburn on fellow American actors Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

  Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.

  John Le Carré, British author

  It’s a new low for actresses when you have to wonder what’s between her ears instead of her legs.

  Katherine Hepburn on fellow American actor Sharon Stone

  Television is still in its infancy—that’s why you have to get up and change it so often.

  Michael Hynes, American journalist

  Film directors are people too short to become actors.

  Josh Greenfield, American journalist

  After my act there was a lot of clapping and booing. But the clapping was for the booing.

  Milton Berle, American comedian

  His critiques of films are subtle and can be very amusing, especially the ones he hasn’t seen.

  British artist David Hockney on American film director Billy Wilder

  My seventh film, The Cool Mikado, had the appearance of being made in a wind tunnel.

  Frankie Howard, British comic actor

  She knows when she should go on and she knows when she should go off—it’s the bit in between that foxes her.

  Hugh Hunt

  As an actress, her only flare is in her nostrils.

  Pauline Kael, American critic

  Hook and Ladder is the sort of play that gives failure a bad name.

  Walter Kerr, American critic

  As in the outfitting of the Titanic, no expense has been spared on this production of The Romans in Britain.

  Francis King, American critic

  When it comes to acting, Joan Rivers has the range of a wart.

  American critic Stewart Klein on the comedian

  Here’s where we get out the thesaurus and look up synonyms for ‘garbage.’

  American critic Mike LaSalle on the movie Shanghai Knights

  During the rehearsals of Dorothy Parker’s play Close Harmony the director was concerned about the jiggling large breasts of one of the leading ladies.

  Director: Shouldn’t she be wearing a bra?

  Parker: Good God, no! At least something on the stage is moving.

  Michael Caine can out-act any, well nearly any, telephone kiosk you care to mention.

  Hugh Leonard, Irish dramatist

  I cannot sing, dance or act—what else would I be but a talk show host.

sp; David Letterman, American television presenter

  The plot of Who Killed Agatha Christie? has as many holes as a sieve and is far less entertaining.

  Bernard Levin, British journalist

  In this production of Macbeth, the prompter stole the show.

  Peter Lewis, American critic

  For the eye, too much; for the ear, too little; for the mind, nothing at all.

  British journalist Bernard Levin on Franco Zefirelli’s Othello

  Raquel Welch is silicone from the knees up.

  Gorge Masters, American critic

  I knew right away that Rock Hudson was gay when he did not fall in love with me.

  Italian actor Gina Lollogrigida on the American actor Rock Hudson

  I had a video made of my recent knee operation. The doctor said it was the best movie I ever starred in.

  Shirley MacLaine, American actor

  She is one of the few actresses in Hollywood history who looks more animated in still photographs than she does on the screen.

  American radio pesenter Michael Medved on American actor Raquel Welch

  Hollywood is a trip through a sewer in a glass-bottomed boat.

  Wilson Mizner, American playwright

  David Frost is the bubonic plagiarist.

  Jonathan Miller on fellow British screenwriter and television presenter

  We used to have actresses trying to become stars; now we have stars trying to become actresses.

  Sir Laurence Olivier, British actor

  I’ve spent several years in Hollywood, and I still think the movie heroes are in the audience.

  Wilson Mizner, American playwright

  Miss United Dairies herself.

  British actor David Niven on American actor Jayne Mansfield who was famous for her impressive décolletage

  Barbra Streisand looks like a cross between an aardvark and an albino rat surmounted by a platinum-coated horse bun.

  Del Prete has as much charm as a broomstick with a smile painted on it.

  Diane Keaton’s acting is really a nervous breakdown in slow motion.

  The only talent Doris Day possesses is that of being absolutely sanitary; her personality untouched by human emotions, her brow unclouded by human thought, her form unsmudged by the slightest evidence of femininity.

  Sitting through this movie is like having someone at a fancy Parisian restaurant who neither speaks nor read French, read out stentoriously the entire long menu in his best Arkansas accent and occasionally interrupt himself to chortle at his cleverness.

  You have to have a stomach for ugliness to endure Carol Kane—to say nothing of the zombie-like expressions she mistakes for acting.

  Elizabeth Taylor has grown so ample that it has become necessary to dress her almost exclusively in a variety of ambulatory tents. On the few occasions when she does reveal her bosom (or part thereof), one breast (or part thereof) proves sufficient to traverse an entire wide-screen frame—diagonally.

  John Simon, Serbian-American critic

  I suspect that Beckett is a confidence trick perpetrated on the twentieth century by a theatre-hating God. He remains the only playwright in my experience capable of making forty minutes seem like an eternity and the wrong kind of eternity at that.

  British critic Sheridan Morley on Irish playwright Samuel Beckett

  One of those inexplicable farces which capture the hearts of countless London-goers, despite plots of appalling banality and dialogue that writers of cat-food commercials might well spurn.

  British critic Sheridan Morley on No Sex Please—We’re British

  If you’re not careful, I’ll play this scene as you want it.

  Claude Raines, American actor on being micro-managed by a director

  Mosquitos see Elizabeth Taylor and shout ‘Buffet!’

  This year Elizabeth Taylor is wearing Orson Welles’ designer jeans.

  Elizabeth Taylor’s so fat, she puts mayonnaise on an aspirin.

  Joan Rivers, American comedian

  Elizabeth Taylor married Larry Fortensky, a man younger than her first wedding dress.

  A.A. Gill, British columnist

  I knew Elizabeth Taylor when she didn’t know where her next husband was coming from.

  American actor Anne Baxter on her fellow actor

  Nature, not content with denying him the art of thinking, conferred on him the gift of writing.

  George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist and critic

  Shaw is the spinster aunt of English literature.

  Kenneth Tynan, British writer

  He hasn’t enough sense to bore assholes in wooden hobbyhorses.

  American journalist Dorothy Parker on an anonymous Hollywood producer

  Awards are like haemorrhoids; sooner or later every asshole gets some.

  Frederic Raphael, Anglo-American screenwriter

  She ran the gamut of emotion from A to B.

  American journalist Dorothy Parker on one of Katherine Hepburn’s performances

  Working with Julie Andrews is like being hit over the head with a Valentine’s card.

  Christopher Plummer on his fellow British actor

  When do you want me to do that little something for which you are paying me all this money?

  British actor Ellen Terry to a director

  Burt Reynolds sings like Dean Martin with adenoids and dances like a drunk killing cockroaches.

  Canadian media personality John Barbour on the American actor

  My movies are the kind they show in prisons and aeroplanes, because nobody can leave.

  Burt Reynolds, American actor

  When in doubt, ascribe all quotations to Bernard Shaw.

  Nigel Rees, British writer and presenter

  Go on writing plays, my boy. One of these days a London producer will go into his office and say to his secretary, ‘Is there a play from Shaw this morning? And when she says ‘No,’ he will say, ‘Well, then we’ll have to start on the rubbish.’ And that’s your chance, my boy.

  George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist and critic

  They say Tom Mix rides as if he’s part of the horse, but they don’t say which part.

  America playwright and screenwriter Robert Sherwood on the American movie cowboy

  Acting on television is like being asked by the captain to entertain the passengers while the ship goes down.

  Peter Ustinov, British comedian and actor

  Johnny, keep it out of focus. I want to win the foreign picture award.

  Television is a twenty-one inch prison. I’m delighted with it because it used to be that films were the lowest form of art. Now we have something to look down upon.

  Billy Wilder, American film director

  The Birthday Party was like a vintage Hitchcock thriller which has been edited by a cross-eyed studio janitor with a lawnmower.

  American film maker Orson Welles on British playwright Harold Pinter’s work

  When you are alone with Max Beerbohn he takes off his face and reveals his mask.

  Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright and wit

  The Russians love Brooke Shields because her eyebrows remind them of Leonid Brezhnev.

  Robin Williams, American actor and comedian

  If this play lasts overnight it should not only be considered a long run but a revival too.

  Alexander Woollcott, American critic

  My reputation grows with every failure.

  George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist and critic

  Playing with Balls

  and Other Things

  There’s this interior linesman who’s as big as a gorilla and as strong as a gorilla. If he was as smart as a gorilla, he’d be fine.

  Sam Bailey, American coach

  The English rugby team—I’ve seen better centres in a box of Black Magic.

  Max Boyce, Welsh comedian

  Gary Lineker is the Queen Mother of football.

  James Christopher, AQ: please supply title/description

  The ideal board of
football directors should be made up of three men—two dead and one dying.

  Tommy Doherty, Scottish footballer

  Paul Ince with a big white bandage on his head was running around the field looking like a pint of Guinness.

  Paul Gascoigne, British footballer

  I never pray on a golf course. Actually, the Lord answers my prayers everywhere except on the course.

  Billy Graham, American evangelist

  The amateur rugby union player has an inalienable right to play like a pillock.

  Dick Greenwood, British footballer

  Pro basketball coaching is when you wake up in the morning and wish that your parents had never met.

  Bill Fitch, American coach

  Bobby Robson’s natural expression is that of a man who fears that he might have left the gas on.

  David Lacey, British sports writer

  Tony Cascarino is the biggest waste of money since Madonna’s father bought her pyjamas.

  Frank Lauder, American writer

  I resigned as a coach because of illness and fatigue. The fans were sick and tired of me.

  John Ralston, American coach

  Cricket is the only game that you can actually put on weight when playing.

  Tommy Docherty, Scottish footabller

  Football combines the worst features of American life—frantic violence punctuated by committee meetings.

  George Will, American columnist

  Ted Dexter was a master of placing both feet in his mouth at the same time.

  Ian Botham, British cricketer

  Hack Rowell had the acerbic wit of Dorothy Parker and, according to most New Zealanders, a similar knowledge of rugby.

  Mark Reason, British sports writer on England’s coach

  Of course there should be women basketball referees. Incompetence should not be confined to one sex.

  Bill Russell, American basketball player

  Golf and sex are the only things that you can enjoy without being any good at them.

  Jimmy Demaret, American golfer

  Managing Dunfermline Athletic is a great job, except for the Saturday afternoons.

  Jockey Scott, British football manager

  Tommy Smith could start a riot in a graveyard.

  Bill Shankly, Scottish football manager

  Dear Lord, if there be cricket in heaven, let there also be rain.

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