I saw this over at Cameron’s blog and it was one of those things that you just have to post.  It had me laughing out loud.

Back when insults had class, you know before they came up with “your mother’s so…” jokes.

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”
— Winston Churchill

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries
with great pleasure.” — Clarence Darrow

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” — William Faulkner
(about Ernest Hemingway)

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”
— Groucho Marx

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I
approved of it.” — Mark Twain

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.”
— Oscar Wilde

“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend… If you have one.”
— George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
… followed by

Churchill’s response:
“Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second, if there
is one.” — Winston Churchill

“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.” — Stephen Bishop

“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” — Irvin S. Cobb

“He had delusions of adequacy.” — Walter Kerr

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”
— Mae West

Lady Astor once remarked to Winston Churchill at a Dinner Party, “Winston, if you were my husband, I would poison
your coffee! ” Winston replied, “Madam if I were your husband I would drink it!” (Shane’s comment – I think this last one is an Urban legend, but it is still funny.)

Update 3/11/09: Thanks Rob Harrison for the link as he used the Mark Twain quote from this post in his discussion on The Coming Evangelical Collapse.

  1. OK, one esoteric quote and one in kitchen language:
    Winston Churchill: He is a modest man with much to be modest about.” and

    His mother had to tie a pork chop around his neck to get the dog to play with him.

  2. Shane,

    This post reminds us of what was so brilliant about comedy “back in the day,” at least before we had to relegate ourselves to bathroom humor for laughs.

    The thing that struck me when I finished, is that I know people that would say “I don't get it?” That's the sad state of affairs now.

    The comedy of Bob Hope and Dean Martin's roasts would be lost on most people of today because no one knows what's going on in the world. Back then, you had to know our politicians and the like to get the joke.

    Still, This was hilarious. I loved Shaw's letter to Churchill and Churchill's response. So dry, yet so classically funny!

    Thanks for this!

  3. I hear you. I recently went to a comedy club and was depressed about how our comedy has devolved into obscenity. It was like it wasn't comedy if the comedian didn't drop the “F bomb” numerous times during his act or joke about sex, etc.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this.

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